Something happened with Avantasia during the 2010’s. They went from being a prestigeous all star project to being one of the best metal bands of the decade, if not the very best. Every album released during the last ten years has been absolutely briliant, and the two most recent ones were both dubbed album of the year award by yours truly. In other words, A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society has a whole lot to live up to. But I feel no worries when it comes to Avantasia. It just turns out great. Always.
And of course this time as well. Half way through the opening track Welcome to the Shadows, I’m already home.That rush through my body, the excitement to hear a new Avantasia album. Finally!
That feeling never goes away, it just builds and builds with every track as long as the albums goes on. Tobias Sammets solo track Welcome to the Shadows, check. Powerduet with Floor Jansen in Kill the Pain, thank you very much! Power metal inferno with Michael Kiske in The Inmost Light, dear god, I love it! Masterplan debut throwback with Jörn Lande I Tame the Storm, bring it to me. And of course an epic ten minute closue in Arabesque, how perfect! In the end, perhaps none of these songs are among the very best masterpieces in Avantasia history, but every track is still on a high level, and that sustained quality runs through the entire album and fills me with delight!
One thing I guess you could miss from the old project days is that the guest vocalists today mostly remain the same people on every album, and it feels less adventurious how their voices are used. In the end, most singing comes from Tobias Sammet, and the music is not formed as much by the vocalist as it used to be. And in that way, sure, the album is kind of safe. There are very few, if any, surprices. Apart from Sammet, we get to hear Michael Kiske, Ronnie Atkins, Bob Caltey and Jörn Lande. And newcomers Floor Jansen and Ralph Scheepers feel so obvious on an Avantasia album that I rather feel surprised they haven’t been involved earlier.
But this is such a minor problem. I wonder if it even can be called a problem, seeing how the band keeps making so incredibly great albums. The project is a band nowadays, and in that band, every vocalist sings their very best, the songs are great, and it sounds just like Avantasia should. So how is it even possible to complain? I know I don’t. Once again, Avantasia strikes us with a wonderful album containing big and epic melodic metal. And once again, I just lie back and enjoy it! The album of the year so far? Who bet’cha!
Title: A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society
Label: Nuclear Blast
Date of release: 21/10-22
Stand Out Track: Paper Plane
It just turns out great. Always.