The Mystery Of Time
Release date: March 29th 2013
Much time has surely passed since Tobias Sammet's debut in 1995, with the album “Savage Poetry” by his main band Edguy. The at the time eighteen-year-old singer, (as he himself admitted with us in a wonderful interview), would never have thought he would achieve such a great success. The turning point of his career was unquestionably Avantasia's first album (The Metal Opera part 1), which, thanks to Toby's immense artistic genius, placed his name among the stars of heavy metal. Glimpses of glory already emerged with the two albums “Vain Glory Opera” and “Theater Of Salvation”, released with his mother-band. But the Avantasia saga at that time provided great freshness and novelty and attracted all hard & heavy fans.
Thirteen years and four wonderful albums later, the magic of Toby's creature manifests itself again with “The Mystery Of Time”, that will easily be regarded as one of the best albums of recent times. The formula never changes: highly inspired music, great performers and a taste for melody of superb quality. The 10 tracks that comprise this work are little gems creating a jewel of incalculable value. Let's have a closer look: the opener “Spectres” begins with an opera intro and alternates slow melodic tempos and heavier parts. Particularly worth mentioning are the beautiful chorus and the dark central break, with Ayreon-style keyboards. The following “The Watchmakers' Dream”, where Toby (as in the previous track) duets with the great Joe Lynn Turner, features a vivacious tempo supported by a seventies' style keyboards background. It reminds Rainbow, just a little heavier.
The dual guitar & keyboard solo is overwhelming. “Black Orchid” is characterised by darker and more solemn atmospheres, where the orchestra introduces a brilliant refrain. A very epic song also thanks to Biff Byford from Saxon on vocals. The following “Where Clock Hands Freeze” makes the entire album worth buying. A power metal ride with Michael Kiske in top shape, who brings back to our memory the glories of Keeper of the Seeven Keys Part II by Helloween. A song conceived for wild headbanging. “Sleepwalking” is the first, sweetest ballad of the album, with the surprising new vocals of Cloudy Young. The beginning is soft, then developes into a heartfelt chorus and eventually explodes in a variety of emotions. “Savior In The Clockwork” gets back to a faster and heavier sound, with a very epic intro in a “Lord of the Rings” atmosphere. Variations in tempos, vocals parts and instrumetal parts, most typical in Avantasia, make this track a true masterpiece. The central break, heavy and obscure, interrupts the rythm and eventually returns to the initial theme. “Invoke The Machine” is breathtaking, thanks to an outstanding guitar work and to the rythm section, a true steaming train! Ronnie Atkins' voice confers great aggressiveness to this song, one of the heaviest of the album. Yet another gem: “What's Left On Me”, possibly the most beautiful ballad ever written by Toby.
The piano introduces a very inspired Eric Martin, who shows his ability also in sounds quite distant from his usual background. Goosebumps assured! The second last track “Dweller In A Dream” is a typical Edguy song, melodic, fast, which perfectly fits Kiske's and Sammet's voices. “The Great Mystery” concludes this masterpiece. In its ten minutes lenght Sammet himself, Bob Catley, Joe Lynn Turner and Biff Byford alternate on vocals. The perfect combination among the singers' lyricism, the slower tempos, the sudden orchestra's explosions and the accurate melodical inserts, render this song a true masterpiece. Queen, Meat Loaf and sometimes Trans-Siberian Orchestra are the most recognizable influences, mixed with passion and inspiration. A unique caleidoscope of sensations.
Once the cd is over the primal instict is that of pushing the play button again to live all these magical sensations again. Tobias Sammet released yet another work of art. Do not miss it, such albums come out less and less frequently.
Review by Fabrizio Tasso
2. The Watchmakers' Dream
3. Black Orchid
4. Where Clock Hands Freeze
6. Savior In The Clockwork
7. Invoke The Machine
8. What's Left On Me
9. Dweller In A Dream
10. The Great Mystery
Tobias Sammet (v.) ‐ GER
Eric Martin (v., Mr. Big) ‐ USA
Joe Lynn Turner (v., Rainbow, ex‐Deep Purple) ‐ USA
Biff Byford (v., Saxon) ‐ GB
Michael Kiske (v., ex‐Helloween, Unisonic) ‐ GER
Bob Catley (v., Magnum) ‐ GB
Ronnie Atkins (v., Pretty Maids) ‐ DK
Sascha Paeth (g., ex‐Heavens Gate) ‐ GER
Bruce Kulick (g., ex‐Kiss, ex‐Meat Loaf) ‐ USA
Arjen Lucassen (g., ex‐Vengeance, Ayreon) ‐ NL
Ferdy Doernberg (Hammond‐B3, Axel Rudi Pell) ‐ GER
Oliver Hartmann (g., v.) ‐ GER
Cloudy Young (v.) ‐ GER