AVANTASIA

Power Metal / Heavy Metal • Germany
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Avantasia is the side-project of Edguy singer Tobias Sammet, founded in 1999. The groups originally line-up consisted of Sammet on vocals and keyboards, Henjo Richter (Gamma Ray) on guitars, Markus Grosskopf (Helloween) on bass, and Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody of Fire) on drums.

The goal of the project was to create a metal opera, and a two part concept story was released in the form of the albums The Metal Opera (2001) and The Metal Opera Part II (2002), which featured a cast of guest vocalists in various roles, with Sammet taking the lead as protagonist Gabriel Laymann. Both of the albums can be classified as power metal, with symphonic elements. Following the second album, Avantasia was laid to rest.

In 2006 Avantasia was revived, but with a re-worked core line-up. Tobias Sammet retained his position as lead vocalist, but this time playing bass. Guitarist Sascha Paeth (Heavens Gate) replaced Richter with
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The Wicked SymphonyThe Wicked Symphony
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$11.91
$5.99 (used)
The ScarecrowThe Scarecrow
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$8.98
$3.98 (used)
Angel Of BabylonAngel Of Babylon
Nuclear Blast 2012
$7.48
$4.72 (used)
GhostlightsGhostlights
Nuclear Blast America 2016
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$11.56 (used)
Metal Opera Part IIMetal Opera Part II
Afm Records 2003
$11.28
$8.00 (used)
The Metal Opera: Golden Edition Vol. 1-2The Metal Opera: Golden Edition Vol. 1-2
Special Edition
AFM 2011
$20.99
$17.87 (used)
Lost In Space 1 & 2Lost In Space 1 & 2
Extra tracks
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$11.23
The Mystery Of TimesThe Mystery Of Times
Nuclear Blast America 2013
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Ghostlights 2 CD digibookGhostlights 2 CD digibook
unknown
$12.99
The Flying Opera - Around The World In 20 Days (2CD/2DVD)The Flying Opera - Around The World In 20 Days (2CD/2DVD)
Box set · CD+DVD
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$19.99
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AVANTASIA Discography

AVANTASIA albums / top albums

AVANTASIA The Metal Opera album cover 3.98 | 29 ratings
The Metal Opera
Power Metal 2001
AVANTASIA The Metal Opera Pt. II album cover 3.86 | 21 ratings
The Metal Opera Pt. II
Power Metal 2002
AVANTASIA The Scarecrow album cover 4.19 | 24 ratings
The Scarecrow
Power Metal 2008
AVANTASIA The Wicked Symphony album cover 3.92 | 22 ratings
The Wicked Symphony
Heavy Metal 2010
AVANTASIA Angel Of Babylon album cover 3.34 | 17 ratings
Angel Of Babylon
Heavy Metal 2010
AVANTASIA The Mystery of Time album cover 3.80 | 13 ratings
The Mystery of Time
Heavy Metal 2013
AVANTASIA Ghostlights album cover 4.44 | 8 ratings
Ghostlights
Heavy Metal 2016

AVANTASIA EPs & splits

AVANTASIA Lost in Space, Part 1 album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Lost in Space, Part 1
Power Metal 2007
AVANTASIA Lost in Space, Part 2 album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Lost in Space, Part 2
Power Metal 2007

AVANTASIA live albums

AVANTASIA The Flying Opera: Around the World in 20 Days album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Flying Opera: Around the World in 20 Days
Power Metal 2011

AVANTASIA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

AVANTASIA re-issues & compilations

AVANTASIA The Metal Opera, Parts I & II: Gold Edition album cover 4.50 | 3 ratings
The Metal Opera, Parts I & II: Gold Edition
Power Metal 2008
AVANTASIA Lost in Space, Parts 1 & 2 album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Lost in Space, Parts 1 & 2
Power Metal 2008

AVANTASIA singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Avantasia
Power Metal 2000

AVANTASIA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
The Flying Opera: Around the World in 20 Days
Power Metal 2011

AVANTASIA Reviews

AVANTASIA The Metal Opera

Album · 2001 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Now here’s a power metal wet dream come about in the thralls of tangible reality. A METAL OPERA is the debut album by the German act AVANTASIA led by Tobias Sammet (of Edguy) about a young novice of the Dominican order known as Gabriel Laymann in the year 1602, who begins suspecting that the Roman Catholic Church is up to no good falsely accusing woman of being witches after his stepsister Anna is accused of such. The plot is actually quite comprehensive embodying two albums worth of material but on this debut album by Tobias Sammet and a little help from his friends from Helloween, Gamma Ray, Statovarius and Rhapsody Of Fire he conjures up a far reaching musical vision that he could surely not accomplish by his lonesome.

