Sound — 8
Avantasia's new album The Wicked Symphony is a wonderful collection of beautiful harmonies, catchy choruses and superb orchestration. A must have for Avantasia fans. Although Tobias Sammet has incorporated many softer songs into this new release, the metal songs fail to disappoint. This album is a lot darker and symphonic in the Heavier songs and the softer songs are much longer. All of the songs on the album are over 4 minutes, with the exception of track 10 States of Matter which clocks in at 3:59. As most of you should know, this album is part 2 of "The Scarecrow Saga" telling the story of a lonely creature taking company in friends. The Wicked Symphonytakes part after the 2008 album The Scarecrow and preceded by the album "Angel of Babylon" released at the same time as The Wicked Symphony.
Lyrics — 10
The singing in The Wicked Symphony perfectly demonstrates the talent of the singers involved. Namely; Jorn Lande, Russel Allen of Symphony X fame and Michael Kiske of ex-Helloween fame. I haven't read the lyrics yet, but from what I can hear they seem to be rather different to previous albums, not so much The Scarecrow, but there is a big difference in comparison to The Metal operas Part I & II. I give this section a 10/10 for absolutely superb vocal performances by everyone involved and very dedicated lyrics.
Overall Impression — 8
To be honest, I was a little bit disappointed with the album at the lack of Metal involved. I wasn't a big fan of the softer songs on the previous album but the soft/hard rock songs seem to reign supreme over the Metal tracks. Although, when the Metal is dished out here and there it is really quite heavy and hinting at the old Avantasia. Some songs that stand out on this album include (In no particular order)the title track, The Wicked Symphony. a 10 minute vocal battle between Tobias Sammet, Russel Allen and Jorn Lande. Track 2 Wastelands featuring Michael Kiske on vocals. Track 4, Scales of Justice. This song is one of the Metal-ish tracks on the album, with a heavy intro and softer verses/choruses. Tim "Ripper" Owens really does this song justice, providing amazing vocals. One thing I don't like about the album is the lack of fast, Metal tracks. These songs seem to be replaced by Ballads or slow-mid/mid-fast Metal or more Pop-ish tracks. Some of the songs on the album sound like they could be played on the radio. All this aside, If this was stolen or lost I would absolutely purchase this album again. It's a very enjoyable listen and I don't see myself getting tired of it any time soon. I'd recommend this album to anybody who enjoyed the previous release by Avantasia.