Company: Nuclear Blast Release: 2010 Genre: Power Reviewer: Chris Kincaid
Packs a punch and is great follow up
In doing this review it's hard not to come across as partisan as I'm a fan of Tobias Sammet and his work with German Power Metal heavyweights Edguy.
Let's get one thing clear--if you didn't like "The Scarecrow" you most likely won't dig the double releases "The Wicked Symphony" or "Angel of Babylon". But if you did and want more of the same you just got lucky!
For this review I'll stick to "The Wicked Symphony" which is a Metalheads wet dream as it's chock full of guest appearances, polished studio production, soaring vocals and songs that are well crafted. With a total of 11 tracks that range from hard and heavy to melodically powerful. On the opener the always amazing Jorn Lande joins Russell Allen and Tobias...although in a more subdued role vocally on the entire album...in the title track which is a 9 min masterpiece. It's so good that it tends to overshadow the rest of the songs featured.
But fortunately other standouts like 'Scales of Justice' with Tim 'Ripper' Owens and his massive vocal prowless keep the pace flowing. Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine steps in and shows off his chops on 'Dying For An Angel' easily a radio favorite with it's likeable but not too gushy melody. Same with tracks like 'Runaway Train' with the underated former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick stepping in to dish out a tight guitar tone that blends well with Sascha Paeth who carries the rhythm section. Even Bruce's friend and KISS drummer Eric Singer jumps in to bang on the skins in a couple Power Metal favored gems in like 'Wastelands' and also on the vocal shredding track 'Crestfallen'. Possibly Jorn's best vocal outing...if it's possible to single out one song...'Forever Is A Long Time' is followed by the heavy driven 'Black Wings' and 'States of Matter'.
The overall presentation is more Rock fueled with it's mostly mid-tempo cuts that deliver in strong choruses and use of synthesizers which also gives it more of a Prog Metal feel. But it still packs a punch and is a great follow up to "The Scarecrow".
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