Tobias Sammet‘s metal opera, Avantasia, has rolled into town again to deliver us their sixth studio release. ‘The Mystery Of Time’ is an hour long rock epic. An ‘epic’ used to mean a long yet great story or adventure, however, in this sense ‘epic’ must just mean a “kinda cool record”. This album does have huge moments that do feel ‘epic’ which are exemplified by an great production, but as a whole it just feels like a slightly impressive impressive novelty album.
What stands out more than anything on this album is the production. Huge riffs collide brilliantly with great symphonic metal melodies. This album should be very pleasing for both sound production boffins and fans of bands like Nightwish. Unfortunately, the novelty of the production wears off when you realise that the song writing isn’t that interesting and nothing is really sticking in your mind. This isn’t to say that the album doesn’t have its fair share of hooks, it’s just they’re fairly forgettable. You won’t be humming any of these songs in the shower.
The listening process for ‘The Mystery Of Time’ goes something like this: you listen to the first track and are surprised by how epic and huge it sounds, this continues in track two. Track three sounds cool too, and you realise that Biff Byford is singing. Track five is a ridiculously soppy ballad, now I don’t have anything against ballads, but when they’re as dull as this it does feel like the album has been castrated a bit. When you get to track seven the production novelty is gone and you’re bored of the less than interesting songwriting. The album only occasionally picks up with the odd decent solo or riff from that point on.
The album will please the niche audience of symphonic metal fans, but doesn’t do anything exciting enough to appeal to many outside of that audience. Whilst it has the length and production of an epic, it has the cheesiness and novelty of a limerick.
Written by Jack King