Production - 9.5
Musicianship - 9
Creativity - 8.5
Replay Value - 6
The Mystery of Wow
Summary : The album combines a genius line-up of metal all stars to create a vivid concept. It doesn't always hold your attention, but still a musical event to experience
W hen I saw that Avantasia was due to release a new album I was immediately interested in giving it a listen as I have always found Tobias Sammet to be an excellent singer, and one of the only singers I have heard to sound like Bruce Dickinson). His other band Edguy, I always thought was made up of talented musicians and songwriters. I haven’t listened to a lot of Avantasia before this so I was somewhat going in blind. So what did I get with The Mystery of Time? Well it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it also was by no means a disappointment.
The Mystery of Time boasts a large roster of heavy metal heroes that Tobias sought out to help bring it to life. You have Biff Byford (Saxon), Michael Kiske (Unisonic, ex-Helloween) and Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple, Rising force) among others. All of whom either co-sing with Tobias or you have tracks that you’ll have a full chorus of singers.
I found the additional singers a nice touch and several songs to be really strong on the album, such as the opening track, ‘Spectres’, which has a great catchy chorus. I found the songs featuring Byford and Kiske being the predominately stronger tunes with the exception of Turner singing in the opening track and Eric Martin’s ‘What’s Left of Me’ also being a highlight of the album.
What I found The Mystery of Time to be, is an album featuring many guest musicians weaving a fantasy tale, written by Sammet, that would be cool to see conceptualized live. I compare Avantasia to the likes of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra especially with the German Film Orchestra-Babelsberg performing on this album. I’m not sure as to the budget Avantasia would need to pull off a show that TSO could, but I think what would really bring The Msytery of Time all together would be a stage show that helped visually conceptualize the album. As it stands the album is a good listen featuring some great songwriting and talent. It didn’t grab me as much as I would have liked but I still enjoyed listening to the songs and the amazing voice of Tobias Sammet and the other singers.
Maybe one day we will get lucky and Avantasia will write a story about the movie Labyrinth. Sammet will rake in millions, produce a stage show to visualize the concept, and David Bowie will reprise his role as the Goblin King singing ‘Magic Dance’ tossing around a baby.
- The Watchmakers’ Dream
- Black Orchid
- Where Clock Hands Freeze
- Savior In The Clockwork
- Invoke The Machine
- What’s Left Of Me
- Dweller In A Dream
- The Great Mystery
- Tobias Sammet – lead vocals, bass guitar
- Sascha Paeth – guitars, producer
- Miro – keyboards
- Russell Gilbrook – drums
- Bruce Kulick (on tracks 3, 6, 10)
- Oliver Hartmann (on tracks 4, 7, 9)
- Arjen Anthony Lucassen (on track 2)
- Russell Gilbrook (Uriah Heep)
- Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) (on tracks 1, 2, 6, 10)
- Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Place Vendome, Unisonic) (on tracks 4, 6, 9)
- Biff Byford (Saxon) (on tracks 3, 6, 10)
- Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) (on track 7)
- Eric Martin (Mr. Big) (on track 8)
- Bob Catley (Magnum) (on track 10)
- Cloudy Yang (on track 5)
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