Tobias Sammet’s hugely ambitious love for rock operatics is world renowned and on Ghostlights – Avantasia’s 7th full length – the Edguy frontman has arguably released his finest collection of anthems yet.
With an organic feel and ten times more power and punch than ever before, the expected polish gleams from every surface but it’s backed by truly exceptional songwriting; lively, dramatic and overflowing with bristling confidence and a ‘you can’t fuck with this’ attitude.
From the adrenalised Meatloaf-isms of “Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose” to the power metal artistry of the 12 minute “Let The Storm Descend Upon You” (a Helloween homage at it’s finest) and the evocative balladry of the Dio-esque “The Haunting” – that’s just the initial 3 tracks alone – Ghostlights reveals itself to be a minor classic in the making.
Featuring an array of guest artists, Michael Kiske’s vocals on the shred heavy “Ghostlights” and Sharon Den Adel’s Kate Bush-esque heartfelt delivery on the seductive “Isle Of Seduction” are a revelation and add unparalleled layers to already insurmountable depth.
The notable element is how hard the riffing hits considering the context. More of a metal opera than a rock one, Ghostlights has enough grit to satisfy the most trepidatious metal fan and amounts to stunning grandeur for lovers of consummate, passionate artistry; metal (or power metal) actually has very little to do with it. 9/10