117: AVANTASIA

Avantasia, on paper, reads like a concept almost too good to be true – a heavy metal rock opera featuring a who’s who of world-renowned metal musicians and larger than life productions – but it’s huge success speaks for itself.

Originally envisioned as a one-off album by Edguy frontman, Tobias Sammet, Avantasia has gone on to release eight albums and put on huge performances all over the world.

Avantasia is primarily symphonic power metal, a genre that just naturally lends itself to this bombastic, storytelling format. While there is a core band, fronted by Sammet, the roster is fleshed out by a revolving door of members of Nightwish, Scorpions, Blind Guardian, Within Temptation, Saxon, Mr Big, Uriah Heep, Twisted Sister, and many, many more.

While ‘rock opera’ may seem some hastily applied label here, simply referencing the big production style, there’s nothing disingenuous about it. Avantasia’s albums are true, fully-fleshed rock operas with concepts that sometimes even span multiple albums.

With its electrifying, over-the-top enthusiasm, epic concepts, and titanic cast of superstars, Avantasia is a celebration of all things heavy metal and something truly special within the genre.