If anyone is a fan of symphonic music, they’ve heard of Avantasia. Since Tobias Sammet got the idea for a “rock opera” in 1999, they have come to be the quintessential supergroup in the genre. When “The Metal Opera” was released in 2001, it blew away the power metal competition. Comprised of ten incredible vocalists and a grand storyline, Avantasia set out to take over the world. The next album “The Metal Opera pt. II” was the end of the storyline, and while it wasn’t as good as the first part, it was still good in its own right. The next trilogy of albums, called “The Wicked Trilogy,” is where Avantasia really hit the nail on the head. It had everything other bands wish they had: a great story, incredible musicians, and the vocal talent of Amanda Somerville. 2010 marked the end of “The Wicked Trilogy” and started a three year wait for the next Avantasia project. The wait is finally over and armed with a new set of musicians, Avantasia is back and ready to conquer the world yet again.
“The Mystery of Time” is hands down the best album since “The Scarecrow.” It takes everything from all the Avantasia albums and fuses it into one incredible piece of work. The one notable difference from past albums is the inclusion of the German Film Orchestra, Babelsberg. Having a real orchestra really brings out the epic nature of Sammet’s songwriting skills. The first song “Spectres” kicks off a journey that the listener won’t soon forget. “The Watchmaker’s Dream” continues the album with a sound that is comparable to a fusion of The Who and Meatloaf. The third track, and arguably the best track on the album, is “Black Orchid.” This song just explodes with an in-your-face riff and chill-inducing orchestra. The chorus takes the vocals to soaring heights that Sammet has never reached before. “Black Orchid” sets the new bar for symphonic metal, period. The rest of the album stays strong throughout, and there aren’t any slow parts. Other stand-out tracks include “Saviour in the Clockwork” and “The Great Mystery,” which happen to be the two longest songs. “The Great Mystery,” with its incredible, epic chorus, is a great ending to an amazing album that begs to be listened to again.
Tobias Sammet really has outdone himself with this release. Again he takes the listener on a journey that no other band can match. “The Mystery of Time” is a great album to have in the car for a long drive or even for sitting at home, letting it soak in. It has everything that a symphonic album should: amazing vocals, killer riffs, and a soundtrack worthy orchestra. The album doesn’t push the boundaries like “The Scarecrow” did, instead it tears them down and delivers something near perfect.
- Brian DuBois
Official Site - http://www.tobiassammet.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/avantasia