Avantasia

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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
Origin Germany
Genres Progressive metal, symphonic metal, power metal, hard rock
Years active 1999-2002, 2005-present
Labels AFM, Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Edguy, 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, Kamelot, Avalon
Website www.tobiassammet.com
Members Tobias Sammet
Sascha Paeth
Miro
Russell Gilbrook
Past members See: Members

Avantasia is a German progressive 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 temporarily stopped after the release of The Metal Opera Part II in September 2002.

"The Scarecrow" (2005–08)[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]

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]

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

Avantasia 2013, Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Avantasia 2013, Melkweg (Amsterdam)

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]

In a May 2014 interview regarding Edguy's then latest album Space Police: Defenders of the Crown, Tobias said that The Mystery of Time would certainly have a sequel,[18] so the performance at Wacken Open Air might not be a farewell performance.

Members[edit]

The Mystery Of Time Members[edit]

  • Tobias Sammet
    • Lead vocals (2001–present)
    • Bass guitar (2007–present)
    • Keyboards (2001–2002)
  • Sascha Paeth
    • Guitars (2007–present)
    • Producer (2007–present)
  • Russell Gilbrook
    • Drums (2013–present)
  • Miro
    • Keyboards (2007–present)
    • Orchestration (2007–present)

The Wicked Trilogy Members[edit]

  • Tobias Sammet
    • Lead vocals (2001–present)
    • Bass guitar (2007–present)
    • Keyboards (2001–2002)
  • Sascha Paeth
    • Guitars (2007–present)
    • Producer (2007–present)
  • Eric Singer
    • Drums (2002, 2007–2010)
    • Vocals (2007)
  • Miro
    • Keyboards (2007–present)
    • Orchestration (2007–present)

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]

Vocalist Associated bands Avantasia The Metal Opera The Metal Opera Part II Lost in Space Part I Lost in Space Part II The Scarecrow The Wicked Symphony Angel of Babylon The Mystery of Time
Tobias Sammet Edguy all tracks all tracks all tracks all tracks all tracks all tracks all tracks all tracks, except track 8 (Symphony of Life) all tracks
Michael Kiske ex-Helloween, Place Vendome, Kiske/Somerville, Unisonic Reach Out for the Light Reach Out for the Light, Breaking Away, Farewell, Avantasia, The Tower The Seven Angels, No Return Promised Land The Scarecrow, Shelter from the Rain, What Kind of Love Wastelands, Runaway Train Stargazers Where Clock Hands Freeze, Savior In The Clockwork, Dweller In A Dream
Andre Matos ex-Shaaman, ex-Angra, ex-Viper, ex-Symfonia Inside, Sign of the Cross, The Tower The Seven Angels, No Return, Chalice of Agony Blizzard On a Broken Mirror
David DeFeis Virgin Steele Final Sacrifice Serpents in Paradise, The Tower The Seven Angels, The Final Sacrifice
Kai Hansen ex-Helloween, Gamma Ray Inside, Sign of the Cross The Seven Angels, Chalice of Agony
Oliver Hartmann ex-At Vance The Glory of Rome, Sign of the Cross, The Tower The Seven Angels I Don't Believe in Your Love Stargazers
Rob Rock ex-Axel Rudi Pell, ex-Warrior, Driver, Impellitteri The Glory of Rome The Seven Angels, Neverland
Bob Catley Magnum, ex-Hard Rain The Looking Glass, In Quest for The Story Ain't Over Shelter from the Rain, Cry Just a Little Runaway Train Journey to Arcadia The Great Mystery
Sharon den Adel Within Temptation Farewell Into the Unknown
Ralf Zdiarstek Malleus Maleficarum, The Glory of Rome Memory Black Wings
Timo Tolkki ex-Stratovarius, ex-Revolution Renaissance, ex-Symfonia The Tower
Jørn Lande ex-Ark, ex-Masterplan, Jorn Another Angel Down Promised Land The Scarecrow, Another Angel Down, Devil in the Belfry The Wicked Symphony, Runaway Train, Crestfallen, Forever is a Long Time Stargazers, Angel of Babylon, Rat Race, Down in the Dark, Alone I Remember, Promised Land
Amanda Somerville Aina, Kiske/Somerville Lost in Space, The Story Ain't Over Lost in Space, Lost in Space What Kind of Love, Lost in Space
Roy Khan ex-Conception, ex-Kamelot Twisted Mind
Alice Cooper The Toy Master
Eric Singer Kiss, ex-Black Sabbath, ex-Alice Cooper Ride the Sky
Russell Allen Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob The Wicked Symphony, States of Matter Stargazers, Journey to Arcadia
Klaus Meine Scorpions Dying for an Angel
Tim "Ripper" Owens ex-Judas Priest, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Iced Earth Scales of Justice
Jon Oliva Savatage, Jon Oliva's Pain Death is Just a Feeling
Cloudy Yang Symphony of Life Sleepwalking
Joe Lynn Turner ex-Rainbow, ex-Deep Purple, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen Spectres, The Watchmakers' Dream, Savior In The Clockwork, The Great Mystery
Biff Byford Saxon Black Orchid, Savior In The Clockwork, The Great Mystery
Ronnie Atkins Pretty Maids Invoke The Machine
Eric Martin Mr. Big What's Left Of Me

