|Review: Avantasia - Lost in Space (Part 1)|
|Lost in Space (Part 1)|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2007
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: November 24, 2007
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
for:Lost in Space (Part 1)
Rated 4.6/5 (92%) (5 Votes)
Hahaha! And to think we doubted Tobias Sammet. This is the first glimpse of the new Avantasia, and while it's not perfect in any respect, I haven't had quite this much fun listening to a Power Metal album in ages. Tobias has touted this as "an honest pomp album from my heart, not living up to the industry, not following any trend and not any Metal cliché," and I was initially very skeptical of this, as the man has always let his mouth run freely without caring about the consequences, but this time he has actually put out something pretty close to his claims.
If you went into this expecting the same old Power Metal generica from the previous albums, then prepare to be disappointed! The music here doesn't really fit snugly into any one genre. There are a whole lot of elements from 80s hard rock and stadium rock in the song structures, with several huge, frantic shout-aloud choruses, and the solos are pure Power Metal bliss. It might not be the beginning of any new musical movements, but it is some of the best stuff that Tobi has written since Edguy's Hellfire Club, and also sounding more akin to that great album than anything else. We have guest vocals from Jorn Lande, Bob Catley, Amanda Somerville and Michael Kiske, alongside Tobias' familiar hard rock/Power Metal wailing, and the production is just about the best Avantasia or Edguy has ever gotten; clear as a baby's bottom and with no instruments left behind, unlike Avantasia's first two albums.
The raw energy here is through the fucking roof, too, with every song being played at about 120% power. The title track is a harmless, catchy radio cut that doesn't really do the rest of the stuff here justice, but then we kick into "Lay All Your Love on Me," the ABBA cover, and things start getting electric. Tobias' vocals are in top form, and the chorus is catchier than AIDS. The man has always done above-average covers of these sappy, cheesy 80s pop songs, and this is no exception. Then...boom! "Another Angel Down" fucking smokes all the way through, a high-octane Power Metal blazer with a massive, screaming chorus and a long, winding solo that will knock you out of your seat. This one will be on The Scarecrow in 2008, so if "Another Angel Down" is representative of the quality of the new album, then it'll be something to look forward to. "The Story Ain't Over" is another excellent track, layered with light, fluttery pianos and even some Celtic sounding strings here and there, with a hymn-wide chorus that is sure to be a concert-closer, and an excellent one at that. Very, very high quality song.
Then we dip into mediocrity with the pointless "Return to Avantasia" and the limp, weak "Ride the Sky," which is a cover of a song by 70s rock band Lucifer's Friend. I haven't heard the original, but I can't say this is a very good song; very short and pointless with blunt, shabby riffs and no real direction to it. Definitely could've been excluded.
So, with 6 tracks and 5 that are very listenable and good, I'd say this was a success. As a preview for what's to come, this succeeds, as I'll be looking out for The Scarecrow next year. Get this if you like high quality Power Metal.
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