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Avantasia: Ghostlights

Silliness on an epic scale.

Overblown, pompous, utterly preposterous. Yes, the seventh album from Tobias Sammet’s ongoing rock opera project is all of these things. And better for it. Part Trans Siberian Orchestra, part Meat Loaf, part late 80s Helloween, it’s over-the-top fun all the way.

Guest vocalists like Geoff Tate (on the Queensrÿche-esque Seduction Of Decay), Sharon den Adel (on the brooding Isle Of Evermore) and Dee Snider (featured on the menacing plunge of The Haunting) give the album a wide variety of differing flavours.

But what links it all together is Sanmet’s vision, in the process creating an apocalyptic power metal symphony. The storyline carries on from previous album The Mystery Of Time, all about the search for the meaning of existence. Well, nothing less would do justice to the vast expanses of glorious arrogance created here.

One song, the more-Meat-Loaf-than-Meat-Loaf-himself Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose, has even been put forward for the Eurovision Song Contest, making this overloaded album even more enticing.