Avantasia
The Mystery Of Time


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (197 Reviews)
March 27th, 2013 | 59 replies | 12,379 views


Release Date: 03/30/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Magnificence that’s driven home with a full bus of familiar faces.

It’s weird just what kind of reaction the power metal genre can get from the metal community. Usually, there’s a collective sense where most are truly nonplussed, but more often than not, new albums that are doing nothing more than recycling old ideas are often met with disdain managing to back the preconceptions that the genre as a whole has run its course. Fear not, like any genre there’s the occasional album that fills all these features but somehow manages to exceed the stereotype, building on the genre with a record that’s memorable, catchy and thoroughly enjoyable. For those familiar with this particular brand of music, chances you would have heard of Tobias Sammet. No? Of Edguy fame, yeah that’s the guy. Under the Avantasia moniker, Tobias and co. have now released six studio albums (even after stating the project would be shut down a few years back). The music is highly symphonic and mostly matches the structure of an opera, which adds an extra element to the music. The Mystery Of Time is a definite contender for 2013’s power metal album of the year

What makes this album all the more impressive in design is the star studded line up. With Michael Kiske (Helloween, Unisonic), Biff Byford (Saxon), Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon, Stream of Passion), Eric Martin (Mr. Big), and Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen) just to name the inclusion of a few of the sounds on The Mystery Of Time this album was set for greatness even before a single vocal cord is warmed up. With all these inclusions it’s fair to check just how cohesive the album is as a whole. Simply, it comes together well, without a single misstep or hiccup. The individuality of each guest member can be felt. Whether it’d Byford’s traditional metal edge or Turner’s vocal presence, each section adds to the record in the best possible way. The Mystery Of Time, features a remarkable sixteen artists, contributing in various (and not always small) amounts. If Avantasia can be accredited to anything outside of Edguy, it’s the fact that he knows what he’s doing and how to do it without falling face first into mediocre power metal cheese.

At a reasonable sixty one minutes, The Mystery Of Time doesn’t outstay its welcome, instead the record is over when the listener wants more. As a whole, The Mystery Of Time is a vibrant, warm, busy listen but is accessible from start to finish kept interesting by Sammet’s music ingenuity and excellent song writing with the combination of high caliber guest artists. Avantasia is far from a dull boring listen, especially considering the ballads on the album showcase the band’s strongest song writing. Tracks like ‘The Great Mystery’ and the ten minute epic closer ‘The Great Mystery’ are sure to go down as modern rock opera greats, relying on soaring melodies and accompaniments to promote each section of the songs. ‘Black Orchid’ is also another quasi-ballad worth mentioning, combining a highly orchestral theme with balanced lyric sheets and catchy hooks, the track also utilizes a slightly rockier tone, courtesy of Bruce Kulick (ex-KISS).

Overall, The Mystery Of Time is a sonically big album. Treading ground that’s all too familiar without sounding boring or repetitive, Avantasia’s 2013 effort is an album that achieves what a lot of power metal records simply can’t. With the added help of guest musicians this album boasts a steady display of talent from start to finish without ever regressing into dull passages or brooding, over emotive tracks. The Mystery Of Time does have a distinct level of cheese to it, but largely it’s a good cheese that only helps make this record such an interesting listen. Despite the occasional predictability to come with tracks, it takes little away from the album as a whole. Fans of the band will know exactly where things are going, even with the guest roster changing things up. Thankfully, a strong writing process and an excellent presentation allow for The Mystery Of Time to be one of the band’s best records. Tobias Sammet has put together renowned musicians and a genre that is largely considered stale, managing to revive the done before sound showing off talent, not only on an individual level but also as a collective. The Mystery Of Time is the catchy, power metal album of 2013.



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user ratings (92)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Shuyin
March 27th 2013


11602 Comments


nice, i liked their last album so ill give this one a listen soon

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Trae's rec's are strting to cost me money - should stop listening to him but the music's worth it.

CaptainHadouken
March 27th 2013


1960 Comments


I've got a list of rec's I am just now barely catching up too. Nice review though.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dont think I'll ever catch up to my rec's list : [ so much music

CaptainHadouken
March 27th 2013


1960 Comments


I limit mine now and refill it as needed, but yeah, there are months upon months where i can't keep up for a while.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't wanna limit mine, i'll get around to each and every one (maybe?)

pizzamachine
March 27th 2013


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album kicks many asses! Great review like usual, you're really pumping them out.

Hawks
March 27th 2013


35824 Comments


I'm not a power metal fan at all really, but I kinda wanna try this out.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hawks, the least you could do is give this a go. Like the Machine of Pizza just stated - Album kicks many asses!

Thanks Pizza, I've missed your input. I'm glad I can wear that shiny new tag alongside you : ]

Hawks
March 27th 2013


35824 Comments


Downloading it as we speak.

Shuyin
March 27th 2013


11602 Comments


band has some really good material, imo the strong point is by far the vocals

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Then if this doesn't induce a musical boner, go and visit my 1/4, 2013 list. A boner will be the least of your problems.

pizzamachine
March 27th 2013


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I'm glad I can wear that shiny new tag alongside you"

We're all in this together : )

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That we are : ]

Tyrael
March 27th 2013


20875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'Trae's rec's are strting to cost me money'

sorry :[

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Poet
March 27th 2013


5933 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Listen to it for me Hawks. =)

CaptainDooRight
March 27th 2013


29097 Comments


sweet review bro

you are a reviewing beast

I'm actually thinking about checking this out, although I didn't really care to much for their previous stuff.

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

Hawks
March 27th 2013


35824 Comments


Listen to it for me Hawks. =)

Well now I have to....

foxblood
March 27th 2013


6797 Comments


ah damn, was actually just going to download this. power metal is so much fun when it's not terrible

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2013


28507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

spectres omg



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