While power metal bands for me are a little hit and miss, this one falls squarely into the hit category. While wine and cheese can go together like bread and butter, the mismatching of refined tastes can result in utmost dissatisfaction. Power metal has the propensity of unleashing these universal imbalances in great proportions with musicians mixing and matching sounds while not paying enough detail to the consequences of these musical engineerings. On A METAL OPERA all seems to flip and fall with a satisfaction flag ultimately flapping its approval in the winds of musical excess.

First of all, i don’t find anything on this release TOO cheesy. Power metal is notorious for its cheese without the proper accompanying wine and crackers but this album eschews many of those pitfalls. I really love all the vocalists on board here ranging from Tobias Sammet to the large cast of vocal characters including Kai Hansen (Helloween, Gamma Ray), Michael Kiske (Helloween), David DeFeis (Virgin Steele), Timo Tolkki (Statovarious) and MORE! There are also a plethora of guitarists, keyboardists and well…. ideas. This is really a well thought out affair that contemplates all the pieces of the puzzle and brings them to fruition, not just your run of the mill act that thinks of a theme and doesn’t follow through on the goods.

AVANTASIA The Mystery of Time

Album · 2013 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
On The Mystery of Time, Avantasia assemble all the ingredients of something embarrassingly cheesy - it's a concept album! There's a choir/orchestra! There's Rodney Matthews cover art featuring goblins and treasure! There's an Ayreon-like cast of singers! - but arrive at an end product which certainly delivers all of that.

Power metal majesty, prog metal adventurousness, and rock opera ambition inform the compositions, resulting in a compelling sound which at its best makes me want to hear more from this project - and from parent band Edguy, for that matter. As with Ayreon's projects, the large number of vocalists can tend to make the project seem a little prone to stunt casting, though it's always nice to hear Michael Kiske doing his thing.

That said, whilst at some points Avantasia show a more subtle touch, at others they bring the full-on pomp and cheese turned up to 11, as is only to be expected - it will scratch the itch for a prog-tinged power metal rock opera when you're in the mood for that, but if you aren't in just the right receptive mood it will struggle to win you over.

AVANTASIA The Mystery of Time

Album · 2013 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
The Mystery of Time is the sixth full-length album by German Metal Opera project Avantasia. The album was released in 2013 and is the start a new story by creator Tobias Sammet and his collaborators, completely unrelated to the original two part concept The Metal Opera or The Wicked Trilogy which concluded in 2010 with the release of two albums simultaneously, The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon. Avantasia was very nearly laid to rest after this, as it had been once before, however Tobias changed his mind and so The Mystery of Time was born. Guests this time around include some Avantasia veterans such as Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Unisonic) and Bob Catley (Magnum), as well as some newbies, including Saxon’s Biff Byford and Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen (playing a guitar solo). The core band has changed a little with drummer Eric Singer being replaced by Russell Gilbrook (Uriah Heep).

If you’re at all familiar with the last couple of Avantasia releases, then The Mystery of Time will likely come across as being quite the typical sounding Avantasia release. Essentially refusing to stick to any one particular genre, the album mixes elements of melodic heavy metal, power metal, symphonic metal and hard rock, with very occasional and subtle progressive influences (especially in the first couple of tracks), as well as one unashamedly pop/rock song in the form of Sleepwalking.

The end result sounds like the natural continuation of the last couple of albums. There are a few clear power metal songs which are a throwback to the original Avantasia sound, but there always has been on the post-Metal Opera albums so that’s not anything new. The Mystery of Time most definitely isn’t the return to playing power metal that I’m sure the fans of the first two albums would have been hoping for, nor is it even a mostly power metal affair as with The Scarecrow, as aside from the occasional burst of speed there are only actually three clearly defined power metal songs here (The Watchmakers' Dream, Where Clock Hands Freeze, Invoke the Machine). The majority of the music is melodic heavy metal which has a near constant hard rock sort of vibe to it, a sound that Avantasia has become rather adept at by this point, and this is something which works very much in the album’s favour, although what power metal songs are here do stand out as clear highlights.

The compositions themselves don’t manage to rival the best work of Avantasia, but The Mystery of Time easily stands as the most consistent release since The Scarecrow. I did enjoy The Wicked Symphony but felt that it was a step down in terms of overall quality, while Angel of Babylon come over as being very patchy; a weak way to end The Wicked Trilogy, as if Tobias had stretched his ideas too thinly by releasing two albums at once. The break between albums seems to have worked wonders though. While there are still a couple of songs which don’t stand up to the best the best of the bunch (Sleepwalking, What’s Left of Me), we’re talking many more really good ones than not, especially The Watchmakers' Dream, Invoke the Machine and the two epics of the album, Savior In The Clockwork and The Great Mystery.

