Review AVANTASIA ‘A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society’

After the success of Edguy it was to be expected that Tobias Sammet’s next project Avantasia would also find many friends. It all started in 1999 when Sammet began working on a concept album which was released in 2001 as ‘The Metal Opera’.

What makes this album a great starting point for Avantasia, besides the excellent songs, is the cast. A metal opera contains different characters and in the case of Avantasia these are represented by a variety of singers. Sharon den Adel, Rob Rock, Michael Kiske and others, these are the voices that give life to ‘The Metal Opera’ and make the album a glorious starting point for the project.

Fueled by the success, Sammet continues his project and leads it to international success. Two years after ‘Moonglow’ it is these days ‘A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society’, the latest Avantasia album, which again invites the listener to a musical journey through the worlds from metal to classic rock.

Also this time Sammet could win an illustrious ensemble of singers, who give songs and album a musical variety. The start makes with ‘Welcome to the Shadows’, however, a song that is completely tailor-made for Sammet. It is a typical Avantasia track, a song with bombast and good melodies.

A bonus of the album is that Sammet manages to implement the typical Avantasia trademarks in every song, while at the same time letting the strengths of the guest vocalists come to the fore. This becomes apparent in songs like ‘The Wicked Rule the Night’. Germany’s metal siren Ralf Scheepers takes over some of the vocals. These are perfectly fitting to Scheepers and show the strength of his voice to its best advantage. Fast and metallic that is how this track comes out of the speakers and is a highlight on the album.

It gets more atmospheric with ‘Kill the Pain Away’ with Floor Jansen while the following ‘The Inmost Light’ reminds not only because of Michael Kiske’s voice at times of Helloween.

Also ‘Paper Plane’ has to be mentioned. That Ronnie Atkins will be part of a new Avantasia album was not always certain due to the singer’s illness and it is all the more nice to hear the voice of the Danish singer. The song is one of the melodic treats on the album with great melodies in the foreground.

Magnum’s Bob Catley enhances ‘The Moonflower Society’ and it is ‘Scars’ which perfectly highlights George Tate’s voice. Closing the album is a song called ‘Arabesque’. Michael Kiske, Jorn Lande and Tobias Sammet share the vocals on this 10-minute monumental work. After a dramatic beginning, with drums and bagpipes, the song develops into an epic which reflects the entire creative diversity of Sammet. Melodies, choirs and drama run through the song and give it depth and brilliance.

With ‘A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society’ Sammet once again manages to stay true to the roots of Avantasia without repeating himself. Each of the eleven songs on the album is a little highlight in itself and if Sammet continues to succeed in working with an ensemble of outstanding singers, Avantasia will continue to delight the metal world with very well made melodic metal.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Welcome to the Shadows
  2. The Wicked Rule the Night (feat. Ralf Scheepers)
  3. Kill the Pain Away (feat. Floor Jansen)
  4. The Inmost Light (feat. Michael Kiske)
  5. Misplaced among the Angels (feat. Floor Jansen)
  6. I Tame the Storm (feat. Jorn Lande)
  7. Paper Plane (feat. Ronnie Atkins)
  8. The Moonflower Society (feat. Bob Catley)
  9. Rhyme and Reason (feat. Eric Martin)
  10. Scars (feat. Geoff Tate)
  11. Arabesque (feat. Jorn Lande & Michael Kiske)

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Metal Opera

Release Date EU: October 21st, 2022

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