Avantasia

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Avantasia
Avantasia - Fulda - 2010-12-18.jpg
Avantasia in Fulda, Germany - December 12, 2010
Background information
OriginGermany
Genrespower metal, symphonic metal, heavy metal, hard rock
Years active1999–present
LabelsAFM, Nuclear Blast
Associated actsEdguy, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Michael Kiske, Andre Matos, Stratovarius, At Vance, Magnum, Rhapsody Of Fire, Virgin Steele, Within Temptation, Impellitteri, Heavens Gate, Aina, Masterplan, Jorn, Scorpions, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Epica, Place Vendome, Revolution Renaissance, Symphony X, Judas Priest, Savatage, Jon Oliva's Pain, Unisonic, Uriah Heep, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Saxon, Pretty Maids, Mr. Big, Avalon
Websitewww.tobiassammet.com
MembersTobias Sammet
Sascha Paeth
Miro
Russell Gilbrook
Past membersSee: Members
 
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For other uses, see Avantasia (disambiguation).
Avantasia
Avantasia - Fulda - 2010-12-18.jpg
Avantasia in Fulda, Germany - December 12, 2010
Background information
OriginGermany
Genrespower metal, symphonic metal, heavy metal, hard rock
Years active1999–present
LabelsAFM, Nuclear Blast
Associated actsEdguy, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Michael Kiske, Andre Matos, Stratovarius, At Vance, Magnum, Rhapsody Of Fire, Virgin Steele, Within Temptation, Impellitteri, Heavens Gate, Aina, Masterplan, Jorn, Scorpions, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Epica, Place Vendome, Revolution Renaissance, Symphony X, Judas Priest, Savatage, Jon Oliva's Pain, Unisonic, Uriah Heep, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Saxon, Pretty Maids, Mr. Big, Avalon
Websitewww.tobiassammet.com
MembersTobias Sammet
Sascha Paeth
Miro
Russell Gilbrook
Past membersSee: Members

Avantasia is a German heavy/power metal supergroup project created by Tobias Sammet, vocalist of the band Edguy. Avantasia is often referred to as a rock opera, as it features the participation of many renowned vocalists and musicians.

The project's title is a portmanteau of the words "avalon" and "fantasia" ("fantasy") and describes "a world beyond human imagination" (a quotation from the booklet).

The project consists of three different installments. The first is a self-titled single and two full-length albums with the subtitle The Metal Opera. The second consists of the EPs Lost in Space Part I & II and the The Wicked Trilogy, composed of the albums The Scarecrow, The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon. The third installment begins with the full-length album The Mystery of Time.[1]

History[edit]

"The Metal Operas" (1999–2002)[edit]

In Spring 1999, during Edguy's Theater of Salvation tour, Tobias Sammet began to write down his ideas for a metal opera, a concept album with many guest musicians. When the tour finished he carried this plan out, recruiting well-known metal vocalists like Michael Kiske, Andre Matos, Kai Hansen, Rob Rock, David Defeis, Sharon den Adel, Bob Catley and Oliver Hartmann. The project was recorded with a core band of four members, including Sammet on keyboards and orchestrations, Henjo Richter on guitar, Markus Grosskopf on bass and Alex Holzwarth on drums. In 2001, a self-titled single and the first full-length album, The Metal Opera, were released.[2] The project was completed with the release of The Metal Opera Part II in September 2002.

"The Scarecrow" (2006–08)[edit]

At the end of 2006, Sammet confirmed the rumours of a third Avantasia album, due for release in 2008. Two EPs named Lost in Space Part I and Part II were released on November 19, 2007, while the full-length album, The Scarecrow, was released on January 25, 2008. The Scarecrow marked the first chapter of "The Wicked Trilogy" concept and was also the first of many Avantasia releases to feature Sascha Paeth on the role of main guitarist and producer. The album included guest performances by drummer Eric Singer, guitarists Henjo Richter and Rudolf Schenker and singers Jørn Lande, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley, Alice Cooper, Roy Khan, Amanda Somerville and Oliver Hartmann.[3]

"The Scarecrow World Tour" (2008)[edit]

After the release of the The Scarecrow, Tobias Sammet was invited to perform a headlining show at Wacken Open Air, an offer that producer/guitarist Sascha Paeth convinced him to accept. That led to 13 shows between July 5 and August 13. The shows at Masters of Rock and Wacken Open Air were recorded and the live DVD The Flying Opera, based on the footage, was released in March 2011.

