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Avantasia – Angel of Babylon: Review

Angel of Babylon is part three of Avantasia’s “The Scarecrow” trilogy. It is to be released on April 3 along with the second part, The Wicked Symphony. After hearing the second part, I had extremely high expectations for this album. Though it does not meet these expectations, it is still a very good album.

The Music (rating: B+)

  1. Stargazers
  2. Angel of Babylon
  3. Your Love is Evil
  4. Death is Just a Feeling
  5. Rat Race
  6. Down in the Dark
  7. Blowing Out the Flame
  8. Symphony of Life
  9. Alone I Remember
  10. Promised Land
  11. Journey to Arcadia

Just like its predecessor, Angel of Babylon is a heavy power metal album. It is highly comparable to the works of Jørn Lande, which is understandable since he appears in about half of the tracks. There are some tracks that deviate from the power metal style though, such as the waltz-like “Death is Just a Feeling”.  But for the most part, it has a very symphonic power metal feel.

This album also focuses primarily on the vocals. But the guest list is much weaker in comparison to The Wicked Symphony, which undoubtedly shows in the overall musical quality. There is much less variety in the vocal styles and tones throughout this album; much of it is very Lande-like. Also, it seems as though the overall musical diversity in this album is not as distinct because the smaller number of guest vocalists results in less differences in the approach towards music. The tracks blend together much more than in the former album because there is less vocal variety, which in turn causes the record to have less musical diversity overall.

The supporting instruments serve their purpose well. They are used similarly to the other album, in that they do not often put themselves in the spotlight, but very effectively brighten the spotlight for the vocalists. The keyboards are used very well, both in the foreground and background, in creating a symphonic sound. There is very strong support with the drums and bass, giving consistently strong rhythm lines which are not stale. The guitarist gives good riffs and solos, but nothing standout. Like the other album, the other instruments serve the vocals with a strong base support, though nothing extraordinary.

Angel of Babylon is rather similar to The Wicked Symphony, but not performed at the same level. Both place most of the attention on the vocals, but The Wicked Symphony is much more creatively and diversely executed on this front. The songs on Angel of Babylon are much less memorable for the vocals than on the previous one. A shortage on guest vocalists seems to be a noticeable difference. Not only does it make the songs less memorable, but it also seems to make them less distinguishable within the album. Though the remaining instruments give a similar level of performance, the vocals seem to make one album better than the other.

But for those who liked The Wicked Symphony, this album should be heard. It likely will not feel as fulfilling as the fore-mentioned one, but it is no doubt worth listening to. Angel of Babylon is a strong effort and though it does not have any standout strengths, it surely has no weaknesses. This album is not necessarily a must-buy, but it is definitely a must-hear.

Review for The Wicked Symphony

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  1. Sahil
    April 2, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    you are gay and condescending

  2. Matt
    April 9, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Am I the only one that loves Angel of Babylon? To me this is the stronger of the two albums with some very memorable songs. In any case, this double album is Tobi’s best work yet.

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