The story of Avalon is an interesting one, a very interesting one I must say. With one word as the core of the whole story; nostalgia. The band hit the news for the first time when Jack Pisters won an autographed guitar from Gary Moore and has been under ten ‘marks’ (line-ups for the band) ever since. The first one in 1990, the last one in 2006. That’s right, this is a reunion with a lot of remastered demo’s and rarities, spread among a very nice looking double digi-pack.
Just to have mentioned it: I do not see why the reunion has taken place in this form. I mean, of course I think it’s wonderful to see that musicians show their dedication to music they’ve been making more than twenty years ago, but the effort that obviously has been put in the album will only please the über fan, which I personally do not know.
The first cd contains re-recorded tracks and previously unreleased material in the older progressive rock style from the 80s, some of it even in the line of Queensryche. It may be no surprise that the best songs from this cd come from the only album so far, The Third Move, from which I like ‘Hard Lovin’ Man’ the most. The short but powerful guitar play are a nice treat for my ears but I actually get annoyed a bit by the vocals which are emphasizing too much and do not sound naturally for the full 100%.
Listening further, we come across the different line-ups without a lot of change in the style of the band. Of course, replacing a male singer by a female has its effect on the sound, but it’s nice to see that even in this situation, Avalon remained playing what they liked most, which is of course the main reason for this reunion. The second disc contains remastered cassette tapes with enough interesting material if you just remain patient. For instance, Search for the Paragon is the follow-up for The Ancient on disk one and the female singer is doing a nice job, especially on the modern ‘Anytime’. The cd ends with a surprisingly nice guitar solo, with that weee, weeeeeee, sound we all love.
My conclusion I already made. Now it’s just up to you to decide whether you think it’s worth a try. I think you should at least have turned your ears in a certain direction as a final move.