Avantasia

                                                                                                           Ghostlights

                                                                                                           Label:Nuclear Blast

                                                                                                           Release Date:29th January     

 

“Ghostlights” is Avantasia's seventh Album featuring guest appearances from such legends as Geoff Tate , Dee Snider, Marco Hietala, Sharon Den Adel, Michael Kiske, Ronnie Atkins, Bob Catley, Jorn Lande, Bruce Kulick, Robert Mason, Herbie Langhans, Oliver Hartmann and Sascha Paeth. So let’s start with the opening track, “Mystery of a Blood Red Rose” it is  so reminiscent of Meatloaf you will need to double check, of course it’s not! Just the backing and the gigantic choral effects remind you  of the aforementioned gentleman , this is the only track that Tobias Sammet sings on his own during  this opus.

 

The next song is just unbelievable it is  dramatic, bombastic and simply  mesmerising it really  lifts your mood , it features ex Masterplan Vocalist Jorn Lande and Tobias , this twelve-minute monster soars high to the heavens and descends low in turn it is  a charismatic number of immense  proportions.  

Dee Snider takes a bow on the creepy and macabre “The Haunting” this is  easily one of the highlights (as are many)  for me, being a huge Dee Snider fan , he sure does himself proud as does the much maligned Geoff Tate on “Seduction of Decay” this is great a track and  even his biggest haters will need  to reconsider their position and give the  ex Queensryche frontman some credit , it’s a strong , heavy piece truly  monumental , it shows Tate still has the voice and range to  be relevant as he is on his recent and much criticized Album “Operation Mindcrime”.

 

The title track “Ghostlights” introduces Michael Kiske's  vocals ,it’s a Power Metallers dream which sees the former Helloween hero stretching his larynx  racing along at a tremendous speed as guitaritsts Bruce Kulick and Oliver Hartmann duel  delivering some stunning riffage! Tobias of course is in the mix and the outstanding Jorn Lande gets some vocals, but without a doubt this song is Kiskes baby.

 

Then the standout track for me on here, which is really damn hard to choose! has to be the next song it is  deep and dark , I had to double take when I realised “Draconian Love “is sung by Sinbreeds Herbie Langhan, it drips dark nights, vampires and gothic halls with echoes of  doom and disaster , the chorus is beautiful and ethereal.

“Master of The Pendulum” follows close behind, featuring Nightwish's Marco Hietala its full of catchy choruses, guitar solos to melt the ice caps and fists in the air, face melting glory!  From one extreme we go to another with the “Isle of Evermore “it’s the weakest link on this Album featuring Sharon Den Adel of Nightwish ,while it’s a pleasing, soothing aesthetic track it’s just too slow and a bit lacklustre after the previous songs.

 

 “Babylon Vampyres” thunders into the room with  jaw droppingly delirious riffs courtesy of Kulick and Hartmann, combined with the iron fist in velvet glove vocals courtesy of Warrants Robert Mason ,and as ever Tobias , this song gets the blood pumping , pure Avantasia Heaven! “Lucifer” sees Jorn Lande reappear ,  it’s a slow build up that works into a heavy and gratifying piece that simply takes your breath away.

Pretty Maids vocalist Ronnie Atkins, joins Michael Kiske and Tobias for “Unchain the Light” it’s an addictive number and has  Metal Anthem written all over it. Final track  "A Restless Heart and Obsidian Skies has Bob Catley making his presence felt, it' a great, uplifting, emotional way to finish yet another superb album in 2016! And its only January!

 

 Funny thing is Tobi has said a few times that Avantasia have finished, I for one am glad, like Avantasias huge army of fans that he is resuming his odyssey and long may it continue!

 

Review :Seb Di Gatto  Score :9.5/10
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The instrumentalists on Ghostlights are the following:
Sascha Paeth - rhythm guitars, lead guitars, bass, additional keys
Michael Rodenberg - orchestration, keys
Tobias Sammet - additional keys and bass
Bruce Kulick - lead guitars
Oliver Hartmann - lead guitars
Felix Bohnke - drums

Tracklist as follows:

 

01. Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose
Lead vocals: Tobias
Lead guitar: Sascha Paeth

 

02. Let The Storm Descend Upon You
Lead vocals: Tobias, Jorn Lande, Ronnie Atkins, Robert Mason
Lead guitar: Oliver Hartmann

 

03. The Haunting
Lead vocals: Dee Snider, Tobias
Lead guitar: Sascha Paeth

 

04. Seduction Of Decay
Lead vocals: Geoff Tate, Tobias

Lead guitar: Sascha Paeth
 

05. Ghostlights
Lead vocals: Michael Kiske, Tobias, Jorn Lande
Lead guitar: Sascha Paeth, Oliver Hartmann

 

06. Draconian Love
Lead vocals: Herbie Langhans, Tobias
Lead guitar: Sascha Paeth

 

07. Master Of The Pendulum
Lead vocals: Marco Hietala, Tobias
Lead guitar: Sascha Paeth

 

08. Isle Of Evermore
Lead vocals: Sharon Den Adel, Tobias

 

09. Babylon Vampyres
Lead vocals: Tobias, Robert Mason
Lead guitar: Bruce Kulick, Oliver Hartmann, Sascha Paeth

 

10. Lucifer
Lead vocals: Jorn Lande, Tobias
Lead guitar: Bruce Kulick

 

11. Unchain The Light
Lead vocals: Tobias, Ronnie Atkins, Michael Kiske
Lead guitar: Sascha Paeth, Oliver Hartmann

 

12. A Restless Heart And Obsidian Skies
Lead vocals: Bob Catley, Tobias
Lead guitar: Bruce Kulick

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