"The Wicked Symphony" & "Angel of Babylon" (2009–10)[edit]

In November 2009, Sammet announced that he was recording two new albums, The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon, to be released on April 3, 2010.[4] The concept of the albums was a continuation of The Scarecrow story and these three albums together are often referred to as "The Wicked Trilogy".[5] The special guests included drummers Eric Singer, Alex Holzwarth and Felix Bohnke, guitarists Bruce Kulick and Oliver Hartmann, keyboardist Jens Johansson and vocalists Jørn Lande, Russell Allen, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley, Klaus Meine, Tim "Ripper" Owens, Jon Oliva, Andre Matos, Cloudy Yang and Ralf Zdiarstek.[6] The Scarecrow, The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon have scored high positions in various international music charts.[7]

"The Metal Opera Comes to Town Tour" (2010–11)[edit]

Avantasia 2010, Kaufbeuren (Germany)
Avantasia 2010, Kaufbeuren (Germany)

A 12 show tour of Europe, South America and Asia took place during December 2010, with the exception of one concert at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2011. The concerts lasted for almost three hours and many of them were sold out days before.[8] The ensemble was almost the same as on The Scarecrow Tour in 2008, with two changes. Andre Matos was replaced by ex-Helloween and current Unisonic singer Michael Kiske. With Kai Hansen also participating on this tour, there were a lot of instances when the two ex-Helloween members shared the same stage. The second change was the fact that Cloudy Yang was not part of the line-up.

Both tours were closely documented by Amanda Somerville on her YouTube channel.[9] The videos show various interesting backstage moments such as rehearsals, cancelled flights, or the ensemble travelling by a regular train.

"The Mystery of Time" (2012-13)[edit]

Avantasia 2013, Melkweg (Amsterdam)

In August 2012 Sammet announced that "I didn‘t foresee how much I need Avantasia when I decided to finish this chapter of my life in 2011. After the worldwide success of the latest studio releases, an arena world tour that was sold out pretty much everywhere, collaborations with childhood heroes...I 'knew' that I had said everything I could possibly say in the name of Avantasia. But that's not what Avantasia is all about. I wanna create more great music, I wanna create more fantasy-worlds, the bigger and the more epic, the better. And listening to the material that I have created for this forthcoming chapter in the history of Avantasia, I know there is no way I am not going to do it! I have got the feeling and the certainty, that this is absolutely meant to happen and to be."[10]

During December 2012, it was revealed on Sammet's Avantasia website that the new album would be called The Mystery of Time and was due for release on March 30, 2013. The Mystery of Time marked the beginning of a new concept and was the first Avantasia release to feature the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg. The album included guest performances by drummer Russell Gilbrook, guitarists Bruce Kulick, Oliver Hartmann and Arjen Anthony Lucassen, while the guest vocalists were Joe Lynn Turner, Biff Byford, Michael Kiske, Ronnie Atkins, Eric Martin, Bob Catley and Cloudy Yang.[11][12] The Mystery Of Time scored the highest positions of any Avantasia release in several international music charts and even enabled the project to enter the US Billboard charts for the very first time.[13]

Avantasia 2013, Melkweg (Amsterdam)

"The Mystery World Tour" and possible last show (2013-14)[edit]

Avantasia's biggest world tour took place between April and August 2013. The tour consisted of 30 concerts and included 7 headlining festival appearances in Europe, one festival performance in Canada and three hour long shows in South America, Japan, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Holland.[14][15]

According to Sammet: "I wanna put on the biggest thing you have ever seen, I wanna bring more vocalists, play longer shows, and just make it a giant Rock Opera. I love to headline festivals, you run over people in 90 minutes and kick ass. But I also like to do our own Avantasia indoor tour because we can make it much more Avantasia oriented and play almost three hours...It will be huge."[16]

Avantasia's touring ensemble included Sascha Paeth (guitars), Oliver Hartmann (guitars, vocals), Felix Bohnke (drums), Andre Neygenfind (bass), Miro (Keyboards) and vocalists Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley, Ronnie Atkins, Eric Martin, Thomas Rettke and Amanda Somerville.

