Avantasia: The Mystery Of Time

An explosive rock opera from metal supergroup

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After 14 years of rock operas, Edguy’s Tobias Sammet has created Avantasia’s most indulgent symphonic metal release. He’s previously worked with some impressive names, including Alice Cooper and Within Temptation’s Sharon den Adel, and this time he’s roped in members of Rainbow, Magnum and Saxon – Biff Byford makes an appearance on three tracks – not forgetting the 60-piece German Film Orchestra, who have worked with Rammstein.

One thing’s for certain: Tobias knows how to create some very dramatic ear candy. Time is not only deliciously OTT but also seeks influences from many of the same corners as genre leaders Nightwish and Epica.

The inventive frontman’s distinctive vocals complement the awesome instrumentation on songs like the sultry Sleepwalking, the Iron Maidenesque The Watchmaker’s Dream and the stunning Saviour In The Clockwork. It may lack the galloping power metal of debut The Metal Opera, but this opus makes up for it in cinematic quality.

Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.