ALBUM REVIEW: Avantasia – Moonglow

Release Date: February 15th 2019
Label: Nuclear Blast Records


Stepping aside from his main focus in Edguy to his more “metal opera” driven project, Tobias Sammet has brought forth ‘Moonglow’, the eighth full-length opus under this guise which continues to reel in a plethora of fellow collaborators and vocalists into the fold.

Thrusting with enigmatic enthusiasm and sandwiched between an adventure movie soundtrack and mystical game, opener ‘Ghost In The Moon’ is an entire album’s content layered into a single track. Bounding with epic choruses, operatic ensembles of sound, guitar solos, narrative storyline lyrics, and even a brief break for breathing space, it’s the perfect impactful start.

Resorting to a more conventional composition, ‘Alchemy’ strips back the many layers of orchestra to a more standard format of instrumentation that’s introduced back in for the choruses showcasing dexterity and variety, but also maintaining a core of continuity.

Adding some further diversity, ‘The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’ rides in on the back of a flurry of 8-bit synth work before beginning on the next chapter of this thematic narrative of internal conflict and despair. Despite the negative connotations of the lyrics, the overall sense of adventure and magic isn’t lost in a disparage of distorted guitars, but instead told in the guise of several vocalists that seamlessly blend together and interact into a singular cohesive unit.

Ramping up the speed to power metal levels, ‘Requiem For A Dream’ allows the guitarists to showcase their talents where at times previously they sat in a background, typically overriden by choirs and violins. More than just an instrumental track, it blends into the drama and doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb.

Personal taste aside, there’s nothing to fault in this procession of an operatic masterclass; so go get a cuppa, pull up a pew, get your favourite adventure book or game, and enjoy the experience.