ALBUM: Avantasia – Ghostlights

Release Date: January 29th 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast Records


Tobias Sammet brings what can only be described as a bombastic, over the top, power metal opera to the forefront on newest release, ‘Ghostlights’. The vocalist famous for singing for Edguy has had Avantasia as a side-project for many years, bringing ‘Ghostlights’ to be project’s seventh album, and the conclusion of their third operatic performance, concluding ‘The Mystery Of Time’ (2013).

This album is as full and overblown as it gets, and therefore unsurprisingly features numerous guest vocalists from all across the realm of power metal. From classic singers Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) through to modern day giants of the scene, including Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) and Marco Hietala (Nightwish), this album does not hold back one bit.

The guest who delivers the most on this album is Herbie Langhans (Seventh Avenue), and his appearance on ‘Draconian Love’ gives an almost gothic punk sound and makes the track feel so strongly delivered. This works well when it goes into a very direct and 80s sounding gothic style, calling back to bands like The Misfits.

Not all appearances work too well unfortunately, notably Sharon den Adel‘s contribution on ‘Isle Of Evermore’. The track feels limp and not as impactful as the rest of the album, leading to the track giving off a sense of boredom. There are other tracks where things get softer and more emotional, especially ‘Lucifer’, which enters rock ‘n’ roll territory throughout and doesn’t just stick to the sad unmoving ballad. Keyboardist Michael Rodernberg plays well on this track, but not to hear the heaviness of drummer Felix Bohnke and guest guitarist Bruce Kulick (Grand Funk Railroad; ex-Kiss) on ‘Lucifer’ can make ‘Isle Of Evermore’ seem boring in places.

To say this album is bombastic is honestly understating things, and depending on how much you love power metal will give an indication to how much you love this album. Though there are songs where the band get a bit boring, the majority of the time the experience hits you in the face like a huge rock ‘n’ roll project should. ‘Ghostlights’ is simply extravagant to give it one over-riding word.

Written by Bradley Cassidy (@bradcassidy170)