Avantasia is quite a remarkable project. The Metal
Opera Pt.II is quite a remarkable undertaking. The music is a well
crafted blend of influences, including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Queen, and
the modern rock and power metal acts from which the eighteen (yes, eighteen!)
members were freshly plucked. Brainchild of Edguy's Tobias Sammet, and
featuring such vocal talents as Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), David Defeis (Virgin
Steele), Rob Rock (Warrior), Andre Matos (ex-Angra), Sharon Den Adel (Within
Temptation) and Bob Catley (Magnum), the results are nothing to be sniffed
at. Not a classic power metal album, but pretty damn impressive nonetheless.
The rhythmn section (courtesy of Rhapsody's Alex Holzwarth and Kiss's
Eric Singer) comes across very strongly from start to finish, but especially
so in "The Looking Glass" and "The Final Sacrifice."
My look of concentration finally broke into a smirk, followed by an attack
of the giggles as I heard "In Quest For," which just sounded
too much like the music from "Cheers" to be taken seriously.
Some nice pacey, chugging power metal followed, which more than made up
for any weak moments.
I found "Neverland" to be more than a little
reminiscent of Sonata Arctica, and a few other moments in this album sounded
almost Meatloaf-esque. But if there's one thing that really lets the album
down, it's that there are so few sections of the music that make full
use of the available talent within the group. Much of it could quite easily
be recreated with a five-piece band onstage, and despite the pleasant
arrangements, it doesn't have that quality of grandeur or majesty one
would expect. Having said that, I would not turn down a chance to see
this album put to a stage musical.
All related articles (interviews, live, from the vault)