With two shows remaining for the end of the tour, Tobias held a press conference in which he announced that Avantasia will make a headline performance at Wacken Open Air Festival in 2014. Tobias also suggested that this could be a farewell performance and that no further live Avantasia activities are planned for the near future:[17]

There won't be any further Avantasia activities, it'll be just a single show. I may be back with an idea and go for it somewhere in the distant future, I won't say farewell is forever this time, but I have no clue as to when and where and who would be able to join us and what it would sound and look like, if we'd ever do this again in a couple of years. So, get your tickets for Wacken 2014 cause it'll be your last chance to catch us, if not forever at least for some years. See you, T

Members[edit]

The Mystery Of Time Members[edit]

The Wicked Trilogy Members[edit]

The Metal Opera members[edit]

The Scarecrow World Tour (2008)[edit]

The Metal Opera Comes to Town Tour (2010)[edit]

Avantasia 2010, Stockholm (Sweden)

The Mystery World Tour (2013)[edit]

Vocalists[edit]

VocalistAssociated bandsAvantasiaThe Metal OperaThe Metal Opera Part IILost in Space Part ILost in Space Part IIThe ScarecrowThe Wicked SymphonyAngel of BabylonThe Mystery of Time
Tobias SammetEdguyall tracksall tracksall tracksall tracksall tracksall tracksall tracksall tracks, except track 8 (Symphony of Life)all tracks
Michael Kiskeex-Helloween, Place Vendome, Kiske/Somerville, UnisonicReach Out for the LightReach Out for the Light, Breaking Away, Farewell, Avantasia, The TowerThe Seven Angels, No ReturnPromised LandThe Scarecrow, Shelter from the Rain, What Kind of LoveWastelands, Runaway TrainStargazersWhere Clock Hands Freeze, Savior In The Clockwork, Dweller In A Dream
Andre Matosex-Shaaman, ex-Angra, ex-Viper, ex-SymfoniaInside, Sign of the Cross, The TowerThe Seven Angels, No Return, Chalice of AgonyBlizzard On a Broken Mirror
David DeFeisVirgin SteeleFinal SacrificeSerpents in Paradise, The TowerThe Seven Angels, The Final Sacrifice
Kai Hansenex-Helloween, Gamma RayInside, Sign of the CrossThe Seven Angels, Chalice of Agony
Oliver Hartmannex-At VanceThe Glory of Rome, Sign of the Cross, The TowerThe Seven AngelsI Don't Believe in Your LoveStargazers
Rob Rockex-Axel Rudi Pell, ex-Warrior, Driver, ImpellitteriThe Glory of RomeThe Seven Angels, Neverland
Bob CatleyMagnum, ex-Hard RainThe Looking Glass, In Quest forThe Story Ain't OverShelter from the Rain, Cry Just a LittleRunaway TrainJourney to ArcadiaThe Great Mystery
Sharon den AdelWithin TemptationFarewellInto the Unknown
Ralf ZdiarstekMalleus Maleficarum, The Glory of RomeMemoryBlack Wings
Timo Tolkkiex-Stratovarius, ex-Revolution Renaissance, ex-SymfoniaThe Tower
Jørn Landeex-Ark, ex-Masterplan, JornAnother Angel DownPromised LandThe Scarecrow, Another Angel Down, Devil in the BelfryThe Wicked Symphony, Runaway Train, Crestfallen, Forever is a Long TimeStargazers, Angel of Babylon, Rat Race, Down in the Dark, Alone I Remember, Promised Land
Amanda SomervilleAina, Kiske/SomervilleLost in Space, The Story Ain't OverLost in Space, Lost in SpaceWhat Kind of Love, Lost in Space
Roy Khanex-Conception, ex-KamelotTwisted Mind
Alice CooperThe Toy Master
Eric SingerKiss, ex-Black Sabbath, ex-Alice CooperRide the Sky
Russell AllenSymphony XThe Wicked Symphony, States of MatterStargazers, Journey to Arcadia
Klaus MeineScorpionsDying for an Angel
Tim "Ripper" Owensex-Judas Priest, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Iced EarthScales of Justice
Jon OlivaSavatage, Jon Oliva's PainDeath is Just a Feeling
Cloudy YangSymphony of LifeSleepwalking
Joe Lynn Turnerex-Rainbow, ex-Deep Purple, ex-Yngwie MalmsteenSpectres, The Watchmakers' Dream, Savior In The Clockwork, The Great Mystery
Biff ByfordSaxonBlack Orchid, Savior In The Clockwork, The Great Mystery
Ronnie AtkinsPretty MaidsInvoke The Machine
Eric MartinMr. BigWhat's Left Of Me

Musicians[edit]

