From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Avantasia (disambiguation).
Avantasia - Fulda - 2010-12-18.jpg
Avantasia in Fulda, Germany - December 12, 2010
Background information
Origin Germany
Genres Symphonic metal, progressive metal, power metal, hard rock
Years active 1999–2003, 2006–2014, 2015–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
Felix Bohnke
Past members See: Members

Avantasia is a German symphonic power metal supergroup project created by Tobias Sammet, vocalist of the band Edguy. It has been characterised as a rock opera, as it features various vocalists and musicians and it consists of concept albums. The name is a portmanteau of the words "avalon" and "fantasia" ("fantasy") and describes "a world beyond human imagination" (a quotation from the booklet).

The project can be divided into three periods of activity. The first, 1999-2002, saw the release of a self-titled single and two full-length albums with the subtitle The Metal Opera. The second, 2005-2011, 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 period, 2013-2016, begins with the album The Mystery of Time and ends with the Ghostlights release.[1]


The Metal Operas (1999–2002)[edit]

In Spring 1999, during Edguy's 'Theater of Salvation' tour, Tobias Sammet began to outline his ideas for a metal opera to be realised as a concept album featuring a number of guest musicians. When the tour finished he began collaborating with metal vocalists like Michael Kiske, Andre Matos, Kai Hansen, Rob Rock, David Defeis, Sharon den Adel, Bob Catley and Oliver Hartmann to record the project. At this stage the core band consisted of four members, Sammet on keyboards, 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 went on hiatus 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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5] 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".[6] 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.[7] The Scarecrow, The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon have scored high positions in various international music charts.[8]

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

Avantasia live in Stockholm (Sweden) in 2010

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.[9] 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.[10] 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."[11]

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.[12][13] 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.[14]

The Mystery World Tour (2013-14)[edit]

Avantasia live in São Paulo (Brazil) in 2013

Avantasia's second 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.[15][16]

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."[17]

Avantasia live in São Paulo (Brazil) in 2013

With two shows remaining at the end of the tour, Sammet held a press conference in which he announced that Avantasia would perform a headline performance at Wacken Open Air Festival in 2014. He also indicated that this would be a farewell performance as no further Avantasia activities were planned for the near future:[18]

Ghostlights and Ghostlights World Tour (2014–present)[edit]

In a May 2014 interview regarding Edguy's then latest album Space Police: Defenders of the Crown, Tobias said that The Mystery of Time hinted at a possible sequel.[19] The new album, entitled Ghostlights, was released on January 29, 2016. The album featured guest performances by guitarists Bruce Kulick and Oliver Hartmann, while the guest vocalists were Dee Snider, Geoff Tate, Jorn Lande, Michael Kiske, Sharon den Adel, Bob Catley, Ronnie Atkins, Robert Mason, Marco Hietala and Herbie Langhans.[20]

The "biggest world tour so far" from Avantasia was announced to take place between March and June 2016. Avantasia's website mentioned it would consist of approximately 30 concerts.[21]


Current core members[edit]

Former core members[edit]


Main article: Avantasia discography

Studio albums[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. ^ Sinister, Barely (31 March 2014). "Interview: Tobias Sammet from Edguy". new-transcendence.com/. 
  4. ^ Listing of The Scarecrow album on Discogs.com, (accessed 16 March 2015).
  5. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - AVANTASIA: New Album Titles Announced". Roadrunnerrecords.com. 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  6. ^ "Avantasia Book - The Wicked Trilogy". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  7. ^ "Avantasia :: Official Web". Tobias Sammet. 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  8. ^ "Avantasia :: Official Web". Tobias Sammet. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  9. ^ "Avantasia :: Official Web". Tobias Sammet. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  10. ^ amandasomerville (2011-03-16). "Channel of user amandasomerville". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  11. ^ bravewords.com. "> News > AVANTASIA - New Epic In The Making". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  12. ^ "Tobias Sammet :: Avantasia :: Official Web". 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  13. ^ "Avantasia - The Mystery Of Time - Listening Session - Kolumne bei Musikreviews.de - Metal, Progressive und Rock". Musikreviews.de. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Avantasia :: Official Web". Tobias Sammet. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  16. ^ "Artikel | AVANTASIA: Interview mit Tobias Sammet". Powermetal.De. 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  17. ^ "Avantasia :: Official Web". Tobias Sammet. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  18. ^ "Avantasia to headline Wacken Open Air 2014". 
  19. ^ "Interview – Tobias Sammet, Edguy – April 2014". 100% Rock Magazine. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  20. ^ http://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/news/details/4088681.71066.avantasia-more-details-on-raquo-ghostlights-laquo.html
  21. ^ http://www.tobiassammet.com/eng/tour.php
  22. ^ "Avantasia - AVANTASIA - NEW ALBUM & TOUR 2016 Big news:...". Facebook. Retrieved 2015-10-25. 

External links[edit]