Avantasia – Ghostlights
2016, Nuclear Blast Records
1. “Mystery of a Blood Red Rose”
2. “Let the Storm Descend Upon You”
3. “The Haunting”
4. “Seduction of Decay”
6. “Draconian Love”
7. “Master of the Pendulum”
8. “Isle of Evermore”
9. “Babylon Vampyres”
11. “Unchain the Light”
12. “A Restless Heart and Obsidian Skies”
13. “Wake up to the Moon”
Tobias Sammet – Lead Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Sascha Paeth – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Felix Bohnke – Drums
Michael Rodenberg – Keyboards
Jørn Lande, Michael Kiske, Dee Snider, Geoff Tate, Marco Hietala, Sharon den Adel, Bob Catley, Ronnie Atkins, Robert Mason, Herbie Langhans – Vocals
Bruce Kulick, Oliver Hartmann – Guitar
Avantasia albums typically take me a long time to digest. There’s always going to be a couple of track that clock in about 7 minutes+ and sometimes I have the attention span of a gnat. Hey, what can I say? I don’t have the time nor inclination to listen to many albums that are 70 minutes long. But, once I do settle in and pay attention to whatever Tobias Sammet has cooked up, it’s usually proves worth of my concentration.
As we’ve come to expect from Avantasia releases, Ghostlights is an assemblage of all-star vocal talents for Tobias to share the microphone. Of course, it wouldn’t be a new Avantasia album without appearances by Jorn Lande and Michael Kiske but we also get Dee Snider, Geoff Tate, Warrant’s Robert Mason, along with Magnum’s Bob Catley and Pretty Maids vocalist Ronnie Atkins. Bruce Kulick shows up again to contribute some guitar work as well (this is the fourth Avantasia album he’s lent his talents to).
Like all Avantasia releases, there is a story going on. Ghostlights serves as a sequel to 2013’s The Mystery of Time, but honestly, I couldn’t care less about the story or the concept of the album. What I want are great vocals, amazing choruses, loud guitars and powerfully epic ballads and that’s exactly what Ghostlights delivers. My absolute favorite tracking is “Isle of Evermore”. It’s a haunting Gothic ballad that features Sharon den Adel (from Within Temptation) on vocals. Another highlight is hearing Tobias sharing vocal duties with Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider on “The Haunting”.
This is another worthy addition to the Avantasia catalog!
Fun fact: Meat Loaf was the intended singer for “Mystery of the Blood Red Rose”, but pulled out for unknown reasons. Instead, it’s the only track on album where it’s only Tobias on vocals.
Highlights: “Let the Storm Descend Upon You”, “The Haunting”, “Ghostlights”, “Draconian Love”, “Isle of Evermore”, “Babylon Vampyres”, “Lucifer”