Avantasia, "The Metal Opera Pt. II"
"The Metal Opera Pt. II" is a final installment of the two part medieval tale by Endgy frontman, Tobias Sammet. Inviting the world's premier power/heavy metal singers, guitarists, and drummers, Sammet's main idea for Avantasia is to "immortalize the talents in their time," and he had successfully done it twice in a row.
Avantasia is a special band for anyone into traditional heavy metal. To hear the vocal talents of such renowned singers as Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray), David DeFeis (Virgin Steele), and Andre Matos (Angra) combined with the guitar virtuosity of Gamma Ray/Edgy/Helloween members, and the drumming of Rhapsody's Alex Holzwarth, is like for some pop nerd getting a U.S.A. for Africa Part II album full of 10 different remixes of 'We are the World.'
While the fourteen minutes of 'The Seven Angels' is a bit of a mouthful for the opening track, the majority of the songs are kept in the five-minute range. The main difference from Part I is that the new songs are less symphonic and based more on the traditional guitars/drums/vocals structure (the three of the more operatic tracks on Part II are 'The Seven Angels,' 'In Quest For,' and 'Onto the Unknown'). The "Metal Opera Pt. II" contains three types of songs: there are ballbusters like 'No Return' and 'Chalice of Agony,' rock ballads like 'In Quest For' and 'Anywhere,' where the opening piano chords of the latter sound like Guns N' Roses' 'Live and Let Die,' and then those songs that sound somewhere in between.
While there are probably bands that write better overall songs than Avantasia, to hear all the talent on one CD is overwhelming. "The Metal Opera II" is a disk well-worth buying.
The Seven Angels