MusicianAssociated bandsAvantasiaThe Metal OperaThe Metal Opera Part IILost in Space Part ILost in Space Part IIThe ScarecrowThe Wicked SymphonyAngel of BabylonThe Mystery of Time
Tobias SammetEdguyKeyboards (all)Keyboards (all)Keyboards (all)
Bass (10)
Bass (all)Bass (all)Bass (all)Bass (all)Bass (all)Bass (all)
Henjo RichterGamma RayGuitars (all)Guitars (all)Guitars (all)Lead guitar (3)Lead guitar (2, 3, 4)Lead guitar (2, 3, 6, 7, 8)Lead guitar (10)
Markus GrosskopfHelloweenBass (all)Bass (all)Bass (all)
Alex HolzwarthRhapsody of Fire, ex-AngraDrums (all)Drums (all)Drums (all)Drums (3, 7, 8, 10)Drums (1, 2, 3, 11)
Jens LudwigEdguyLead guitar (12, 13)Lead guitar (5, 9)
Timo Tolkkiex-Stratovarius, ex-Revolution Renaissance, ex-SymfoniaLead guitar (1, 10)
Norman MeiritzAcoustic guitar (6)Rhythm guitar (10)
Frank TischerPiano (11)Piano (1, 4, 7)
Sascha Paethex-Heavens Gate, AinaGuitars (all)Guitars (all)Guitars (all)Guitars (all)Guitars (all)Guitars (all)
Eric SingerKISS, ex-Black Sabbath, ex-Alice CooperDrums (10)Drums (all)Drums (all)Drums (all)Drums (2, 4, 6)Drums (5, 7, 9, 10)
Michael "Miro" RodenbergAina, KamelotKeyboards (all)Keyboards (all)Keyboards (all)Keyboards (all)Keyboards (all except track 2)Keyboards (all)
Kai Hansenex-Helloween, Gamma Ray, ex-Iron SaviorLead guitar (3)
Rudolf SchenkerScorpionsLead guitar (10)
Bruce Kulickex-Kiss, Grand Funk RailroadLead guitar (6, 11)Lead guitar (5, 9, 11)Lead guitar (3, 6, 10)
Oliver Hartmannex-At VanceLead guitar (2, 8)Lead guitar (1, 2, 3)Lead guitar (4, 7)
Felix BohnkeEdguyDrums (1, 5, 9 11)Drums (4, 6, 8)
Jens JohanssonStratovarius, ex-Yngwie MalmsteenKeyboards (2)
Eddy WrapiprouEdguyKeyboards (all)
Simon OberenderOrgan (11)Organ (9)
Russell GilbrookUriah HeepDrums (all)
Arjen Anthony LucassenAyreon, Star One, Guilt Machine, Ambeon, ex-Stream of Passion, ex-Vengeance, ex-BodineLead guitar (2)
Ferdy DoernbergAxel Rudi PellHammond Organ (2)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

AlbumPeak positions
GER
AUT
BEL
(Vl)

BEL
(Wa)

ESP
FIN
FR
NL
NOR
SWE
SWI
The Metal Opera
  • Date released: 2001
353611848
The Metal Opera Part II
  • Date released: 2002
17462664551794
The Scarecrow
  • Date released: 2008
81627182657361017
The Wicked Symphony /
Angel of Babylon
  • Type: Double CD
  • Date released: 2010
2932187422147
The Mystery of Time
  • Date released: 2013
211977029961851995

Live albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

Compilations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Avantasia reviews, music, news". sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  2. ^ "Avantasia - The Metal Opera Review". The Metal Crypt. 2001-07-16. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  3. ^ Tobias Sammet :: Avantasia :: Official Web[dead link]
  4. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - AVANTASIA: New Album Titles Announced". Roadrunnerrecords.com. 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  5. ^ "Avantasia Book - The Wicked Trilogy". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  6. ^ "Avantasia :: Official Web". Tobias Sammet. 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  7. ^ "Avantasia :: Official Web". Tobias Sammet. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  8. ^ "Avantasia :: Official Web". Tobias Sammet. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  9. ^ amandasomerville (2011-03-16). "Channel of user amandasomerville". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  10. ^ bravewords.com. "> News > AVANTASIA - New Epic In The Making". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  11. ^ "Tobias Sammet :: Avantasia :: Official Web". 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  12. ^ "Avantasia - The Mystery Of Time - Listening Session - Kolumne bei Musikreviews.de - Metal, Progressive und Rock". Musikreviews.de. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  13. ^ by EvilG (2013-05-10). "News, Interviews, Concert Reviews » AVANTASIA “THE MYSTERY OF TIME” DEBUTS AT #9 ON BILLBOARD “HEAT SEEKERS” CHART, #33 ON “HARD ROCK”". Metal-rules.com. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  14. ^ "Avantasia :: Official Web". Tobias Sammet. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  15. ^ "Artikel | AVANTASIA: Interview mit Tobias Sammet". Powermetal.De. 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  16. ^ "Avantasia :: Official Web". Tobias Sammet. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  17. ^ Avantasia to headline Wacken Open Air 2014

External links[edit]