The Wicked Symphony

Avantasia – Moonglow Review

Avantasia – Moonglow Review

“Anything bearing the imprimatur of Tobias Sammet is synonymous with excess, bombast and a superhuman resistance to restraint and modesty. Originally known for his larger-than-life Euro-power albums with Edguy, Sammet’s Avantasia project is something else altogether. It’s his own personal wonderland where he enlists friends, well wishers and contemporary musicians in a never-ending quest to create extravagant, over the top power metal infused with Broadway theatrics, hard rock grit and preening pop. Yes, it’s mega-yacht metal, and no, it definitely isn’t for everyone.” Sammet’s latest moon shot.

Avantasia – The Mystery of Time Review

Avantasia – The Mystery of Time Review

“You have to give Tobias Sammet his steely props. He doesn’t do things half-assed. Nope, he goes big, bold and lets the Metal Gods sort shit out. His Edguy material is plenty pretentious and overblown, but it can’t hold a magic candle to the sheer pretentious pomposity and bombast of his Avantasia project. Taking cues from Arjen Luccasen’s Ayreon outings, Sammet drags in every singer, guitarist and hanger-on he can and it seems he’s playing a metallic version of Pokemon (gotta catch em all). His last feat was the impressive double release of the Angel of Babylon and The Wicked Symphony albums (my fanboyish reviews of which, landed me a spot at AMG Industries, Ltd. for some reason), and I was very curious how he could top those massive platters of symphonic excess.” So how exactly does Mr. Sammet top his prior output? Steel Druhm is here to unravel the mysteries of time.

Edguy – Age of the Joker Review

Edguy – Age of the Joker Review

Just so you feel appropriately thankful, Steel Druhm survived storm, surf and medieval living conditions to bring you this damn review. With that out of the way, there’s a new Edguy album out, its called Age of the Joker. Now, I like old Edguy quite a lot. They had a really classic Euro-power metal sound and some serious songwriting chops. As they went along however, they went from their original power template into more of a hard rock/arena rock style and with an increasing sense of tongue-in-cheek silliness that I didn’t care for (Rocket Ride is a mighty lame album with a few good songs mixed in). Of course, main-man Tobias Sammet is also the mastermind behind the Avantasia albums and I’m a fanboy, especially of 2010’s The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon releases. The man can sing and the man can write, there’s no denying it. Therefore it’s quite a letdown to hear how mellow, safe and uneventful a lot of Age of the Joker is. Sure, there are the usual big Edguy anthems here and there, but by and large, this is a pretty tepid, pedestrian release by a band capable of much much more. Way closer to pompous cock rock than classy Euro-power, it goes down a road I’m not that into but it still has its moments of charm and fun.

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2010

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2010

Well, it’s been a very interesting year for me, Steel Druhm since joining Angry Metal Guy Industries in April. Despite the no pay, brutal hours, an Angry Metal Boss based overseas and enough hate mail to choke a Belgian aardvark, it’s been tons of fun and I wouldn’t trade one minute of it for a million Amorphis CDs. This year, like every other year, saw it’s fair share of shining metal moments and plenty of steaming crap as well. All things considered though, it’s a great time to be a fan of metal and there’s so much out there to choose from, it can get overwhelming trying to stay current and hear all the worthwhile releases. As the year winds down and we get set for the start of 2011, I want to wish all our readers a happy holiday season and give a big metal salute to all of you (and an extra big salute to the Angry Metal Guy himself for giving me a forum for my metal rants). I hope we were able to turn folks on to some quality music and generally entertain with our opinionated and self-righteous musings, ramblings, tirades, manifestos and diatribes.

Avantasia – Angel of Babylon Review

Avantasia – Angel of Babylon Review

Tobias Sammet, the voice of Edguy and mastermind behind Avantasia, clearly doesn’t mess around when it comes to self-confidence and ambition. Few artists would have the sheer cojones to undertake as daunting of a project as a double album with over 2 hours of music featuring no less than 19 guest musician. That however is exactly what he serves up with The Wicked Symphony and this album, Angel of Babylon (being Parts II and III of The Scarecrow trilogy respectively).

Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony Review

Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony Review

So here we have The Wicked Symphony, one of two new albums released this week by Avantasia, the brainchild of one Tobias Sammet (Angel of Babylon being the companion album). Many of you likely know Mr. Sammet as the singer of German power metallers Edguy. Avantasia is his long running mega-sized side project where he collaborates with varied musicians across the metal/hard rock spectrum and experiments with moods and sounds that might not necessarily fit within the paradigm of the more straightforward Edguy. Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon complete the trilogy started by 2008’s Scarecrow album. For an easy point of reference, think of Avantasia as a more metalized and less (but still quite) self-indulgent version of Ayreon.