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Avantasia: Ghostlights

The stars align for an ambitious rock opera

Edguy frontman Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia project indulges his love of rock opera, inviting various special guests along the way.

Alice Cooper has already bought into the Avantasia concept, as have members and alumni of Saxon, the Scorpions, Kiss, Helloween and Symphony X. Now Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Within Temptation’s Sharon den Adel, ex-Queensrÿche singer Geoff Tate and Nightwish bassist Marco Hietala join the cast of Avantasia’s seventh album, which feels like a Broadway musical stuffed with soaring hard rock anthems.

Snider brings a brooding malevolence to The Haunting, while den Adel shimmers majestically on the Celtic-flavoured Isle Of Evermore, and if opener Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose sounds like a prime slice of Jim Steinman bombast then that’s because Tobias wrote it for Meat Loaf but ended up singing it himself.

The songs and performances are consistently strong, and the German’s sense of ambition can only be applauded.