Avantasia the symphonic metal/rock act started by Edguy front man Tobias Sammet in 1999 has been such a success that the releases have continued to appear and Ghostlights is the latest. Participants this time around are long term Avantasia contributor Sascha Paeth(Producer,Musician) on rhythm, lead guitars, bass and additional keyboards, the go to guy for so many keyboardist Michael Rodenberg(Miro) with orchestration and keyboards, Tobias Sammet plays additional keyboards and bass, Bruce Kulick(ex. KISS) and Oliver Hartmann(Hartmann, ex. At Vance) are on lead guitar and Edguy band mate Felix Bohnke is the drummer. On vocals apparantly Bruce Dickinson and Meat Loaf were sought after but it wasn't to be this time around and to those that do appear on Ghostlights there is Tobias Sammet, Dee Snider(Twisted Sister), Geoff Tate(ex. Queensryche), Marco Hietala(Nightwish, Tarot), Sharon Den Adel(Within Temptation), Michael Kiske(Unisonic,ex. Helloween), Ronnie Atkins(Pretty Maids), Bob Catley(Magnum), Jorn Lande(Ex. Masterplan, solo artist), Robert Mason(Warrant) and Herbie Langhans(Sinbreed). As a result Ghostlights features some reappearing and first time vocalists all of whom are well suited to the tracks on which they appear, and with all those involved it sure makes for one very enticing list and so many wonderful choruses as they are brought together. Ghostlights continues on with the concept of prior album Mystery Of Time and once again Tobias has shown that he is such a talented songwriter and composer.
While there is that Avantasia familiarity, style wise Ghostlights is another diverse album, compared to Mystery Of Time the decison was made not to go with a full on orchestra this time and tha album also has a darker feel. If you enjoy the heavy side of Avantasia then it hasn't been neglected on Ghostlights. Including those pumping numbers like "Ghostlights", "Babylon Vampyres" and "Unchain The Night" showing Avantasia's power metal influences. The seventh Avantasia album commences with the vibrant Meat Loaf like rocker "Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose" and as moving as this track is the best is to follow. Ghostlights' longest track "Let The Storm Descend Upon You" features a four prong vocal attack of Tobias, Jorn Lande, Ronnie Atkins and Robert Mason that really hits the mark. Avantasia lets the darkness in for "The Haunting" and this is where are treated to the vocals of Dee Snider which was a top move by Tobias, and I have to say that Geoff Tate sounds great on the slow and powerful "Seduction Of Decay" as does Marco Hietala on "Master Of The Pendulum" another heavy track. There's a lot of materail on the album, and the atmospheric "Isle Of Evermore" which features the angelic vocals of Within Temptation's leading lady Sharon Den Adel is the tamest track on Ghostlights, and I really don't agree with its placement as it almost brings the album to a halt though "Babylon Vampyres" promplty explodes to life and things are once again looking up. There are so many highlights on this album both musically and vocally, such as my all time favourite vocalist Michael Kiske on "Unchain The Light" as no one soars like he does.
Ghostlights has a rewarding balance of all that is great about Avantasia, and is one not to missed by the fans.
1. Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose
2. Let The Storm Descend Upon You
3. The Haunting
4. Seduction Of Decay
6. Draconian Love
7. Master Of The Pendulum
8. Isle Of Evermore
9. Babylon Vampyres
11. Unchain The Light
12. A Restless Heart And Obsidian Skies