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Avantasia – The Mystery Of Time

April 5, 2013

01. Spectres
02. The Watchmaker’s Dream
03. Black Orchid
04. Where Clock Hands Freeze
05. Sleepwalking
06. Savior in the Clockwork
07. Invoke the Machine
08. What’s Left of Me
09. Dweller in a Dream
10. The Mystery of Time

It’s been 3 years since Tobias Sammet released “The Wicked Symphony” and “Angel Of Babylon”. These two albums which had great success and brought an end to the second Avantasia story, was very well received and Sammet reached newer heights of success. Now, 3 years later, the german songwriter genius Tobias Sammet is back with another Avantasia album accompanied with musicians like Joe Lynn Turner, Michael Kiske, Bruce Kulick, Biff Byford, Russell Gillbrook, Eric Martin and a real orchestra.

The songwriting on “The Mystery Of Time” is fantastic. Tobias has managed to blend elements from all of the Avantasia albums into one, and added new and interesting ideas to it, which have resulted in an incredible end result. “The Mystery Of Time” contains the fast paced, high pitched singing and majestic power metal from The Metal Opera. The powerful bombastic hardrock, rock and pop elements from The wicked trilogy, and it is all blended into one. It is nothing really new in terms of what Tobias Sammet usually writes, so if you were expecting something else you will be disappointed, this album is Tobias Sammet from start to finish. While you can find all elements of Avantasia in the album, the album is more oriented around symphonic elements, unlike the last three albums which were more guitar oriented. So don’t expect songs like “Twisted Mind”, “Forever Is A Long Time”, “Scales of Justice” or “The Toy Master”. The guitars have taken a step back while the symphonic elements have taken a step forward, but the songs “Savior in the clockwork” and “Invoke The Machine” has some very aggressive and great guitar parts. This is in my opinion the most disappointing part of the album, while the music overall is fantastic, the guitar riffs on the previous Avantasia albums are by far superior to The Mystery Of Time.

This album contains many fantastic songs and memorable parts, but there are a few songs that stands out. Michael Kiske makes his best vocal performance in Avantasia in the song “Where clock hands freeze”, a song which will be a huge fan favorite and a future Avantasia classic. Prepare to hear this song whenever Avantasia has a concert. The ballad “What’s left of me” could be the best Avantasia ballad up to date with Farwell from the metal opera. Eric Martin (Mr Big) does one hell of a job on this song and delivers a very memorable performance. This is also a song that will grow on you for a very long time, it becomes better for every time you listen to it. “The watchmakers dream” is also one of Avantasia best songs. It is a face paced double drumming song with very powerful chorus. Joe Lynn Turner and Tobias is an amazing duo for this kind of songs. The two epics of this album, “Savior in the clockwork” and “The Great Mystery” is also very good. While I don’t think they are the best “epics” of Avantasia, they are both very enchanting pieces and two really good songs.  I also want to point out that the vocal performance of Kiske and Sammet on “Dweller in a dream” is immense, the vocal melodies are some of the best on the album. This song is also quite similar to “Out of vogue” from Rocket Ride. The single “Sleepwalking” could also be the best pop/rock song Tobias has ever written, this is a song that could get some airtime on many radio stations.

This album is a grower, I will most likely like this album even more in a month or so because it just gets better and better every time I listen to it, and I know I am not the only one who thinks so. Most of the reviews of this album that I have read says the same thing, so make sure you listen to it more than three times before judging it. With the new voices and the symphonic elements, Tobias has managed to capture all sides of Avantasia, and yet brought us an album which still manages to sound so different. You can always count on Tobias Sammet, he might very well be the greatest songwriter we have in the metal scene at the moment. This is not the best Avantasia album, but it is still a very a solid album.

8.5 / 10.

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