Avantasia – A Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society

Year: 2022
Total Time: 53.58
Label: Nuclear Blast

Tobias Sammet’s AVANTASIA is a group that fits my musical preferences, but I have never had the chance to pay much attention to their music, apart from some occasional encounters with songs from their rich discography. Their ninth album gave me the reason to dig deeper to the metal operatic art of Sammet and his guests.

Only by the title, “A Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society”, we understand that it is a pompus, full album from every aspect. Music, vocals, backing vocals and a pleiad of important singers. The album begins with “Welcome To The Shadows” (Sammet), where the chilling couplet is followed by a vivid and completely addictive refrain with an ‘80s esthetic and rich backing choirs. Second is “The Wicked Rule The Night” by Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR, ex-GAMMA RAY, Michael Schenker Band) which is the heaviest song of the album. Scheepers is the attraction of the song, along with some amazing guitar solos from Paeth. There are also two songs with metal goddess Floor Jansen (NIGHTWISH). The first is called “Killed The Pain Away”, a really catchy song with intense backing choirs that give a NIGHTWISH-y sense. The second one is a typical ballad called “Misplaces Among The Angels” with smashing keyboards and a wonderful Sammet – Jansen duet. “The Inmost Light” bares the mark of Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN) and it is made for his voice, which can easily go up and down the octaves! In the “I Tame The Storm” the distinctive voice of Jorn Lande (ex-MASTERPLAN, ex-ARK, ex-VAGABOND) makes all the difference to a song, that also stands out for the dynamic drums.

Towards the end of the album we come across two of the least interesting songs which are “Paper Plane (Ronnie Atkins – PRETTY MAIDS), a nice Power ballad, and “Rhyme and Reason” (Eric Martin, MR. BIG), a typical Power Metal song. “The Moonflower Society” is another ‘80s style song with a dancing refrain from the eternal voice of Bob Catley. But the last two songs of the album make up for everything. First, we listen to the amazing voice of Geoff Tat (ex-QUEENSRYCHE) singing either melodically or harsher and finally the 10-minute epic “Arabesque” from the trio Sammet – Jorn – Kiske. It embodies all the features of the rest of the songs under the veil of folk and eastern touches.

Despite the fact that this album does not bring to the surface the characteristic of a typical metal opera, it still holds close all the elements that made AVANTASIA famous and pioneers. It is not a masterpiece but it is a really good come back in discography with a full and loaded (vocally and musically) album.

Rating: 7,5/10
Editor: Kostas Boudoukos
Related Link: AVANTASIA – Official Page

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