Avantasia - Ghostlights review
|Release date:||January 2016|
01. Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose
02. Let The Storm Descend Upon You
03. The Haunting
04. Seduction Of Decay
06. Draconian Love
07. Master Of The Pendulum
08. Isle Of Evermore
09. Babylon Vampyres
11. Unchain The Light
12. A Restless Heart And Obsidian Skies
13. Wake Up To The Moon [digibook edition bonus]
Disc II [digibook edition bonus] [live]
02. Invoke The Machine
03. The Story Ain't Over
05. Reach Out For The Light
07. What's Left Of Me
08. Dying For An Angel
09. Twisted Mind
10. The Watchmakers' Dream
11. Another Angel Down
Ghostlights is an album that for some reason never really clicked with me, something that actually surprises me to this day, because on paper I should absolutely love this album. Good lyrics, very good musicianship, great production should result in an album that I like. Instead it resulted in Ghostlights being an album that I neither love, nor hate.
This was actually the first Avantasia record where I listened through the whole album. I listened to some of their songs in the past but never really listened to a whole album. Last year I noticed they had just released Ghostlights and it seemed like a good time to listen through a whole Avantasia record. Even though I have mixed feelings about this album, I'm still glad I bought it and listened through it a couple of times.
I know a lot of people really like this album and understandably so because there is a lot to like here. Like I mentioned before the production quality on Ghostlights is excellent, the musicianship is really good and there are strong lyrics in most of the songs, though there lies my first problem (probably a nitpick for many people). While listening to this record I sometimes had the feeling that the lyrics were overflooding the actual instruments in the songs. I guess I just sometimes wished that the instruments would get a bigger shining moment in certain songs.
Another aspect I'd like to talk about is the vocals. The big problem (for me at least) with records like Ghostlights is the amount of different singers you will get to hear. It adds to the variation of the songs but it will also inevitably lead to a listener not liking every singer on the album. Personally I'm not a huge fan of Lande, for instance. Now Ghostlights doesn't have vocals that I would describe as detracting to the experience, but as with any of these kinds of albums there are certain singers you won't like as much as some of the others. I also can't help but feel that some of the songs don't reach the potential they have with these voices. "Isle Of Evermore" and "A Restless Heart And Obsidian Skies" are the songs that come to mind.
Some of the songs feel really cheesy, like "Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose" and "Unchain The Light". Nothing wrong with that but they certainly aren't the best songs on the album in my opinion.
On the other hand there are songs that I absolutely love, like "Draconian Love", "The Haunting" and "Seduction Of Decay", which are everything I could hope for.
To give you my conclusion on this album, don't let my score put you off. I actually recommend it for power metal fans, because there is a lot of variety, some excellent moments and overall good vocals. It's an interesting album and although it didn't manage to really grab my attention throughout the whole album (hence my personal score), I'm sure a lot of people will really enjoy this album.
|Over the last few albums, Avantasia have softened and smoothed out - matured, perhaps - and they arrive in Ghostlights a much different beast from the brash power project born the better part of two decades ago. Modern Avantasia sounds more "symphonic rock musical" than "metal opera." No harm done, though - it's only different, not worse.
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