Avantasia – “The Mystery of Time” (2013)

Label : Nuclear Blast Records

Review by Alessandra Mazzarella

Like it or nope, Tobias Sammet was born to surprise, and he did surprise the audience once again with his Avantasia brand new album “The Mystery of Time”. Thanks to an outstanding combo of brand new special guests – Eric Martin (Mr Big), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), Joey Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Deep Purple), Biff Byford (Saxon) – and the ever-present ones – Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Place Vendome, Unisonic), Bob Catley (Magnum), Cloudy Yang – plus the participation of the Film Orchestra Babelsberg (which already featured Edguy in the “Hellfire Club” album), Avantasia‘s sound seem to have shapeshifted again without altogether abandoning his origins. In fact, in “The Mystery of Time” you can find the dark atmosphere of “The Wicked Symphony”, the dynamic choirs of “Angel Of Babylon” and the multi-level vocals of “The Metal Opera Pt. 1 & 2”. The absence of Jorn Lande seems to have forced Tobias Sammet to look for some new vocal mixes. Maybe this quest for new vocal paths made “The Mystery of Time” the richest and the most detailed Avantasia album.

Let’s talk about the main songs of the album: the opening track, “Spectres”, a dark and catchy song, very close to the “The Wicked Symphony” sound; “The Watchmakers’ Dream” with some Deep Purple recalls due to the presence of the Hammond and the Jon Lord style solo – it’s not a coincidence that it is sung by Tobias Sammet and Joey Lynn Turner, former Deep Purple vocalist; “Where Clock Hands Freeze”, Michael Kiske‘s moment in the spotlight, a breath-taking song that every Avantasia fan would expect to be in the album; “Savior in the Clockwork” an epic over ten minutes long masterpiece featuring Michael Kiske, Joey Lynn Turner and Biff Byford where power and pathos are perfectly balanced; last but not least, “The Great Mystery”, the perfect closure for this album, sounding like Scarlatti, Broadway and The Metal Opera put togheter in a melting pot of awesomeness, will send shivers down your spines. “The Mystery of Time” will be the joy of every old Avantasia fan; for those who still don’t know anything about this all-stars ensemble give this album a chance, you won’t regret it at all.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Spectres
  2. The Watchmakers’ dream
  3. Black Orchid
  4. Where Clock Hands Freeze
  5. Sleepwalking
  6. Savior In The Clockwork
  7. Invoke The Machine
  8. What’s Left Of Me
  9. Dweller In A Dream
  10. The Great Mystery

 

Line Up

  • Tobias Sammet – Vocals & Bass
  • Sascha Paeth – Guitar
  • Miro Rodenberg – Keyboards
  • Russell Gilbrook – Drums

 

Guests

  • Joe Lynn Turner – Vocals on tracks #1, 2, 6, 10
  • Biff Byford – Vocals on tracks  # 3, 6, 10
  • Michael Kiske – Vocals on tracks #4, 6, 9
  • Cloudy Yang  – Vocals on track  #5
  • Ronnie Atkins – Vocals on track #7
  • Eric Martin – Vocals on tracks #8
  • Bob Catley – Vocals on track # 10
  • Arjen Lucassen – Guitar on track  #2
  • Bruce Kulick – Guitar on tracks  #3, 6, 10
  • Oliver Hartmann – Guitar on tracks #4, 7, 9

 

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