Avantasia
Moonglow


3.7
great

Review

by manosg STAFF
February 16th, 2019 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A new, yet familiar story.

One of the reasons that heavy metal is pure magic, is that it builds fictional worlds; worlds where listeners can visit using their minds and creativity. Tobias Sammet has been one of the best in the business of tickling our imagination since the mid ‘90s with Edguy, but it’s with his metal opera vessel where he really fulfilled his musical vision. Being one of the first out there to use the term metal opera and enlist a number of different vocalists on each album, he never intended to create more than the first two Metal Opera LPs. However, 19 years down the road since Avantasia’s debut, he created another fantastic universe where the protagonist is himself, or are the vocalists, or is it the songwriting"

The story on Moonglow is unlike previous Avantasia efforts, as there is no complete story with a beginning, middle, and end that runs throughout the album. Instead, each song describes the central character’s experiences in the Moonglow universe like a poem. The central character is an entity that is born into an environment where he feels as if he doesn’t belong in. He cannot connect or compromise with anything that surrounds him, including the reality of that world and others’ expectations. Therefore, he turns to the dark by opening a door to a parallel universe where he finds a safe haven by being invisible. In essence, the story looks like your typical teen metalhead’s everyday life, but it also opens a window into its creator’s psyche and the burden that he feels due to expectations regarding releasing new music and touring continuously.

In terms of influences or similarities, Moonglow brings together Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Meat Loaf, and euro-power metal into one platter of fine cheese. Of course, the outcome is bombastic, quite excessive, and not for everyone. However, at the same time, the songwriting is solid – even though the album does seem to drag towards the end – and Tobias Sammet’s superhuman ability of creating numerous hooks and catchy melodies is on full display. In addition, the songs seem to work better within the context of the album, as expected from a metal opera that respects itself. For example, the title track, one of the two ballads on here along with “invincible”, featuring Candice Night (Blackmore’s Night) didn’t do much for me when it was released as a single but fits the overall atmosphere quite nicely. However, there are tracks that work regardless, such as the epic “The Raven Child” with Hansi Kursch and Jorn Lande on vocals or the opener “Ghost in the Moon” where the aforementioned Meat Loaf elements shine brighter. A surprise inclusion in the list of vocalists – even though not a big surprise to those who remember his appearance on Edguy’s Hellfire Club – is Mille Petrozza (Kreator) on “Book of Shallows”, arguably the LPs heaviest track. Unfortunately, album closer “Maniac”, a Michael Sembello ‘80s hit, is an unfortunate and rather puzzling choice by a veteran like Sammet as it reduces the album’s majestic feeling.

In a nutshell, Avantasia’s latest offering is fun, memorable, and a very deserving addition to the band’s catalog. The few hiccups here and there don’t reduce significantly the overall experience and even though I’d love to listen to more folk/Celtic elements like those on “The Raven Child”, Tobias Sammet seems like he can do no wrong at the moment.



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user ratings (71)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
MarsKid CONTRIBUTOR (4)
The whole may not be as strong, but the parts are as excellent as ever....

Xenorazr CONTRIBUTOR (4)
What a day for a pastel dream that’s coming to life…...


Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2019


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Such fine cheese.

Digging: Airged L'amh - One Eyed God

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2019


8883 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand fuck I got beat



nice review

Digging: Ni - Pantophobie

Toondude10
February 16th 2019


13740 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

better than Ghostlights imo



good read

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2019


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Thanks Toon.



"aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand fuck I got beat"

haha, it sucks when it happens but I'm looking forward to your review

BenThatsMyJamin
February 16th 2019


2389 Comments


Wow that artwork is awful

NorwichScene
February 16th 2019


2804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Defo Meat Loaf vibes

TheNotrap
February 16th 2019


9896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review as always manosg.



I usually don’t like over the top Broadway-esque metal, but the album has indeed its good moments.



And yeah, Maniac feels out of place, agreed.

Digging: Aoratos - Gods Without Name

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2019


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Thanks dude. Yeah, generally speaking I'm not into Broadway stuff too even though I love the Savatage albums.

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2019


1437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Completely beat me to the punch. Oh well, I need to get back into the reviewing groove all the same.



Edit: Also, been listening to this on the avantasiaofficial YouTube channel while I wait for my CD to arrive, and in the album playlist is a bonus track, "Heart." It doesn't make the end less anticlimactic, but I was honestly under the impression that it was album closer until I read this review.

Lucman
February 16th 2019


2138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I flippin love this record. Caught me by surprise but I'm so glad it did.

Digging: Emily Scott Robinson - Traveling Mercies

bloc
February 16th 2019


54727 Comments


Will download

Digging: Way Out West - Intensify

CaptainDooRight
February 17th 2019


2731 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This rips hard!

Digging: Maestus - Deliquesce

OmairSh
February 17th 2019


14812 Comments


Sounds new, yet familiar

Digging: Dream Theater - Distance Over Time

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2019


15099 Comments


Never been a fan of these guys. I think I got stuck in Helloween when it comes to power metal like this. Great review, manosg.

Digging: Deafkids - Metaprogramao

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2019


15099 Comments


The track with Kiske is awsm though, but it makes me want to jam Helloween lol

Scheumke
February 18th 2019


391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is Avantasia as to be expected, quality as always but nothing new under the sun. I love it so I'm perfectly fine with that, especially 'The Raven Child' holy shit that song is fantastic.



@BenThatsMyJamin: What do you dislike about it? I think it's beautiful and fits the music quite well. Kind off reminds me of the game Ori and the Blind Forest.

mifzal
February 18th 2019


3220 Comments


I get it, you like your power metal

band rules by the way

Sunnyvale
February 18th 2019


976 Comments


This is pretty cool so far

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2019


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

"The track with Kiske is awsm though, but it makes me want to jam Helloween lol"



I am actually jamming Meat Loaf today because of this one haha.

TheNotrap
February 18th 2019


9896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's been a long time since I've heard Bat Out of Hell. Meat Loaf is a reference for all Broadway-esque rock.



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