Avaland – Theater of Sorcery

Theater Of Sorcery
Rockshot Records
April 2, 2021

He is twenty-two years young, Adrien G. Gzagg, the man behind Avaland. And he has big plans. Together with his band, he is releasing the Rock Opera “Theater of Sorcery” in April. And he has invited a lot of guest musicians for this project. It reminds me of the young Tobias Sammet and his project Avantasia. It tells the story of a young sorcerer who brings the light back to the Kingdom of Avaland. In the process, he has to learn to control his powers. And the sequel is also almost finished. So another parallel to Tobias Sammet. The first two Avantasia albums were released one year apart.

I mentioned Avantasia as a reference, you could also use Ayreon (Arjen Lucassen) as a comparison. What these three have in common is above all the concept. Telling a story with the musical elements of Rock and Metal. And the excessive use of resources, meaning the multitude of top-class guest musicians. But Avaland is not a simple copy of the great role models. Sure, the story is not new, but who can claim today to have created something completely new. The differences lie above all in the musical direction. Ayreon’s albums contain many progressive elements. And Arjen Lucassen is also extremely experimental. Avantasia, on the other hand, often drifts into the mainstream with a lot of bombastic rock and pop elements. This, in turn, led to their greater commercial success. Adrien Gzagg places his compositions somewhere in between. Songs like “Theater Of Sorcery” “Storyteller” or “Holy Kingdom Of Fools” are clearly more Melodic Power Metal. Strong and full of energy. The bombast is used much more discreetly. The songs are catchy throughout. I particularly like the straight Rocker “Never Let Me Walk Alone” with singer Madie aka Marianne Dien, who already impressed me on the latest Nightmare album. Another great song is the soulful ballad “I’ll Be Ready For Your Love”. Here, too, a female singer knows how to impress, Heli Andrea from Mobius. And in the final song, the anthemic “Rise From The Ashes”, all the guest singers have their turn again. A grandiose finale.

If someone asked me which is the better Rock/Metal Opera project, Avantasia or Ayreon, my answer would be Avaland. Joking aside. What this young composer has created here is worthy of all honour. This is a Rock Opera that has fully earned the designation “Rock”. Eleven timelessly beautiful Rock songs, mostly with solid heaviness. Without too much pathos. Only time will tell if Avaland will be as successful as their great idols. The musicians certainly have what it takes.

AVALAND – Rise From The Ashes (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO): https://youtu.be/Jdi7XqfH7OU


Adrien G. Gzagg – Composer, Writer, Lead Singer, Keyboards, Orchestrations
Christophe Feutrier – Guitars
Lucas Martinez – Guitars
Camille Souffron – Bass, Double-Bass
Léo Mouchonay – Drums

Guests Vocal

Zaher Zorgati (Myrath)
Jeff Kanji
Heli Andrea (Mobius/OLANE)
Emmanuelson (Rising Steel/Ellipsis)
Zak Stevens (Ex-Savatage/TSO/Archon Angel)
Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear/ex-Gamma Ray)
Madie (Nightmare/Faith In Agony)

Guests Guitar

Ricky Marx (Ex-Pretty Maids/Now Or Never)
Stéphan Forte (Adagio)
Ayman Mokdad (Venus Syndrome/Alien Encounters)
Virgile (ex-Rising Steel/Schräpnel)

Track list:

  • Theater Of Sorcery – feat. Emmanuelson
  • Gypsum Flower – feat. Scheepers/Emmanuelson/Zorgati
  • Let The Wind Blow – feat. Zorgati/Heli/Kanji
  • Storyteller – feat. Zak Stevens
  • Escape To Paradise – feat. Zorgati/Kanji
  • Holy Kingdom Of Fools – feat. Jeff Kanji
  • Never Let Me Walk Alone – feat. Madie
  • Deja-Vu – feat. Emmanuelson
  • I’ll Be Ready For Your Love – feat. Heli Andrea
  • War Of Minds – feat. Zorgati/Madie
  • Rise From The Ashes – feat. Zorgati/Madie/Stevens/Heli/Kanji/Emmanuelson/Scheepers 
  • 8/10
    Album - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Cover-Art - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Song-Writing - 8/10