Musicians[edit]

Musician Associated bands Avantasia The Metal Opera The Metal Opera Part II Lost in Space Part I Lost in Space Part II The Scarecrow The Wicked Symphony Angel of Babylon The Mystery of Time
Tobias Sammet Edguy Keyboards (all) Keyboards (all) Keyboards (all)
Bass (10)
Bass (all) Bass (all) Bass (all) Bass (all) Bass (all) Bass (all)
Henjo Richter Gamma Ray Guitars (all) Guitars (all) Guitars (all) Lead guitar (3) Lead guitar (2, 3, 4) Lead guitar (2, 3, 6, 7, 8) Lead guitar (10)
Markus Grosskopf Helloween Bass (all) Bass (all) Bass (all)
Alex Holzwarth Rhapsody of Fire, ex-Angra Drums (all) Drums (all) Drums (all) Drums (3, 7, 8, 10) Drums (1, 2, 3, 11)
Jens Ludwig Edguy Lead guitar (12, 13) Lead guitar (5, 9)
Timo Tolkki ex-Stratovarius, ex-Revolution Renaissance, ex-Symfonia Lead guitar (1, 10)
Norman Meiritz Acoustic guitar (6) Rhythm guitar (10)
Frank Tischer Piano (11) Piano (1, 4, 7)
Sascha Paeth ex-Heavens Gate, Aina Guitars (all) Guitars (all) Guitars (all) Guitars (all) Guitars (all) Guitars (all)
Eric Singer KISS, ex-Black Sabbath, ex-Alice Cooper Drums (10) Drums (all) Drums (all) Drums (all) Drums (2, 4, 6) Drums (5, 7, 9, 10)
Michael "Miro" Rodenberg Aina, Kamelot Keyboards (all) Keyboards (all) Keyboards (all) Keyboards (all) Keyboards (all except track 2) Keyboards (all)
Kai Hansen ex-Helloween, Gamma Ray, ex-Iron Savior Lead guitar (3)
Rudolf Schenker Scorpions Lead guitar (10)
Bruce Kulick ex-Kiss, Grand Funk Railroad Lead guitar (6, 11) Lead guitar (5, 9, 11) Lead guitar (3, 6, 10)
Oliver Hartmann ex-At Vance Lead guitar (2, 8) Lead guitar (1, 2, 3) Lead guitar (4, 7)
Felix Bohnke Edguy Drums (1, 5, 9 11) Drums (4, 6, 8)
Jens Johansson Stratovarius, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen Keyboards (2)
Eddy Wrapiprou Edguy Keyboards (all)
Simon Oberender Organ (11) Organ (9)
Russell Gilbrook Uriah Heep Drums (all)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen Ayreon, Star One, Guilt Machine, Ambeon, ex-Stream of Passion, ex-Vengeance, ex-Bodine Lead guitar (2)
Ferdy Doernberg Axel Rudi Pell Hammond Organ (2)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
GER
[19]
AUT
[20]
BEL
(Vl)

[21]
BEL
(Wa)

