Avanstasia - The Wicked Symphony (2010)



Here's some true symphonic power metal at its best. Avantasia, the side project of Edguy's lead singer Tobias Sammet, has released "The Wicked Symphony" which is his fourth studio album. This album is the second part of the "Wicked Trilogy." The first part being "The Scarecrow" and the third part being "Angel Of Babylon." Each of these albums have amazing lineups as far as guest musicians go. This truly is a metal opera!

The first track, entitled "The Wicked Symphony," starts out quiet with soft orchestrated strings that build up to the chugging guitars. The verses are deep with moving lyrics. Tobias Sammet shares the mic with Jorn Lande, lead singer of Masterplan, and Russell Allen, lead singer of Symphony X. Together they form an angelic sound in vocals that will blow you away. The chorus is stunning with its symphonic build up and echoing lyrics that are hit in the highest of notes. Such powerful deliver in every word. Get ready to learn the lyrics because you are going to be singing along often. And that goes for the entire album. "Wastelands" is another amazing track full energy as the drums are constant following the heavy chugging of guitars. The solo towards the end of the song is electrifying as it runs up and down the scales rapidly. The vocals are shared between Sammet and Michael Kiske, ex-vocalist of Helloween. The amount of talent on this album is just astonishing.

"Scales Of Justice" starts off a little more aggressive with rough guitar riffs being slammed against booming drums. The vocals are done by Tim "Ripper" Owens, former lead singer of Iced Earth and, more famously, Judas Priest. Strong lyrics that are well delivered. Also pay attention to some of the drum fills in the song. So much technical detail and impressive double bass pedal action. One of the first singles released off of this album was "Dying For An Angel" which featured Klaus Meine, lead singer of the Scorpions. Together they created a powerful mix, using reverb and flange effects in certain parts of their vocals giving off sort of a futuristic sound. The chorus will grab you with its catchy melody and memorable lyrics. The soaring guitar solos are phenomenal and smoothly copy the melody of the refrain in a detailed way. This is definitely a song that you are going to want to put on repeat for a while.

Another track with pure epic tones is "Runaway Train." This eight and a half minute masterpiece is absolutely stunning. It starts with soft piano and soothing vocals. About one minute in enters wild guitars and rapid snares blasting away. The vocals are split between Sammet, Lande, Kiske, Allen, and Bob Catley who is the lead singer of the rock band Magnum. The lyrics in the chorus just take you into a while other world. The break down in the middle of the track with rapid piano riffs is pretty awesome as the instruments build louder and louder. This all leads to an incredible solo that will completely take your breath away. Following the solo comes a small verse with just the piano and vocals with beautiful lyrics. As this fades, Sammet comes back in with the chorus as it is repeated for the last minute of the song. It's going to be the fastest eight and a half minutes of your life, so you're probably going to want to replay it.

Catchy synthesizers open "Crestfallen" as heavy guitar chug along with the melody. The chorus to this song is huge and really blows up when it drops. Distortion is everywhere, while the drums pound away at the snare and shattering cymbals. Together, Sammet and Lande take care of the vocals. Lande also contributes to the following song, "Forever Is A Long Time." This song has got some overwhelming guitar work. Ripping guitar riffs screaming with distortion. Double bass in the chorus will have you bobbing your head for sure.

And if you like this track then you'll love "States Of Matter." The vocals in the first verse are done by Allen and he really shows of his talent in the chorus with his high notes. Sammet takes over in the second verse for another magnificent performance. The solo is perfect, the verses are solid, and the refrain is catchy as hell. The only problem with this song is that its only four minutes long! But don't worry, your greeted with "The Edge" as the album comes to a close. Sammet delivers the vocals alone in this one. Gorgeous lyrics fly though the air in this one. The verses are soft with a smooth bass line and a couple guitar riffs. The chorus build with deafening distorted riffs and constant kick-snare action. The melody of the chorus will be stuck in your head for days.

Keep in mind that "The Wicked Symphony" is only one of three amazing albums put together to form this epic trilogy that the musical genius Tobias Sammet has created. With the help of his friends and other talented musicians, these albums will be known and listened to for a very long time. Now all we need is for Avantasia to do a U.S. tour!

9.5/10

Official Site - http://www.tobiassammet.com/
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/tobiassammet