How does Tobi Sammet do it? He's got the phenomenal Edguy going, one of the best melodic heavy metal bands in Europe, on one burner. and still he finds time to pursue his solo project Avantasia? The simple answer is that Mr. Sammet has found his calling. He loves doing music and pursues it with stamina and sincerity. Avantasia 'Lost In Spase Part 1 & 2' definitely proves his talents and influence upon melodic metal. In advance of the coming Avantasia 'Scarecrow,' Tobi gives us a taste of his musical aspirations since his last outing. And the result is well worth the wait.
You may expect more Edguy arrangements, and you're more than half right. Yet there is a bit of basic melodic hard rock in the mix. Both EPs feature 'Lost In Space' as the first track. This is basic and sound melodic heavy metal. But there is more here than meets the eye. On Part 1, you have the brillant duet with Jorn Lande on 'Another Angel Down.' If this is not enough, Mr. Sammet enlisted Bob Catley (Magnum) for the 'The Story Ain't Over.' This song combines the best of melodic rock and metal in a symphonic arrangement driven by some subtle piano melody that is truly inspiring and wonderfully listenable: what a great chorus! After we 'Return To Avantasia' we have 'Ride The Sky' with Eric Singer (drummer, Kiss). This song may seem old-fashioned to some because of its reliance upon some retro organ work that drives the song. But listen carefully, this song rocks! Sammet is no fool and is certainly a student of his musical heritage; this is a fine song.
Proceeding on to Part 2, we are welcomed again with 'Lost In Space,' a fine melodic metal number. What follows is truly incredible! 'Promised Land' features both Jorn Lande and Michael Kiske (Helloween, Edguy's Super Heroes, et al): it doesn't get any better than this. This song is true metal on the side of power. Mr. Sammet knows how to invent a song and bring in the best collaborators. 'Dancing With Tears In My Eyes' shows Tobi at his vocal best as he covers this Ultraovox song. Frankly, he does it much better, and there's nothing really 'metal' about it. I would say that you can pass over 'Scary Eyes,' but that would be unfair. This song is more in the vein of an Edguy song and certainly has its merits. However, its probably the weakest song of both EPs. (And that is hard for me to say, because I'm a big Tobias Sammet fan.) 'In My Defense' returns us to one of Sammet' strong points: a ballad with nebulous lyrics driven by fine piano work. Great melody and great chorus. Part 2 rounds out with an alternative version of 'Lost In Space' that is sufficiently different to be surprising and pleasing.
Again, how does Tobi do it? He does it with inspiration. thoughtfullness, and some significant help from some of the best performers in the business. Avantasia 'Lost In Space, Parts 1 & 2' are a gift from a man who loves his music and seeks to explore and provide a rich musical experience for himself and his listeners. This is terrific music! I eagerly look forward to his 'Scarecrow' release. Highly recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
Tobias Sammet (Edguy) is back pursuing his Avantasia, with exceptional results. Enlisting the help of notable performers as Jorn Lande, Michael Kiske, and Bob Catley, Tobi has given us supreme melodic rock and metal. This is great stuff! Highpoints include the title work and 'The Story Ain't Over.' Do not over look these two EPs.
So, once more we have to wait five years for another album from Pride Of Lions, the creation of singer, composer, and producer Jim Peterik with vocalist Toby Hitchcock. I'm sure Peterik has been busy these last ... [ Read More ]