Avantasia – A Paranormal Evening With the Moonflower Society Review

A Paranormal Evening With the Moonflower Society is the very short title of Avantasia’s 9th album.
Despite what Tobias Sammet says on social media (being as always a little too over-enthusiastic about his new creature) this is the usual very good album of his project. Is it's best one? Definitely not and it's not even in the top 5, in my opinion, but it's a good album.

The major problem with this album is very simple and natural: Tobias is a very prolific writer and after all the albums with Avantasia and Edguy is basically impossible to sound original, so in almost all the songs of this album I personally hear bits and pieces of other songs (I'm a big fan, you know...), plus we have lots of guests that we already know, maybe too much: Bob Catley, Jorn and Michael Kiske are in almost every album of the project, same goes for Ronnie Atkins, Eric Martin and Geoff Tate (at least, in the last part of the discography). Amazing voices that it's always a pleasure to hear but, on the other hand, the surprise effect is dead and gone. But I understand that Avantasia is now a live circus as well so it makes sense to have the same singers, in order to go and perform live. 

Two new names in this album are Floor Jansen (Nightwish) and Ralph Scheepers (Primal Fear) and maybe for this reason the singles "The wicked rule the night" and the ballad "Misplaced among the angels" are for sure two of my favourites on this album. Other songs that I really appreciated are the opener "Welcome to the shadows" (that sounds a bit like some closing track in other albums) and "I Tame the storm" (Jorn is always a top player!) while I'm not a fan of "The inmost light", despite I adore Michael Kiske: I find the song not very original, same as the "almost" title track "The Moonflower society". 

Eric Martin and Geoff Tate don't sound exactly in their territory singing the good "Rhyme and Reason" and "Scars"(but I appreciate the tentative of experimenting with something different) while Tobias' performance is spot on, resting after the pandemic apparently helped his voice a lot. I really like the chorus of "Paper Plane" and "Arabesque", the closing track has a reminiscence of “The Scarecrow” in the oriental riff and a great guitar solo toward the end but I find it too long and pompous. 

A Paranormal Evening With the Moonflower Society is almost 54 minutes but it's very enjoyable, overall, because of the alternating of atmospheres and singers. Tobias knows how to do it. 

Again, not the best Avantasia album but it's definitely good music, as with every Avantasia album.

Rating 69/100
Top tracks: The wicked rule the night, Misplaced among the angels, I Tame the storm.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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