SKY OF AVALON Prologue To The Symphonic Legends (2006)
This was an odd one 10 years ago when it first came out, and time has not withered it's strangeness or charm. I don't whether anyone was listening at the time, but it was certainly a precursor to the orchestrated, operatic metal so beloved of European metal bands such as Nightwish.
This is a concept album of philosophical concept where Uli Jon Roth (for tis he) tries to create a new style of music to bring his ideas to fruition. The hard hearted would point to a few tracks where it all goes a bit Andrew Lloyd Webber (especially on the Puccini written "Bridge To Heaven"), but when the mix of music, ideas and vocals (from Tommy Heart, Michael Flexig and female singer Leonora Cold) comes together, it sounds remarkably good.
There isn't much of Roths trademark guitar on this short (31 minute) album, as he acts more as a musical director for the project, but if you have an interest in the spiritual, symphonic and neo-classical, you'll find a lot to enjoy here.
Review by Stuart A. Hamilton