AVALAND – THEATER OF SORCERY

Spread the metal:
          AVALAND – Theater of Sorcery

Reviewed: 04 January 2021

Release Date: 2 April 2021, Rockshots Records

Rating: 3.5/5

Review by: Matt Dreadful

 

Every hero needs a journey and every journey starts with a call to an adventure. Avaland’s journey starts with the Theater of Sorcery which is the name of their debut album that they describe as a ‘theatrical symphonic metal adventure’. This epic journey takes place in the mythical world of Avaland and more explicitly, it revolves around Adam Wilstorm, a young sorcerer who endeavours to restore the light to the kingdom. With rich folklore imagery and esoteric symbolism, Avaland has opened the gates of their imagination and bring to the world their vision.

The whole album is brimming with energy and creativity from the storytelling to the composition and the structure of the songs. Every track is unique and distinct, both vocally and melodically, which creates the feeling of a prolonged trajectory and helps the listeners immerse themselves in the wondrous world of Avaland. The lyrics are well thought out and rich in context and packed with emotion. They reinforce the aspect of fantasy quite beautifully all while painting us the struggles and the triumphs of the main hero which are brought to life by the vocals of Adrien G. Gzagg and his featured guests. One of the tracks that I personally found interesting is War of Minds, as for me it stood out from the rest tracklist. It perfectly captured the sense of wonder allowing the listener to be drawn to the world of Avaland. The vocals of Adrien alongside those of Zaher Zorgati and Madie who I believe incarnate the roles of the main character’s Inner Voice and Guardian Angel respectively were powerful, captivating and had a good balance between them considering the genre (metal opera).

These collaborations are throughout the album as each guest plays a different character in this symphonic adventure and their role is part of the story. However, these collaborations seem to steal our attention from the main character which is the lead singer and when you lose sight of the hero in a journey, the adventure seems confusing. As a debut album, artists should seek to differentiate themselves while showing us at the same time who they are or what they want us to get away from them. Gzagg is somehow shunned by the guests which I understand are important to the story they want to tell but their presence could have been more symbolic rather than symbiotic. The story is after all, about a young sorcerer, not his inner voice or his guardian angel. As I said above, each song sounds different from one another but this doesn’t mean it’s always positive. Maybe it was the variation of the vocals and the alternations of style but halfway through the tracklist, I wasn’t sure whether the songs come from the same album. For me, it felt that the songs were divided into acts of an opera where they should have been treated as a progression or a build-up. As it is their debut album, they should have sought to impress us with their uniqueness both musically and conceptually but instead, it feels they might have fallen victims of their creative overambition.

Avaland is a group of extremely talented and creative musicians. They are very passionate about what they do and it translates to their work. Theater of Sorcery, is a good debut album both conceptually and musically. The quality and the creative force behind the album is truly amazing and I’m sure there are only getting started.

 

Music Video:

“I started my heavy metal life as a great fan of Avantasia and Ayreon. I was impressed by those big teams Tobias Sammet and Arjen Lucassen could create. I quickly knew I would make something like this in my life! It wasn’t easy to find musicians who were crazy enough to follow me in this adventure, and I thank them so much for their trust in this project, especially guitarist Christophe Feutrier (guitars) my partner in crime for Avaland for 5 years now. I like to also add that Avaland is not a “classic” band, it’s a Metal-Opera and when Covid is over, I plan to take it the stage with many vocalists to perform this theatrical tale of an epic and magical story. To sum it up, Avaland is a modern-age opera to not just fans of metal, but beyond!”

“This song is a great introduction to the world of Avaland, like a kind of hymn. It teases what’s gonna happen throughout the album, it’s an invitation for an epic and magical journey. Adam, the main character is about to share his story. The song also introduces the character The Master Of Sorcery performed by Emmanuelson (Rising Steel, Ellipsis), who helped me a lot with this album and coached me to do my best. He is a mentor to me so it was obvious to have him as the Sorcerer who will teach Adam to control his power. He and I share a great passion for music and I’m really proud to open the Avaland story with him. For the title track’s guitar solo, I asked Ricky Marx (Now Or Never, ex-Pretty Maids), because after seeing him play with Now Or Never, I noticed something mystical in his guitar feelings that I found really cool, he’s got this old school touch that I admire. I really love the magic of his solo on this track!” – Adrien G. Gzagg

 

FEBRUARY 15 : Rise From The Ashes

MARCH 12: Let the Wind Blow

APRIL 2: Holy Kingdom Of Fools

 

Digital Album Pre Sale: HERE

Physical Album Pre Order: HERE

 

Track Listing:

  1. Theater of Sorcery
  2. Gypsum Flower
  3. Let the Wind Blow
  4. Storyteller
  5. Escape to Paradise
  6. Holy Kingdom of Fools
  7. Never Let me Walk Alone
  8. Deja Vu
  9. I’ll Be Ready For Your Love
  10. War of Minds
  11. Rise From The Ashes

 

Band Line-up:

Adrien G. Gzagg – Composer, Writer, Lead Singer, Keyboards and Orchestrations

Christophe Feutrier – Guitar

Lucas Martinez – Guitar

Camille Souffron – Bass/Double-Bass

Leo Mouchonnay – Drums

 

Guests / Characters:

Adrien G. Gzagg – Adam Wilstorm

Zaher Zorgati (Myrath) – Adam’s Inner Voice

Jeff Kanji – Jacob Reiser, Adam’s Best Friend

Heli Andrea (Mobius/OLANE) – Solveig Elweiss, Adam’s Beloved

Emmanuelson (Rising Steel/Ellipsis) – The Master Of Sorcery

Zak Stevens (Ex-Savatage/TSO/Archon Angel) – The Storyteller, appearing from the past

Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear/ex-Gamma Ray) – Aloïsius Jestens, King Of Avaland

Madie (Nightmare/Faith In Agony) – The Guardian Angel

 

Band Websites:

www.avaland-themetalopera.com

Facebook.com/avaland.metal.opera

Instagram.com/avaland_metal_opera

Twitter.com/AvalandMetal

, , , , , , , ,

About Metal-Rules.com UK Team

View all posts by Metal-Rules.com UK Team →