Avantasia ‘Moonglow’ Album Review By Adam McCann
Nuclear Blast Records/Power Metal
The wait for ‘Moonglow’ the latest release from Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia project was nowhere near as long as anticipated, with only a two-year gap separating ‘Moonglow’ from its predecessor ‘Ghostlights’. In the usual life cycle of Tobi Sammet, the pint-sized genius from Germany often intersperses Avantasia releases with that of Edguy. However, to capitalise on the huge success of ‘Ghostlights’, Sammet once more assembles his rotating cast of guests and releases ‘Moonglow’.
The interesting thing about ‘Ghostlights’ was that it had the ability to pull the listener in almost instantly. Unfortunately for ‘Moonglow’, that is not the case and this latest Avantasia album does struggle to make an immediate impact. However, with a few listens, ‘Moonglow’ excels, it is an insidious release which sneaks inside and grows, becoming more and more endearing with each listen with its subtle nuances juxtaposed with grandiose sweeping melodic choruses made only better by the addition of Avantasia stalwarts, Jørn Lande, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley and Ronnie Atkins. Furthermore, it is the addition of new voices like Hansi Kursch, Mille Petrozza and Candice Night during tracks such as ‘The Raven Child’, ‘Book of Shallows’ and the title track which add an extra depth and dynamic to ‘Moonglow’. Moreover, this album has plenty of musical links back to previous album, ‘Ghost In The Moon’ continues the saga of ‘Mystery of a Blood Red Rose’, whilst ‘The Raven Child’ has just enough melody to please hardcore fans by returning to the motif of ‘Twisted Mind’ from ‘The Scarecrow’ album, whereas ‘Requiem For A Dream’ returns to melodies from ‘Where Clock Hands Freeze’.
Sadly, the only song which doesn’t really fit this mould, really sullies the album and is a bit of an anomaly is the cover of ‘Maniac’ from the 80’s movie ‘Flashdance’. Yet, if this was Edguy, then there would not be a second glance, the very nature of Edguy is tongue in cheek, whereas ‘Maniac’ upsets an otherwise stellar serious album.
Other than the glaring obvious, ‘Moonglow’ is a superb album, it manages to continue the Avantasia story and keep its uniqueness to be listened to as a standalone album. Tobi Sammet, you have done it again.
Rating : 85/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann