Music / Avantasia

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Tobias Sammet's Avantasia is a Power Metal "band" from Fulda, Germany, and the solo side-project of Edguy's Tobias Sammet started in 1999. All of Avantasia's albums are Rock Operas and are currently split between three different stories: The Metal Opera, The Wicked Trilogy and The Mystery of Time. Avantasia was named as a portmanteau of Avalon and Fantasia for the world that The Metal Opera takes place in. With some of the guests (including Alice Cooper and Klaus Meine) that appear on the albums, one might come to the conclusion that the project is more or less Sammet's way of showing off his connections if it weren't for the fact that the music is so damn cool. Speaking of guest members, if you can think of a power metal vocalist, there's a very good chance that they've contributed to Avantasia.

Compare and contrast Ayreon.

Members:
  • Tobias Sammet: Vocals, bass (from 2007), keyboard (until 2002), (1999-present)

The Wicked Trilogy backing band:
  • Sascha Paeth: Guitar, production (2006-present)
  • Eric Singer: Drums (2006-present)
  • Miro: Keyboard, orchestration (Real name Michael Rodenberg, 2006-present)

The Metal Opera backing band:
  • Henjo Richter: Guitar (2000-2002, 2007-2008, 2010)
  • Markus Grosskopf: Bass (2000-2002)
  • Alex Holzwrath: Drums (2000-2002, 2009-2010)

Contributing vocalists:
  • Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) - The Metal Opera, The Metal Opera Pt. II, The Scarecrow, The Wicked Symphony, Angel of Babylon, The Mystery of Time, and Ghostlights
  • David DeFeis (Virgin Steele) - The Metal Opera and The Metal Opera Pt. II
  • Ralf Zdiarstek - The Metal Opera, The Metal Opera Pt. II and The Wicked Symphony''
  • Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) - The Metal Opera, The Metal Opera Pt. II, Ghostlights
  • Rob Rock (Impelliteri) - The Metal Opera and The Metal Opera Pt. II
  • Oliver Hartmann (ex-At Vance) - The Metal Opera, The Metal Opera Pt. II and The Scarecrow
  • Andre Matos (ex-Shaman, ex-Angra, ex-Viper) - The Metal Opera, The Metal Opera Pt. II and The Wicked Symphony
  • Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween) - The Metal Opera and The Metal Opera Pt. II
  • Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius) - The Metal Opera and The Metal Opera Pt. II
  • Bob Catley (Magnum) - The Metal Opera Pt. II, The Scarecrow, The Wicked Symphony, Angel of Babylon, The Mystery of Time, and Ghostlights
  • Jorn Lande (Jorn, ex-Masterplan, ex-ARK) - The Scarecrow, The Wicked Symphony, Angel of Babylon, and Ghostlights
  • Amanda Sommerville (Aina) - The Scarecrow
  • Roy Khan (ex-Kamelot, ex-Conception) - The Scarecrow
  • Alice Cooper - The Scarecrow
  • Eric Singer (KISS, ex-Black Sabbath, ex-Alice Cooper) - Lost in Space Part I
  • "Sir" Russel Allen (Symphony X) - The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon
  • Jon Oliva (Jon Oliva's Pain, ex-Savatage) - Angel of Babylon
  • Klaus Meine (Scorpions) - The Wicked Symphony
  • Tim "Ripper" Owens (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, ex-Judas Priest, ex-Iced Earth) - The Wicked Symphony
  • Cloudy Yang - Angel of Babylon and The Mystery of Time
  • Peter "Biff" Byford (Saxon) - The Mystery of Time
  • Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) - The Mystery of Time, Ghostlights
  • Eric Martin (Mr. Big) - The Mystery of Time
  • Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow) - The Mystery of Time
  • Geoff Tate (Operation: Mindcrime, ex-Music/{{Queensrÿche}}) - Ghostlights
  • Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) - Ghostlights
  • Marco Hietala (Tarot, Nightwish) - Ghostlights
  • Robert Mason (Warrant, ex-Lynch Mob)
  • Herbie Langhans (Sinbreed, ex-Seventh Avenue)

