Sound — 7
This album is Avantasia's second album of the Scarecrow trilogy, it was released along with Angels of Babylon, and is described as "a tragic story of a lonesome creature, emotionally isolated from his environment and suffering from a distorted sensory perception. His feelings for the love of his life unrequited, he sets off on a journey exploring the left-hand path, striving for inner peace, ploughing his way to approval and eventually facing temptation at the inner depths of the human soul..." So basically a lonely scarecrow looking for company. The band really goes all out to tell this unfortunate stack of hay's tale with epic choruses, amazing vocal content, the occasional shining of Sascha Paeth (guitar) and a good effort from the rest of the band. Not to take away from the musicians, as they are all talented. Eric Singer's drums are fantastic, constantly keeping a good and interesting beat with the occasional drum roll. Miro does a great job on the keyboards, and is a major part of the album. He is also in charge of the orchestration. Overall, he has the biggest role in terms of instruments, because of the sheer amount of instruments he is involved with. Tobias does a decent job on the bass, but nothing special there. When Sascha breaks out into a solo (which is only on occasion), it is used to such a great effect due to its rarity. The guitar riffs can be very heavy and inspiring. However, some of their songs seem to stray away from the metal genre, but are still very emotional and good to listen to.
Lyrics — 10
Avantasia is fueled by vocals, there is no debate about that. The members of Avantasia are all very talented, but they let Tobias Sammet and his 8 guest singers steal the show. The most notable guest is Judas Priests' very own Tim Owens on "Scales of Justice", which is easily my favorite song. Although I love metal for it's music and not the vocals, the singing is easily some of the best I've heard in a long time. The choruses are the best part, with the singers singing simple lyrics. It's very difficult to explain, but when I hear Tim and Tobias together in the chorus of "Scales", it's just so awe-inspiring I find myself singing along. And I don't do that. But a smile comes to my face with each chorus. However, the verses are not as emotional for me, but they are still great.
Overall Impression — 9
I just got Venom's discography, and I'm listening to this album instead. "Scales of Justice" is a classic, and I love it. "Crestfallen", "Dying for an Angel" and "Wastelands" are other notable ones. I really loved the vocal parts of the choruses, and hated that sometimes it was not metal enough. Also, a few more guitar/drum solos would have been much appreciated.