It has taken me a few listens to get into, but that’s a good thing as the returns have been increasingly better, whereas The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon left good first impressions and had diminishing returns. I’d actually say that The Mystery of Time is the third strongest Avantasia release to date. Let’s just hope that if Tobias has a sequel planned for this one it isn’t another case of diminishing returns as with The Metal Opera and The Wicked Trilogy. An exceptional grade rating is deserved.

85/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org/avantasia-the-mystery-of-time-t2887.html))

AVANTASIA The Mystery of Time

Album · 2013 · Heavy Metal
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Kev Rowland
Tobias Sammet first became known amongst rock fans as the singer and songwriter of Edguy, one of Germany’s biggest internationally acclaimed rock bands with whom he undertook numerous headline tours all over the world. In 1999 Tobias started his side project Avantasia, and like Ritchie before him put his full name in front of the band name, but instead of dropping that after the first album he has stuck with it so this band is Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia, although everyone seems to focus just on the last part. A few years ago Tobias decided that he had gone far enough with this project so stopped working on it, but then started to feel the pull back to do it all over again. As with his first albums this is a concept piece and he has brought in some guest vocalists to assist him in telling the story. As well as Tobias himself, the listener will also hear Biff Byford (Saxon), Michael Kiske (Unisonic, ex-Helloween), Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow, ex-Deep Purple), Bob Catley (Magnum), Ronnie Atkins (ex-Pretty Maids), Cloudy Yang and Eric Martin (Mr. Big), quite a vocal line-up. Tobias also provides bass, while the rest of the band are Sascha Paeth (guitars, producer), Miro (keyboards) and Russell Gilbrook (drums) while there are also some additional guitarists in Bruce Kulick, Oliver Hartmann and Arjen Anthony Lucassen. If that wasn’t enough, an important part of the sound is provided by the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg (the same orchestra that performed on Edguy’s ‘Hellfire Club’).

With Rodney Matthews providing the artwork, this is an album that appears fully loaded with class and promise even before it hits the player. But can it deliver? The answer to that is a resounding “yes” as here is a symphonic melodic metal album with edge, balls, and stacks of emotion. When they want to be gentle it is atmospheric and restrained, but when they unleash they really go for it. There is an intensity and power on this silver disc that many extreme bands would find hard to match and it is impossible to pick a stand out performance or song as they are all superb. This is going to be classified by many critics as one of the releases of the year, and rightly so.

“So take the time to follow me into a small old English town during the Victorian era and join a young agnostic scientist by the name Aaron Blackwell as he is forced to explore the coherencies of time, God and science; torn between belief in his professional conviction, his spiritual intuition, love and a lodge of scientific occultists.” You won’t regret it www.nuclearblast.de

AVANTASIA The Metal Opera

Album · 2001 · Power Metal
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Pelata
Edguy vocalist Tobias Sammet has created quite the power metal extravaganza here. For Avantasia, he has wrangled in some big name musicians and a slew of guest vocalists to deliver The Metal Opera; a nearly hour long drama set to pummeling power metal.

While some attempts at these types of all-star concept pieces fall short, Avantasia deliver with high-quality music, excellent vocals and fluid execution from start to finish. The band, comprised of Henjo Richter (Gamma Ray) and Jens Ludwig (Edguy) on guitars, Markus Grosskopf (Helloween) on bass, and Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody) on drums is impressive enough on its own. However, add in vocalists like Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), Rob Rock (Impellitteri, Warrior), Andre Matos (Angra), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation) along with Sammet and you have yourself a record of massive metal proportions. More than a year in the making, The Metal Opera is without a doubt one of the definitive power metal releases of the year.

The story is a spellbinding fantasy tale of deceit, treachery, religion, imprisonment and witchcraft. Highlights include “Reach Out For The Light” with its strong double kick drums and Sammet’s melodic, yet piercing wail. The chorus here will have all power metal fans singing along with fists in the air. On “The Glory Of Rome”, Rob Rock turns in a classic performance full of melody and power. It’s a driving tune that finds him truly at home amidst the speedy double kick drums and feirce guitar riffing. He is joined on this tune by the currently band-less Ralf Zdarstek who will no doubt be snatched up quickly after his top-notch performance.

I could easily go on about each song on this epic release, but suffice it to say that it never lulls and never displays a lack of quality. It’s a release full of big, choral passages, killer power metal riffing, dynamic changes and emotional highs and lows. Fans of the grandiose, melodic, and symphonic side of power metal have a lot to chew on here. Definitely one of the best power metal releases of its kind

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