[22]
ESP
[23]
FIN
[24]
FR
[25]
NL
[26]
NOR
[27]
SWE
[28]
SWI
[29]
The Metal Opera
  • Released: 22 January 2001
  • Label: AFM Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[30]
35 36 118 48
The Metal Opera Part II
  • Released: 29 October 2002
  • Label: AFM Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[31]
17 46 26 64 55 17 94
The Scarecrow 8 16 27 18 26 57 36 10 17
The Wicked Symphony
  • Released: 3 April 2010
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD, digital download[33]
2 9 32 18 74 22 14 7
Angel of Babylon
  • Released: 3 April 2010
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD, digital download[35]
The Mystery of Time
  • Released: 29 March 2013
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD, digital download[37]
2 11 97 70 29 9 61 85 19 9 5
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
GER
[19]
The Flying Opera
  • Released: 18 March 2011
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD, digital download[39]
18
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Video albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
SWE
[41]
SWI
[42]
NL
[43]
The Flying Opera
  • Released: 18 March 2011
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: DVD
1 3 30
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

EPs[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
GER
[19]
FR
[44]
Lost in Space Part I
  • Released: 19 November 2007
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD
9 66
Lost in Space Part II
  • Released: 19 November 2007
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD
69
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions
AUT
[45]
"Avantasia" 2000
"Lost in Space" 2007 48
"Carry me Over"[46]
"Dying for an Angel"[47] 2010
"Sleepwalking"[48] 2013
"'Spectres" 2014
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

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". 
  18. ^ "Interview – Tobias Sammet, Edguy – April 2014". 100% Rock Magazine. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  19. ^ a b c "officialcharts.de". 
  20. ^ http://austriancharts.at/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=a
  21. ^ http://www.ultratop.be/nl/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=a
  22. ^ http://www.ultratop.be/fr/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=a
  23. ^ http://spanishcharts.com/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=a
  24. ^ http://finnishcharts.com/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=a
  25. ^ http://lescharts.com/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=a
  26. ^ http://dutchcharts.nl/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=a
  27. ^ http://norwegiancharts.com/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=a
  28. ^ http://swedishcharts.com/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=a
  29. ^ http://hitparade.ch/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=a
  30. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Metal Opera, Pt. I by Avantasia". iTunes. 
  31. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Metal Opera, Pt. II by Avantasia". iTunes. 
  32. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Scarecrow by Avantasia". iTunes. 
  33. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Wicked Symphony by Avantasia". iTunes. 
  34. ^ http://www.metalinsider.net/columns/metal-by-numbers/metal-by-numbers-512-deftones-eye-up-sales
    http://www.metalinsider.net/columns/metal-by-numbers/metal-by-numbers-616-attack-of-the-crabcore
    http://www.metalinsider.net/metal-on-metal/metal-by-numbers-526-exodus-in-good-condition
    http://www.metalinsider.net/columns/metal-by-numbers/metal-by-numbers-519-as-i-lay-dying-continue-their-rise
  35. ^ "iTunes - Music - Angel Of Babylon by Avantasia". iTunes. 
  36. ^ "Metal By Numbers 1/19: Time For Cake And Sodom-y In Worst Week Ever". Metal Insider. 
  37. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Mystery of Time (Deluxe Version) by Avantasia". iTunes. 
  38. ^ http://www.metalinsider.net/columns/metal-by-numbers/metal-by-numbers-529-post-memorial-day-sales
    http://www.metalinsider.net/columns/metal-by-numbers/metal-by-numbers-522-one-of-us-is-killing-album-sales
    http://www.metalinsider.net/columns/metal-by-numbers/metal-by-numbers-515-unstoppable-sales
    http://www.metalinsider.net/columns/metal-by-numbers/metal-by-numbers-58-whats-with-him
  39. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Flying Opera - Around The World In 20 Days (Live) by Avantasia". iTunes. 
  40. ^ "Metal By Numbers 6/15: Still Causing Hysteria All These Years". Metal Insider. 
  41. ^ "Sverigetopplistan - Sveriges Officiella Topplista". 
  42. ^ http://hitparade.ch/charts/musik-dvd/03-04-2011
  43. ^ http://dutchcharts.nl/weekchart.asp?cat=d&year=2011&date=20110326
  44. ^ http://lescharts.com/search.asp?search=Avantasia&cat=s
  45. ^ http://austriancharts.at/search.asp?search=avantasia&cat=s
  46. ^ "iTunes - Music - Carry Me Over (Download Single) by Avantasia". iTunes. 
  47. ^ "iTunes - Music - Dying For An Angel by Avantasia". iTunes. 
  48. ^ "iTunes - Music - Sleepwalking - Single by Avantasia". iTunes. 

External links[edit]