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Avantasia - 'Moonglow' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/87/80/4b/avantasia-moonglow-66-1557861166.jpg Hot

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Avantasia are staking their claim to both Album and Song Of The Year.

Tobias Sammet's Avantasia return with possibly his/their best release so far. However, instead of telling you about each of the eleven songs that make up this wonderful record, or even the many artists (including Jørn Lande, Geoff Tate, Candice Night, Hansi Kürsch, Bob Catley, etc.) who all helped out in its execution, I'll let you discover those for yourself. I hope you will indulge me as I tell you about just one of the tracks on this album – the grandiose, flamboyant, dramatic, captivating and just downright (Song Of The Year already?) brilliant lead-off track entitled 'Ghost In The Moonlight'.

'Ghost In The Moonlight' is all the things I mentioned above and so much more. A homage it would appear, and I hope Sammet doesn't mind me saying this, to early 'Bat Out Of Hell' era Meat Loaf and especially to the musical creative genius of Jim Steinman. From its opening notes and the melody-filled riff that starts everything off, the song just screams "listen to me" and you know what... you certainly do! It's mesmerizing, hypnotic and enticing, so much so that it grows over its almost ten minutes to a track that has every element a song needs to become not just a fan but also a household favourite. It builds to its final extravagant crescendo, the strains of the last few musical bars have your fingers itching to hit the replay button time and again.

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Why is this song so captivating? For me personally, it has everything great music should have including passion, drama, melody in abundance and artistic performances so good that they border on perfection. In the end, with all of those things set to one side, it's just a truly amazing Rock track. If you've not got a big smile on your face at the end of listening to this number, then I'm afraid there's just no hope for you.

Eight studio albums down and Avantasia/Sammet get better with each and every passing year. Their belief in the music they create is heard throughout every note. This belief, passion and drive (or whatever else you want to call it) are felt by everyone who gets the chance to listen to their outstanding music.

2019 has only just begun* and already Avantasia are staking their claim to both Album and Song Of The Year.

Ian Johnson

(* this review is from Fireworks Magazine #86)

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