Friday, December 11, 2015

Singles Roundup: Avantasia, Serenity, & Ricky Warwick

Just because it's December, the music industry hasn't forgotten about us. While album releases might be a bit slow, we just got an early present in the form of two big new singles. Let's take a look:

Avantasia - Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose

Every Avantasia record comes with great expectations, which are always made confusing with singles that don't give the whole picture of what the album is going to be. Hopefully, that won't be the case this time, because this single is the best one that Avantasia has every put out prior to a release. When I interviewed Tobi, he expressed his love for Meat Loaf, which comes through heavily on this track. The construction is pure Jim Steinman, and the backing vocals sound like they could have been put together by Todd Rundgren. This song could have easily fit on one of the "Bat Out Of Hell" records, which makes it awesome in my book. Cap that off with the fact that it has an irresistible hook, and we have ourselves a winner. I wasn't too keen on the previous album, but now I'm very excited to hear what else he's come up with.

Serenity - Iniquity

The last two Serenity albums have been disappointing, each containing only a handful of good songs that got lost amidst more tracks that were too busy, too dedicated to history, and watered down by concepts and extra singers. This song finds the band returning to their more modest symphonic roots, and succeeding very nicely. This is the band I remember liking so much, with well thought out strings, strong vocals, and warm melodies that hook you right away. This is one of the best tracks they've put out in years, and a very good indication that the upcoming album could find them righting the ship after a bit of time wandering the seas.

Ricky Warwick - The Road To Damascus Street

The current frontman of Black Star Riders is going to be releasing two new albums shortly into 2016, so this single can't possibly set the stage for all the music that's to come. What we have here is a solid enough track that showcases Ricky's trademark, laid-back style. There are times when it sounds a little bit too relaxed, particularly when the main riff wants the song to be a grinder, but the whoa-oh chorus brings things back into his comfort zone. This wouldn't be among the best material from his main band, but it's a solid track that tells me there will be much to enjoy when he makes his solo debut.

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