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On disc: Avantasia



- The Metal Opera Pt. I - Volker Raabe - 9 stars
- The Metal Opera Pt. I - Katja Henning - 10 stars
- The Metal Opera Pt. II - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
- Lost In Space Pt. 1 & 2 - Claudia Ehrhardt - 6 stars


www.tobiassammet.com







Lost In Space Pt. 1    Lost In Space Pt. 2

Lost In Space Pt. 1 & 2
(Nuclear Blast - 2007)


When Edguy singer Tobias Sammet started the Avantasia project nobody expected it to be this successful. Now after several years after The Metal Opera Pt. 2 a new album is on the way and will be in the stores in January 2008. Meanwhile the single Lost In Space - two different versions - will be released as a kind of appetizer.
The 'band' changed a bit, instead of Markus Großkopf Tobias Sammet plays the bass himself. And the drums been take over by Eric Singer who also adds lead vocals to one track. Producer Sascha Paeth joins Henjo Richter on guitars.
The track Lost In Space is a hard rock tune which is a bit in the vein of Bon Jovi, even if it gets more metal after awhile. It's a rock radio tune, quite commercial... And quite different from the first Avantasia works. On Part 1 you also get the ABBA cover Lay All Your Love On Me which is more metallic, but somehow it didn't get me..... ABBA songs get frequently covered and for me one of the best ABBA covers is Eagle by Sargant Fury - and this version of Lay All Your Love On Me isn't getting close to that one. My highlight on Part 1 is Another Angel Down which is a melodic speed metal tune which got its class from Jorn Lande's extraordinary vocals! His raspy voice fits very well to the song and shows again that he is one of the best singers now. On The Story Ain't Over it gets a bit bombastic.... A bit too much Meat Loaf for me... Bob Catley's vocals fit well to the songs, but still this is more rock them metal. Return To Avantasia is just an intermezzo which reminds the listener of the first Avantasia album. Last, but not least on Part 1 you hear the cover version Ride The Sky of Lucifer's Friend - a 70's hard rock classic. This time Eric Singer adds the lead vocals - and it sounds great. Additionally there is the Lost In Space video clip, a making-of and a photo gallery / wallpaper.
Part 2 offers - beside the title track - the metallic Promised Land. And again Jorn Lande is singing - perhaps the best song on the Lost In Space EPs..... And the Norwegian singer got joined by Michael Kiske on this one. Cool track! The Ultravox tune Dancing With Tears In My Eyes is also a track which got covered a few times and the best version in my opinion is the one from Freedom Call. Here I miss the intensity of the original and the airiness of the Freedom Call cover. With Scary Eyes you get another melodic speed metal tune, but I have the feeling I heard it all before... In My Defense is another cover song. A bit kitschy... But the song don't touch me - like the original. The last track on Part 2 is Lost In Space in an epic version recorded live at the studio. Additionally you find on this EP a studio report and a slide show / wallpaper.
Fans of Tobias Sammet will buy this anyway, but who expect something like Avantasia's Metal Opera will probably be a bit disappointed. The songs are more hard rock-based and less metal. The best songs are the ones sung by Jorn Lande. But that means one track on each EP, coz the cover versions are a nice bonus, but not really a good argument to buy the EPs. Let's wait and see what The Scarecrow will bring!


6 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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The Metal Opera Pt. II

The Metal Opera Pt. II
(AFM Records - 2002)


When the first part got released many metal fans were surprised which well-known names Tobias Sammet (Edguy) could gather. Now Part II is in the stores! It starts with a choir before the band joins in and The Seven Angels begins. On an album like these which is part of a bigger whole you can start with a almost 15 minute long song. You might wonder who was involved in this album, right? Mainly the same musicians like on Part I, just that this times 2 new faces shows up in the lines of Avantasia. The new ones are Bob Catley who is known as the singer of Magnum and Eric Singer of Kiss!
Due to the fact that this is the continuing of the story, it's musically more or less the same. The story dictates the musical journey through epic and melodic tales. And so the opening track is presenting the whole spectrum of the sound of Avantasia. It's impossible to pick one or the other track, coz it's like a chapter in a book. And out of context it ain't work too well... But perhaps that's just something I feel...


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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The Metal Opera Pt. I

The Metal Opera Pt. I
(AFM Records - 2000)


Well, anybody can do better? I don't think so! To be honest hearing this album the first time I was floored! For the realization of Avantasia Tobias Sammet gathered great musicians like Kai Hansen, David DeFeis, André Matos, Oliver Hartmann, Rob Rock, Timo Tolkki, Michael Kiske (Still one of my favorite metal singer and I'm wondering why he isn't singing like this anymore, he is one of the best!!), Henjo Richter, Markus Großkopf, Jens Ludwig, Alex Holzwarth and many more. Beside having all this great people involved, the music should make every melodic metal fan happy - it will make you shiver. The best thing is that every single song on this masterpiece can stand on it's own, even if it's part of a metal opera. It would be wrong to pick single songs, coz this has to be listened to in at once. No fillers, just killers. My personal highlights are Reach Out For The Light, Breaking Away, the title track Avantasia - very catchy - and Sign Of The Cross. In my opinion this is the album of the year - and other bands will have a tough time to convince me that they can top this!


10 stars

Katja Henning
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 






The Metal Opera Pt. I

The Metal Opera Pt. I
(AFM Records - 2000)


No doubt, this from Tobias Sammet (Edguy) created metal opera is great! And there will be a second part!
But first about this album... The Metal Opera Pt. 1 is a story which is based in the medieval age and the different characters are all embodied by stars of the metal scene. Their vocals preciously transpose the vision of Tobias Sammet and make this opus a first class release. In this project are involved Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), André Matos (ex-Viper, ex-Angra), David De Feis (Virgin Steele) and Rob Rock (ex-Axel Rudi PELL, ex-Impellitteri) to personify the characters, just to name a few. Also on the instruments are well-known musicians like Henjo Richter (Gamma Ray), Markus Großkopf (Helloween) and Alex Holzwarth. Musically they offer a variety and influences of the different musicians are audible.
The mega hymn Reach Out For The Light is one of the highlights, another one is the monumental The Glory Of Rome. If you like a powerful production, heavy guitars and well-balanced choirs, then you can buy Sammet's metal opera and won't regret it! An album for the premier league of German metal and recommendable without any doubt!


9 stars

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

           ©2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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