Archive for October, 2015

October 12, 2015

Album 0467: Avantasia – Angel Of Babylon

Avantasia-AngelOfBabylon

Release Date: 2010
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Stargazers (09:32)
2. Angel Of Babylon (05:29)
3. Your Love Is Evil (03:55)
4. Death Is Just A Feeling (05:24)
5. Rat Race (04:08)
6. Down In The Dark (04:26)
7. Blowing Out The Flame (04:51)
8. Symphony Of Life (04:32)
9. Alone I Remember (04:47)
10. Promised Land (04:51)
11. Journey To Arcadia (07:13)

Total Length: 59:06

Stargazers is a big track to open the album, featuring a huge amount of vocalists, all of them famous in the genre. It’s a great showcase, and it honestly kind of gets me pumped. The actual songwriting for the track could have been a touch better, but it’s okay. This album is the last in a trilogy and a concept album, but I honestly have no clue what the story is supposed to be so it’s not something I’m really paying attention to.

Angel Of Babylon is a standard power metal track. It is uplifting and fun, and I never hate listening to it, but once it’s over it’s just completely out of mind. I can’t say anything terrible about it though. Your Love Is Evil has a great chorus though. It’s a weird personal song on this fantasy album, but it works. Death Is Just A Feeling features the classic Jon Oliva in a very circus-y track, which I mean in a good way. The buildup to the chorus is fantastic and makes for a cool song, even if it loses steam most of the way through.

Rat Race is a very generic track. It could go on any band’s album, and has nothing stellar in it at all. Down In The Dark has a good chorus, but again just kind of fluff and nothing that hooks me. Blowing Out The Flame is a not-so-great softer track. It really is very boring and I’m glad only once it’s over. Symphony Of Life breathes some fresh air only from having the only female vocals on here, and a catchy chorus to boot.

Alone I Remember has a fantastic 80s-type chorus, but I don’t like the main riff or the opening of the song. Promised Land has the same generic issues as the other tracks. There’s just nothing special about it. Journey To Arcadia is a slightly more ambitious song. It all sounds nice, but again none of it sticks with me. That’s kind of the crux of these last two albums on here. I enjoy listening to them, I never really get to the point in either album where I want to shut it off, but there’s also no way I’m listing them as favorites or seeking them out to listen to.

Final Rating: 6.5/10

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October 8, 2015

Album 0466: Sirenia – The 13th Floor

sirenia-the-13th-floor

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Gothic Metal

Tracklisting:

1. The Path To Decay (04:18)
2. Lost In Life (03:12)
3. The Mind Maelstrom (04:48)
4. The Seventh Summer (05:22)
5. Beyond Life’s Scenery (04:33)
6. The Lucid Door (04:49)
7. Led Astray (04:35)
8. Winterborn 77 (05:33)
9. Sirens Of The Seven Seas (05:14)
10. The Path To Decay (radio mix) (03:35)
11. The Mind Maelstrom (instrumental) (04:50)
12. Winterborn 77 (instrumental) (05:34)

Total Length: 56:21

The Path To Decay is a very solid opening track. The chorus can get stuck in your head for days, the solo is restrained but great, and the mixture of vocal types keeps each moment fresh. Lost In Life is kind of great too. Again I love the chorus, and the sound of each instrument is just so well made. The Mind Maelstrom kind of has one great idea and repeats it a lot. It’s certainly well done, but not up to the standards of the first two tracks.

The Seventh Summer is a little better, but the song goes on a bit too long honestly. I really enjoy the chorus though. Beyond Life’s Scenery is a bit boring, but as always the vocals are the shining, saving grace. The guitar riff is really simple and not that interesting, but the rest helps make up for it. The Lucid Door has some great moments as well, but to be honest the album starts to lose me a bit here. I still enjoy it, but for whatever reason I just can’t connect to it.

Led Astray has some beautiful moments to it even though I’m still having a similar issue to the previous song. Winterborn 77 has some great arrangements, all the instruments have their own little bits that all work really well. Not my favorite track, but good. Sirens Of The Seven Seas feels like a song from a different band, and it gives just enough of a change at the end of the album to feel fresh. A good note to end on.

The bonus tracks start with the radio mix/edit of The Path To Decay. It’s a good 45 seconds shorter, and it still works fine. The instrumental versions of The Mind Maelstrom and Winterborn 77 both do that thing that always annoys me. They only removed the lead vocals, so all the choir vocals are still there. I suppose then these tracks would work for karaoke, but it just feels disingenuous to me to label it as an instrumental when it’s kind of not. The tracks are both fine in this manner though. The whole album has a lot of great moments, but it really doesn’t quite come together for me. It has grown on me though, and I enjoy it more than I did the first go-around.

Final Rating: 7.5/10