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Articles Home » 2001 Articles » Avantasia - 2001 The Metal Opera
Avantasia - 2001 The Metal Opera

ARTIST: Avantasia
ALBUM: The Metal Opera
LABEL: AFM Records
YEAR: 2001


LINEUP: Tobias Sammet, David DeFeis, Rob Rock, Ernie, Kai Hansen, Andre Matos, Oliver Hartmann, Sharon Den Adel, Ralf Zdiarstek, Timo Tolkki - vocals * Henjo Richter - all guitars * Markus Grosskopf - bass * Alex Holzwarth - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Prelude * 02 Reach Out For The Light * 03 Serpents In Paradise * 04 Malleus Maleficarum * 05 Breaking Away * 06 Farewell * 07 The Glory Of Rome * 08 In Nomine Patris * 09 Avantasia * 10 A New Dimension * 11 Inside * 12 Sign Of The Cross * 13 The Tower


Tobias Sammet is in essence the lead vocalist for Edguy, and while he is definitely still a part of that band, he needed an outlet for some of the material he had written that didn't fit into the Edguy mould. Avantasia is quite an adventurous project melding grandiose, over-the-top orchestration with melodic speed metal guitars, operatic vocals (just look at the list of singers) and multi-layered choruses. It is also a concept album, but I haven't got past the wonderful music on offer to get into the nuts and bolts of the story line yet.

The Songs
Tobias himself is an excellent singer, but the inclusion of the likes of Rob Rock and At Vance's Oliver Hartmann take Avantasia to massive heights. Overall the vocal contributions of all involved were excellent. As for the guitar work of Henjo Richter, he continually outdoes himself. His furiously melodic riffs underscore many breathtaking solos. What makes this album so majestic are the monumental choruses that drive many of the songs. You won't forget them in a hurry either 'cause they are all extremely catchy. I don't how many tracks were used but they sound like a large choir is singin g them. That is why songs such as 'The Glory of Rome', 'Sign of the Cross' and the title track sound so incredible. Tobias should also be congratulated for the brilliant production. Every instrument and voice comes through crystal clear.

In Summary
I've heard it described as 'happy German speed metal', and I think that is a fairly apt description. If you need comparisons there are elements of Rhapsody, Gamma Ray, and Stratovarius, but you can't fairly compare Avantasia with anything else because it is so damn good. Though I realise the over-the-top nature of the whole album will put off some hardened metal fans, I think it is close to a masterpiece and will give a lot of pleasure to metal fans who don't mind the (dare I say it) cheesier side of melodic metal.

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#1 | george_the_jack on July 07 2008 00:05:34
The etymology of what a metal opera is. After this Tobbias Sammet's achievement, many bands and artists were meant to follow that way with various results..
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