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Lost in Space, Vols. 1-2

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★★★☆☆
(2 Reviews)

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After Avantasia’s North American breakthrough album The Scarecrow, the sky really is the limit for Tobias Sammet’s (frontman for Edguy) ”side” project! Now Avantasia fans new and old can get the Lost In Space 1&2 with a North American exclusive bonus track featuring ex-Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske.

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  • The first time i heard Avantasia was the rock opera albums which set a baseline to the group. I picked up this album next since i wanted to hear what Tobias can do with a regular album, vice a conceptual album.

    What i first realized is that the 2nd track, “lay all your love on me” is an ABBA cover. The 2nd cover i’ve heard of this song (the first cover i heard was by Erasure on the Abbaesque album). I thought, wow, this is a rocking cover since recently, a lot of metal artists are covering 70’s and 80’s songs, such as Seether doing Whispering Calm, Disturbed covering Land of Confusion and Shout and so forth (someone needs to make a compilation of metal artists covering cheesy songs).

    Back to Avantasia, i then realized Tobias was also covering Dancing with tears in my eyes from Ultra box. And then there are other covers on this album as well.

    This gave me a more modern look at Avantasia and i think Tobias does some really good writing. Given that this is Euro metal, I think that they can do a lot more to add flavor to the musicianship of the songs. It seems like in the studio, the idea was “ok, let’s record this cover song and get it done quickly” without taking too much time to add a metal touch to it, like rocking guitar solos or getting away from basic rhythm guitar parts.

    I’m going to continue listening to Avantasia and hopefully, their other albums will be a little more artistic as far as the musicianship is concerned. The covers are really well done though.

    Posted on February 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Let me start by saying I’m a big fan of Tobias Sammet and I buy basically everything the dude puts out. Love Edguy, love Avantasia, and his last album Scarecrow, with the exception of one uber-lame track (“What Kind Of Love?” More like “What Kind Of Crap”) – is one HELL of a record that I really haven’t stopped listening to since I downloaded it on Amazon mp3 a year or so ago. I love the collaborations with the other vocalists and musicians. They all bring something unique to the table and the result is a musical experience that is rich and diverse, all the while following Tobi’s grand vision of creating symphonic, epic power rock. Scarecrow is big, melodic, rockin’, fun music to listen to, basically everything that makes Tobi’s projects killer. So when I stumbled upon this Lost In Space album, I downloaded it right away, assuming it would contain tracks that for whatever reason were left off of the Scarecrow record (Lost In Space is the name of one of the more “radio friendly” tracks from Scarecrow).

    Truth is I don’t know if the songs on LIS are tracks from the Scarecrow sessions, or if it’s just stuff that Tobi’s had in his grab bag since God knows when; the guy never seems to stop working. In any case, I was a little underwhelmed by this collection of tunes. If they are in fact tracks were left off of Scarecrow, one can see why – the strongest track on this record is the bombastic “Another Angel Down” track that DID make the Scarecrow cut.

    One of Tobi’s strengths is his ability to walk the fine line between power metal cheese and true rock awesomeness, and too often on these songs he falls off the fence into the garden of cheese. I’m not going to break the album down track by track, but I will say that the strongest new song on here is Lay All Your Love On Me. It’s cool to hear Tobi do a rockin’ love tune; it sounds like something Bon Jovi could have recorded back when he was still writing inspired arena rock. Good lyrics on this one too (lyrical content is a recurring gripe I have with some of Tobi’s material).

    The 1-2-3 punch of the opening title track, LAYLOM and AAD rubbed me the right way right away, but sadly the album fizzled out after that. The rest of the tunes seem like throw-aways; “In My Defense” could be Tobi’s declaration of justification for releasing the record in the first place. At the album’s conclusion we’re subjected to not one but two alternate versions of Lost In Space, neither of which are as good as the original.

    I don’t know, maybe I need to listen to this a few more times; I admit I’ve only gone through it once and usually it takes a few spins for an album to really grow on me. But there is clearly no new ground being broken here, no new grand vision for Tobi, just Scarecrowish tracks that don’t quite muster the kickassitude of that record. In a nutshell, these are songs that are for the die-hard Avantasia fan, not someone who is unfamiliar with Tobi’s work. The uninitiated would be wise to start with Scarecrow or Edguy’s Hellfire Club. Those records make this one taste like cheese that’s passed it’s expiration date.

    Posted on February 27, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now