Avantasia - The Metal Opera Part I review
|Album:||The Metal Opera Part I|
02. Reach Out For The Light
03. Serpents In Paradise
04. Malleus Maleficarum
05. Breaking Away
07. The Glory Of Rome
08. In Nomine Patris
10. A New Dimension
12. Sign Of The Cross
13. The Tower
Monks, fantasy worlds, mysterious books, elves and dwarves, good against evil, witch hunts and, yes you guessed correctly, power metal. Such is Avantasia - The Metal Opera. Composed by Tobias Sammet, who also does a lot of the vocal work, the singer shows that he is capable of more then 'only' Edguy (of which I personally am not so fond).
But Tobias isn't the only famous power metal dude findable on this album. The drumming comes from Alex Holzwarth, Rhapsody drummer, and sounds A LOT like Rhapsody too. The guitar work mainly comes from the strings of Gamma Ray guitarist Henjo Richter. And Markuss Grosskopf, Helloween, is responsible for the bass lines. The vocals... Tobias apart, they are sung by 11 different singers! Including famous names in power metal like Michael Kiske, Kai Hansen, Timmo Tolkki and many more. Also Sharon Den Adel has some parts. Originally Tobias wanted Tarja Turunen to do them, but, in my opinion luckily, Tarja declined and Sharons' wonderful voice is now audible on the metal opera. Unfortunately only on two or three parts though, which is quite a shame.
Maybe you've guessed it by now, but I'll say it anyway, The Metal Opera is a concept album. It's about a young dominican monk, who is involved in the witch huntings of his order and his age (seventeenth century). However the young monk (Tobias) is shocked when suddenly his beloved stepsister (Sharon) is accused of being a witch. After poking around in affairs he shouldn't poke around in *eyes roll at the naughty little monk* he is thrown in prison, you should have known better Tobias! He comes free anyway and then goes to a fantasy world called Avantasia because his druid friend asked him to, in exchanged of afterwards helping save the monk's stepsister. And err... very cheesy stuff like that. Anyway, although the content is laughable at best, the way it is presented is not bad. A lot of pretty metaphors and the fact that different characters are done by different singers make it enjoyable to some extent.
Musically the drumming sounds exactly like Rhapsody, like I already said. Further the guitars are mainly midtempo, some faster parts, some slower parts, but mainly midtempo. And the vocals are all very good. The bad part about them though, is that often it's indistinguishable which singers sings what because a lot of them sound exactly the same! Ayreon for example uses singers from all kinds of different styles, but Tobias chose only power metal singers. Not that this is extremely tragic, because all vocalists here are good, but for the sake of the story it would have been easier for the listener if he could keep the characters apart.
There is an intro and two other short instrumentals on the album. All three of them are only annoying though. Further the music is actually extremely good though. Very epic and very power metal! In that light I'll end my review by saying this. If you like power metal, you'll like Avantasia, if you don't, be wary, you probably won't like it.
|by Dream Taster:
When Tobias Sammet, the singer of the German heavy metal band Edguy, started to write a parellel project to Edguy, he surely didn't expect so much congratulations from the fans that would come from all over the world. Just have a look at his guestbook!
After the Edguy album called Vain Glory Opera, Tobias has got the idea to write an entire album on a theme in order to compose a metal opera. His first motivation was to sing with other great singers who were his models such as Michael Kiske or Ronnie James Dio
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|Power Metal. A ridiculed genre made fun of because of it's fascination with vocal choirs and lyrical themes (often based around swords and sorcery-type tales of good versus evil). Not many people respect it, however, but I do, and I greatly respect the musicians who stick to this type of "unpopular" genre, not least because they are almost always talented musicians, more talented in their playing than this week's favourite metalcore darlings. So imagine my joy when I came across this band called Avantasia: a group formed of one of my most admired metal vocalists (the awesome Tobias Sammet of Edguy) and one of my most admired guitarists (Gamma Ray's Henjo Richter) that also happened to feature guest vocals by Kai Hansen (THE power metal god), Angra's Andre Mateos, and Stratovarius' Timo Tolkki! Members from some of my favourite bands all on the same album! Too good to be true I thought. That's until listened to it. It was true. VERY true. Expecting a Power metal masterpiece, that is what I got.
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