Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia – Ghostlights – Album Review

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Avantasia - Ghostlights

Finally I’ve got the album I’ve been waiting for for so long within my grasp, and I don’t think I have ever been more excited for an album than I’ve been for Avantasia’s new album ‘Ghostlights’. I’ve been listening to them ever since they had released ‘The Scarecrow’, and each and every album they have released after that was a masterpiece. Can Tobias Sammet create another masterpiece? That’s the question.

The album starts off with ‘Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose’, a song that had been released in December. In my opinion it’s a good way to open the album, as it is catchy and quickly caught my attention, making me curious for what was coming next. On top of that, the lyrics are once again on point, deep, mysterious and overall the song has a great Avantasia vibe to it. Tobias Sammet is the only vocalist on this track, and I must say he has done an amazing job.

‘Let The Storm Descend Upon You’ is one of the famous 12-minute songs that Avantasia is able to pull of perfectly, and how did they pull it off again! First of all, it’s simply great to hear Jorn Lande join Avantasia on the album again – how I’ve missed him! Together with Tobias Sammet, Ronnie Atkins and Robert Mason they have once again created an epic masterpiece, with a beautiful intro and an amazing chorus. I have always been a fan of the longer tracks, but I can already say this is one of my new favorites!

On ‘The Haunting’ we hear an amazing performance of Dee Snider. The previous song flows into this one, though the atmosphere of the song is completely different, almost as if you’re entering a Haunted House. The pace is slower than the previous song, but it truly fits both the lyrics and Dee’s voice. It was one of the songs that immediately stuck with me, mostly because of its unique atmosphere and sound. In my opinion, the song was far too short.

From the atmosphere of a Haunted House, we jump straight into a somewhat more intimidating atmosphere with ‘Seduction Of Decay’. On this track Tobias Sammet shows his own vocal skills as well, and I must say I am quite impressed with his addition on this song. He is accompanied by Geoff Tate, whose voice is (once again) perfect for the vibe of this track, and seems to outshine Tobias Sammet as well. The song has a darker vibe to it, but is thoroughly enjoyable.

Though the last song had a dark vibe to it, we jump straight onto a completely different vibe with the sound of double bass and an epic guitar intro. The voice of Michael Kiske is soon added, and I already seem to be enjoying the track. It has a fast pace to it, the chorus is catchy, and with the addition of Jorn Lande as well, ‘Ghostlights’ is one of the many treasures of both this album and Avantasia’s creations.

‘Draconian Love’ is a truly new vibe, something I had not expected at all on an Avantasia album, but honestly? It’s something they should have added a long time ago already. The deep voice of Herbie Langhans mixed with the sound of Tobias Sammet is an amazing combination, something I hadn’t expected to sound so well. The lyrics are amazing as well, and so is the music. Their vocal performances are fantastic and I must admit that this is one of the best performances of Tobias Sammet on the album.

The intro to ‘Master Of The Pendulum’ shows once again that Tobias Sammet hasn’t lost his powers just yet. It’s strong, powerful, and immediately sets the pace for the remainder of the song. Marco Hietala is a great addition on this song, which quickly caught my attention. The chorus is catchy, and the whole song is enjoyable to listen to overall. It has a great Avantasia vibe to it, and certainly belongs within their repertoire.

A song that I have been looking forward to, was the song in which Tobias Sammet would collaborate with Sharon Den Adel once again. ‘Isle Of Evermore’ is the song on which this finally happens again. It’s a ballad, beautifully slow, and it once again fits the invited guest perfectly. The chorus, however, feels a bit unnatural compared to the flow of the track, but it’s not really anything to be truly negative about. It’s a beautiful piece all together, though I must say I had expected a little bit more out of it.

‘Babylon Vampyres’ is another track with a quick pace to it. The addition of Robert Mason fits the nature of the song greatly once again, and it’s truly a song with an Avantasia vibe to it. The chorus is catchy, and I was quickly able to sing along with it, which I did as well. For me, that means that I am enjoying it thoroughly, even if the song is new to me!

From something fast we go over into something slow again, as ‘Lucifer’ is the next track on the album. A ‘ballad’ of both Jorn Lande and Tobias Sammet, something that I hadn’t truly expected to happen. Though, I have to admit that this is Lande’s best vocal performance on the album. It’s touching, it’s beautiful, and it completely blew me away. Halfway throughout the song the pace picks up, and it becomes heavier. Though it changes nothing on how touching and beautiful this song is.

The next track we will hear Michael Kiske on is ‘Unchain The Light’, in combination with both Tobias Sammet and Ronnie Atkins. Kiske’s addition to the chorus is absolutely amazing, and it shows me once again how much I have been admiring his sound. Besides his performance, I also have to compliment Atkins’ performance on the song, as it truly ads in on the vibe the song has. This track is, as well, one of my favorite on the album.

Sadly, the last track – as if it’s a tradition – is a song that includes no one less than Bob Catley, someone we can’t miss within Avantasia. ‘A Restless Heart And Obsidian Skies’ is truly beautiful, with another catchy chorus to end the album with. Of course, I expected no less of Catley and Sammet, as we have been granted with beautiful songs in the past as well, and this one doesn’t fall short to their reputation.

All with all, this album is another masterpiece created by the almighty Tobias Sammet, of who we can expect much more in the future – or so I hope to believe. The album has shown many different sides of Avantasia, of which were all fantastic and enjoyable. If I would have to rate it, I would certainly give it a 12/10, and nominate it for ‘album of the year’ already. Does this album match the others? It surely does! I even think this one beats ‘The Scarecrow’. My favorite track is none other than ‘Draconian Love’, though it was hard to pick just one. I would totally recommend this album to each and every one of you. Give it a listen, and let Tobias Sammet take you on a ride together with his companions. It will not disappoint you!

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