Every few years for the past two decades, Edguyit is Tobie Sammet brought together luminaries from the metal world to record a new Avantasia album. What was meant to be a one-off album turned into an enduring symphonic power metal project. The band’s latest effort is A paranormal evening with the Moonflower Society, Avantasianinth full studio album.
The core of the group includes Samet (vocals, keyboards, bass) and Sascha Paeth (guitars, keyboards), who also co-produced the album. Almost all the singers invited this time have already done Avantasia albums like Jorn-Lande, Bob Catley (Magnum), Ronnie Atkins (pretty maids), Eric Martin (Mr Big), Geoff Tate (ex-Queensryche) and Michael Kiske (Helloween). First appearing on a Avantasia scrapbook are night wishit is Sol Jansen and Primary fearit is Ralf Scheeper.
The formula for Avantasia has been pretty much the same from the start: catchy power metal songs with soaring choruses, explosive arrangements and an uplifting vibe. They don’t deviate from it at all here, which is good, because it’s what their fans expect, and it’s extremely well executed.
Samet is at the forefront of the opener “Welcome to the Shadows”, with backing vocals helping to embed the earworm chorus into the listener’s brain. Scheepers do his Avantasia debut on “The Wicked Rule the Night”, one of the heaviest numbers on the record with Paeth providing excellent performance. Scheepers has been one of metal’s top singers for decades, and his reach and power are evident on the song.
Tate shines on “Scars” as he uses both power and restraint with a diverse vocal display. The uptempo “The Inmost Light” is perfect for Kiskewhich chains the high notes with the best of them, fitting perfectly into the intense symphonic arrangement.
The ballad “Misplaced Among the Angels” has vocals from Samet and Jansen. It starts discreetly with a moving song from Samet before he goes into ballad mode at full power and hands over the voice to Jansen. When they sing together, it’s the most memorable part of the song.
“Kill the Pain Away” also features vocals from Samet and Jansen and is the better of the two tracks. There are catchy melodies and more dynamic vocals, making it one of the best songs on the album.
It’s the eighth Avantasia album moor appeared on, and there’s a reason he’s being asked to come back. “I Tame The Storm” has yet another catchy chorus, searing guitar solo and strong vocal performance. Catley invited for the ninth time on a Avantasia album, with the energetic “The Moonflower Society” with his voice and Samet.
The songs on A paranormal evening with the Moonflower Society are relatively simplified until the final track. “Arabesque” is a 10-minute opus featuring the trio of Samet, moor and Kiske. It has a long intro with some folk elements that reappear later in the track. The song has ups and downs between symphonic bombshell and more reserved sections, maintaining interest throughout.
Samet and company have created another batch of expertly orchestrated and arranged songs that are also full of hooks and memorable moments. I love the 2019s moon glow a little more, but A paranormal evening with the Moonflower Society is very pleasant Avantasia version that is consistently good from start to finish.