I remember an interview with Tobias Sammett in which he stated, that there would never be a third part of "Avantasia
Opera". To avoid contradicting himself he has now called the third Avantasia
album "The Scarecrow" and done away with the fantasy theme. This time, there is no real story underneath the songs, more a lose concept of an artist who has lost his great love and is looking for ways to forget her (as this is a theme of many songs from the last Edguy
-album you have to wonder if maybe Mr. Sammett is talking of himself here).
The music has also moved away from the Power
approach of the two "Metal
Opera"-parts. Except for "Shelter
from the rain" that co-stars Michael Kiske
and Bob Catley
there are no speedy, but many up-tempo or mid-tempo songs.
The whole album starts off quite cool with the intro-riff of "Twisted
mind" which turns out to be the second best song on the album. Roy Khan sings a little bit but most of the song is performed by Tobi, as is the fact on most of the songs. The follower "The Scarecrow" is okay, but sounds very much like one of those Edguy
epics and is saved only by the fantastic voice of Jorn
Lande who plays some kind of Mephisto
. The greatest song - of course - is "The Toy Master
", that has Alice Cooper
written all over it and sounds that strange and weird as if it came from one of Alice`s latest albums. Except for some small parts the song is mostly sung by Alice Cooper
and absolutely great. The other songs with Jorn
Lande and "I don´t believe in your love" with Oliver Hartmann
are good and solid Heavy Metal
, but often sound like Edguy
The two songs that Tobi sings alone are okay as well, but not as great as you´d expect by such a great songwriter as Tobi Sammett. He has tried to sound very modern and mainstreamy and has succeeded in that but it does not really fit into the rest of the songs.
Now the down-side: "Cry
just a little" is a duett with Bob Catley
and has "Cheese" written all over it which is sad, because Catley really sounds great here. The other ballad is NOT Metal
, but sounds like one of those radiosongs that you instantly forget after hearing. It´s that much emotional and pseudo-dramatic!
Overall the album is not bad and has some highlights, yet I think it can not be compared to "The Metal
Opera" which was just great and nothing less. Perhaps it would have been wiser of Tobi to give the project another name, because in the comparison, "The Scarecrow" loses definitely.