Contributing Musicians:
  • Guitar:
    • Jens Ludwig (Edguy)
    • Norman Meiritz
    • Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius)
    • Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween)
    • Rudolph Schenker (Scorpions)
    • Bruce Kulick (ex-KISS, Grand Funk Railroad)
    • Oliver Hartmann (ex-At Vance)
    • Arjen A. Lucassen (Ayreon)
  • Piano/Organ/Keyboard:
    • Frank Tischer
    • Jens Johansson (Stratovarius, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force)
    • Simon Oberender

Discography:
  • Studio Albums:
    • The Metal Opera (2000-2002):
      • Part I (2000)
      • Part II (2002)
    • The Wicked Trilogy (2008-2010):
      • Part I: The Scarecrow (2008)
      • Part II: The Wicked Symphony (2010, double album with Angel of Babylon)
      • Part III: Angel of Babylon (2010, double album with The Wicked Symphony)
    • The Mystery of Time (2013)
    • Ghostlights (2016)
  • E Ps:
    • Lost In Space Part I (2007)
    • Lost In Space Part II (2007)
  • Live albums:
    • The Flying Opera (2011)

This band may exhibit the following tropes:
  • Anti-Villain: Friar Jakob in The Metal Opera. He spends the better part of the saga on the side of the Corrupt Church, but feels guilt over his betrayal of Gabriel (who he viewed as a son) for his part in their prosecution of Anna. He also begins to express doubt over the church's intentions. This ultimately culminates in an apparent Heel-Face Turn towards the end of Part II.
  • Author Appeal: Sammet's basis for the project is basically an excuse work with all his childhood music idols.
  • Author Avatar: Gabriel, The Scarecrow, and Aaron to some extent.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Arguably, they all feature this to some extent, but it's most prominent in The Wicked Trilogy as almost the entire story can be said to take place in the protagonist's mind.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Metal Opera and The Wicked Trilogy end with Vandroiy dying, but Anna successfully escaping execution in the former, and the protagonist implied to be committed to an asylum in the latter.
  • Call-Back: Many of the lyrics in The Mystery of Time reference an "evil dark tower", which happened to be a villain in The Metal Opera.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Matos' character, elf prince Elderane in The Metal Opera.
  • Cliffhanger: Basically every album except for Angel of Babylon.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Jon Oliva's character in Death Is Just A Feeling. In a Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant kind of way, that is.
  • Concept Album: Everything.
  • Downer Ending: "Lost In Space" from The Scarecrow and "The Edge" from The Wicked Symphony.
  • Epic Rocking: Not as frequently as some of the associates, but there are some, including The Tower, being just a few seconds shy of the 9 minute mark, The Scarecrow with about 11 minutes, The Seven Angels being the longest one with over 14 minutes.
    • Also now there's Savior in the Clockwork and The Great Mystery over 10 minutes and Let the Storm Descend Upon You over 12 minutes.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: The Great Mystery does this with tender piano parts that feel like outros, that then explode for more bombastic sequences and finally the suitably epic ending.
  • Fantastic Catholicism: The Metal Opera includes plenty of papal conspiracy.
  • Girl of My Dreams: The woman in "Sleepwalking" turns out to be a member of the occultists Aaron meets later.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: The entire Wicked Trilogy is essentially this.
  • Goth Rock: "Draconian Love" from Ghostlights has shades of this.
  • Hakuna Matata: "In Quest For".
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: EVERYWHERE. Especially on title track of The Wicked Symphony, which Sammet described in interviews as a three way vocal battle between him, Jorn Lande and Russell Allen, and "Stargazers" from Angel of Babylon, which features those three, plus Michael Kiske.
  • Happy Place: "Journey To Arcadia"
  • Hearing Voices: A significant number of the characters in The Wicked Trilogy and The Mystery of Time are imagined by/an aspect of Sammet's corresponding character.
  • Heavy Mithril: The Metal Opera
  • I Am the Band: Tobias Sammet
  • "I Want" Song: Almost all of them to some extent.
  • Killed Offscreen: This keeps happening to Kiske's characters
