Review: Avanatasia – Ghostlights
When people hear the words “symphonic power/metal band” oftentimes the first bands they may think of are Kamelot or Sonata Arctica. If those bands are what you expect when first listening to Avantasia’s ‘Ghostlights,’ you’ll have to press the reset button.
Formed in 1999 by Tobias Sammet (Edguy), Avantasia takes its name from a blending of the words “avalon” and “fantasia,” which to the band means “a world beyond human imagination.” Considering their latest release takes a profound step in a new direction for the band the description is fairly fitting.
An unconventional album for the genre, ‘Ghostlights’ enlisted a varied group of talented musicians to make this the band’s standout effort not unlike Within Temptation did with ‘Hydra.’ Notable guest performers include: Dee Snider, Geoff Tate, Marco Hietala, Sharon Den Adel, Michael Kiske, Ronnie Atkins, Bob Catley, Jorn Lande, Bruce Kulick, Robert Mason, Herbie Langhans, Oliver Hartmann, and Sacha Paeth.
With so many musicians lending their talents to this release it goes without saying that ‘Ghostlights’ covers a lot of ground. In fact, calling the album a rock opera is not far off the mark; the work this band puts out is dramatic and dynamic. With so many guests on the album, each song has flavors of their own unique personalities that you simply have to hear for yourself.
While the album is all over the map, there is a nostalgic feeling that permeates throughout which recalls 1990’s progressive/rock. Anyone craving an ultra-modern, over-produced, shrink-wrapped, plastic sound may want to take this album on a test drive first before purchasing, because this is heavy metal fan service all the way. 8.5/10
Ghostlights hits the shelves on January 29, 2016.