I have troubles not being too harsh when discussing Avantasia‘s Angel of Babylon. As it was, Tobias Sammet decided that the material he had gathered for the latest Avantasia album was too much, and he split it into two CDs released simultaneously – The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon. But as it seems, I can’t help but think that Angel of Babylon was the dump station of everything not good enough for ”the real album”. An additional CD for the special edition, filled with bonus tracks, some extremely good ones.
Okay. The introducing track ”Stargazers” is extremely good, as is the following ”Angel of Babylon”, but they are still just average Avantasia songs on the whole, and every other song on The Wicked Symphony beats them both by a longshot. ”Death is Just a Feeling” is a good song, yes, but it doesn’t fit at all with the rest of the album, and neither does the Cloudy Yang-epitomic symphonic metal track ”Symphony of Life” (which for the record is the only song in Avantasia history being written by Sasha Paeth and not Tobias Sammet). My feeling of both of these songs increases my belief that this is an extra CD with bonus tracks, some of which were skipped simply because they’re not that good (”Rat Race”, ”Your Love is Evil”) and some that didn’t fit the rest of the album enough (”Death”, ”Symphony”). And other songs – ”Rat Race” and ”Alone I Remember” – have garage rock introduction that makes them sound like jokes in the midst of epic power metal.
But the album isn’t all bad. The ballad ”Blowing Out the Flame” sound incredibly cheesy on first listen but sound extremely good after a while, similarly to The Scarecrow‘s ”What Kind of Love”. The last power song ”Promised Land” is one of the best shorter songs Avantasia has ever produced (but I find trouble counting it, seeing as it’s a re-recording of the b-side from the Lost in Space Part II EP). Journey to Arcadia is probably my favorite Avantasia song throughout history, or at least it’s up there in the top alongside ”The Seven Angels”, ”The Scarecrow”, ”Blizzard on a Broken Mirror” and ”Runaway Train”.