  • Large Ham: Countless, but in a Massive Multiplayer Crossover of the finest hams in arguably the hammiest genre this side of musical theatre, One-Scene Wonder Jon Oliva may very well be the hammiest of them all. "Death is Just a Feeling" is majestic.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "Journey to Arcadia" with the line "The final curtain of the show", as it is the last song of the entire Wicked Trilogy. Also, from the same song, "Faith, rescue my dream/From a role that I've been put in on their screen" although this one's less clear.
    • Another example is from "The Wicked Symphony". Mephistopheles says "If you deny what you desire/This will have been just a mystery play." The line should probably say "morality play" because a mystery play is just acting out a scene from the Bible while a morality play features the Devil trying to convince an individual to turn to the Dark Side but always failing. Mephistopheles is trying to get the story to work in his favor for once. Of course by the end of the Wicked Trilogy the Scarecrow has rejected Mephistopheles, making the story a kind of really convoluted mystery/morality play anyway.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Again, did you not see the list?
  • Magical Land: Avantasia.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Of power metal vocalists and then some. In fact, the only way to get a more complete list of power metal vocalists would be to add Tony Kakko, Tarja Turunen, Andi Deris, Hansi Kursch and Matt Barlow into the mix.
  • Mr. Fixit: Aaron Blackwell in The Mystery of Time spends a good chunk of the story trying to fix a mantlepiece clock.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Avantasia material fluctuates quite a bit, the debut was mostly a 7 but since then they can range anywhere from 4-7.
  • No Song for the Wicked: The Mystery of Time is locked to Aaron's perspective, though there also appears to be No Antagonist.
  • Never My Fault: A major fault of The Wicked Trilogy's protagonist.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Don't give a fuck for roses!"
  • Quirky Town: Namedropped in the story booklet as the setting for The Mystery of Time.
  • Rock Opera: Or, you know, the Metal Opera.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Elderane is implied to fly an elf plane that rescues Gabriel during "The Tower".
  • Sanity Slippage Song: Memory, and basically everything out of the later installments of The Wicked Trilogy.
  • Scenery Porn: "Spectres" off The Mystery of Time does a good job of painting this.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Falk's death in The Metal Opera
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Or some of them, anyway. From The Wicked Trilogy we have characters named Acedia (the Latin name for sloth) and Fury (essentially another term for wrath).
    • Also Mammon (Greed) and Pride are invoked in the lyrics to "Sign of the Cross" from The Metal Opera. By the Pope, of all characters.
  • Stalker With a Crush: The Wicked Trilogy's protagonist sounds like one in the song "Carry Me Over".
    I am watching but you don't seem aware/
    But I won't be around/
    I'll be out of sight, out of sound/
    Someone's gonna wait somewhere
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: the major MacGuffin of The Metal Opera's story.
  • Type Cast: Shamelessly done for both the personalities and the vocal styles the singers are known for. Matos as an Elf Prince, Catley as a wise presence, so on and so forth.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Falk goes from a pretty ordinary-if-dickish Bailiff into a paranoid, superstitious wreck by the end of The Metal Opera after he is "cursed".
  • Villain Song: Basically every character who is a bad influence to Tobias Sammet's character in The Wicked Trilogy gets one. Alice Cooper in The Scarecrow, Jon Oliva in Angel of Babylon, Jorn Lande almost everywhere in the trilogy....
    • Memory, Glory of Rome, and parts of Sign of the Cross and The Seven Angels from The Metal Opera can be seen as these too.
  • Vocal Tag Team: As far as the eye can see.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Death Is Just A Feeling from "Angel of Babylon" plays with this; the implication is that being remembered for your works is worse than dying forgotten, because people will only remember a caricature of your real personality anyway.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: Eric Martin's character in The Mystery of Time.
  • Wise Tree: Bob Catley plays the Tree of Knowledge in The Metal Opera: Pt II

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Music/Avantasia