01. Stargazers
02. Angel of Babylon
03. Your Love is Evil
04. Death is Just a Feeling
05. Rat Race
06. Down in the Dark
07. Blowing Out the Flame
08. Symphony of Life
09. Alone I Remember
10. Promised Land
11. Journey to Arcadia

Verdict: 4

AVANTASIA Angel of Babylon Review

When the first and second AVANTASIA "Metal Opera" albums arrived they were new, it felt fresh. AVANTASIA blended classical orchestral elements with Power Metal and really took advantage of the best elements from both worlds. There are a lot of pompous bombastic parts in both musical forms and AVANTASIA "Metal Opera" proved that the concept really was working well.

The lyrical performances has always been stellar on the AVANTASIA albums with the best rock singers participating on the productions. Jorn Lande, Bob Catley, Kai Hansen, Russel Allen, Klaus Meine and of course Tobi himself that sing quite a bit on the albums as well. But then something has happened.... Lost In Space were two albums and 2008 The Scarecrow was released, and since then the entire back catalogue has been re released once more. Now it is time for another AVANTASIA release. No please let us correct ourselves...

It is time for two full length albums, "The Wicked Symphony" and "Angel Of Babylon".

Maybe the compositions will have more orchestral elements in them and that is why Toby has decided to make two albums instead of one.

This is not the case. There actually is less symphonic elements on the albums. On Angel Of Babylon there hardly is any classical arrangements at all.

We will try to help you distinguish the albums "The Wicked Symphony" and "Angel Of Babylon" from each other. That is if there is any difference between them all together. We will try to give you a hint which one of "The Wicked Symphony" and "Angel Of Babylon" to buy if you should buy any of them at all.

The album starts out with the track "Stargazers" that is a fast track driven by the rhythm section galloping along. The singers are trading vocals throughout the song. "Stargazers" is a nine minute track without any particular variation to it. There is an easily predictable breakdown around 4:30 taking one minute, then it is time for a one minute utterly pointless guitar solo. 6:30 into the song it is time for next breakdown, another pointless guitar solo. You get the picture... Count how many times they sing "Stargazers in that tune" and be surprised.

The second track is the title track and it is a whole lot better than the opening track. A catchy tune with double kick drums paddling through the chorus. This is actually one of the stronger tracks on the album.

"Your Love Is Evil" is a straight forward rock tune that almost could fit into the Eurovision Song Contest, just cut out the guitar solo and submit the track. On the track "Death Is Just A Feeling" things start to happen. This is actually the first time any thematic and dramatic elements are used. We are not impressed. Rat Racing start out with a punky - One two three four! this must be the fastest track ever produced by Toby. A fairly ordinary composition with a simple chorus leaving a lot to wish for.

"Down In The Dark" is the first really good track on the album and this is a surprise in itself. So far " The Twisted Symphony" is a lot better album than "Angel of Babylon".

In "Blowing Out The Flame" Tobi brings his best Bon Jovi impersonation to the table. But the song stand up pretty well touching upon our sentimentality. You know - Lets whip out the lighters, wave our arms in the air and have a real sing together moment. A bit cheesy though and not at all what we associate with AVANTASIA.

"Symphony Of Life" suddenly display large choir and a female singer named Cloudy Yang that we haven't got a slightest clue who she is. This actually is the first Symphonic track on the entire album and it feel slightly disconnected from the rest of the album. Sounding more like TAPPING THE VEIN. If you dig this track our suggestion is that buy an album by TAPPING THE VEIN or EXILIA.

"Alone I Remember" is a bluesy little thing that makes you think of ZZ-Top and Whitesnake and a chorus that POP, POP, POP is completely dislocated from the rest of the melody. This is quite possibly the poorest track on the entire album.

"Journey to Arcadia" sound a lot like Bob Catley to us and it is fantastic to hear him sing with that guitar and and sparse string arrangement. All that have been missing throughout the album all of a sudden falls into place. This is AVANTASIA! Best track of the album, but also the last track.

"Angel Of Babylon" consist of the leftovers from the sessions. We recommend that you buy "Symphony Of Life" stay clear of this album it is simply not good enough.