Sound — 8
Avantasia is a renowned heavy rock supergroup, featuring former members of such bands as Edugy, Rhapsody Of Fire, and Kamelot. After first forming back in 1999, Avantasia has gone on to create a multitude of critically acclaimed studio albums, and appealing to the ears of metalheads across the globe with their signature sound consisting of pulsating heavy metal licks, progressive rock elements, and an overall rock opera-esque sound. Now, Avantasia return to the music world bearing not just their first studio album in three years, but also another memorable metal outing. The new record, titled "The Mystery Of Time", marks the third installment in the band's history, and shows Avantasia returning to the same vibe they last left with "Angel Of Babylon". The entire album bears a strengthy sound most comparable to Symphony X, filled with such downright epic tracks as the racing "Invoke The Machine", which boasts contagious vocal harmonies and speed metal riffs; and the ballad "Sleepwalking". I'm also hearing a more significant AOR influence throughout the new album, which actually propels the album a step forward, as compared to some of the band's earlier works. Another powerful record from Avantasia, which doesn't leave too much to even remotely consider negatively persisting upon.
Lyrics — 9
Saying that lead vocalist Tobias Sammet is an incredibly dynamic singer just isn't doesn't do him justice. He can easily transition from a natural tone, to a angst filled scream that falls somewhere in-between Ronnie James Dio and Udo Dirkschneider. "The Mystery Of Time" has proven to be no exception, and it's his singing that drives many songs over the top, more specifically "Where Clock Hands Freeze".
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, "The Mystery Of Time" is a frequently exhilarating album, which shows Avantasia taking some more dynamic influences head on, and never ceasing to come out on the winning side of each encounter. I'm not quite sure, maybe it's the expansive territory this album takes sound-wise, or maybe it's the standout contributions by such similarly renowned rock musicians as Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow and Deep Purple) and Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween), but "The Mystery Time" is a step greater as compared to the band's previous albums. And this step brings Avantasia in a bold new direction, and frankly, I like it.