Avantasia - _The Metal Opera_
(AFM, 2001)
by: Alvin Wee (8 out of 10)
Power metal's self-proclaimed poster-boy Tobias Sammet finally unveils his highly anticipated magnum opus: a clear-voiced response to David DeFeis' Stateside operatics. Despite the massive expectation surrounding the project, _The Metal Opera_ strikes one as being just another Teutonic power metal excursion, albeit an impressively crafted one. Musicianship is faultless, with the breathtaking line-up comprising names like Henjo Richter and Markus Grosskopf. Talent enough to back up the star-studded vocal cast boasting the throats of Kai Hansen, Rob Rock, Andre Matos and none other than DeFeis himself, among others. Material is almost standard Edguy-chorusy stuff, with the infrequent nod at the disc's operatic theme. "Farewell" stands out as one of the most memorable ditties in recent times, opening with a breathtaking Oriental flute refrain, and though more Broadway musical than classically operatic, the unforgettable chorus is perhaps the most evocative passage on the entire album. That aside, this is still one solid album of German power metal, nothing groundbreaking aside from the extended booklet, but otherwise an important part of every fan's collection.

(article published 12/8/2001)

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