Avantasia
The Metal Opera Part I

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.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shawn Pelata
July 10th, 2001

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