AVALAND – Theater Of Sorcery

AVALAND - Theater Of Sorcery
  • 9.6/10
    AVALAND - Theater Of Sorcery - 9.6/10


Label: Rockshot Records
Release date: April 2, 2021

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Some people say that history likes to repeat itself. That saying can be applied to absolutely anything and everything, but in this instance it will be good to use a musical example. Late in the 80s, a Progressive Metal group initially known as Majesty released their debut album When Dream and Day Unite. It is not certain how many people that band was known to at the time since they were only just starting out. But some of them must have got that voice inside them telling them to change their name if they want to make it big, and perhaps that’s why that band has been known as Dream Theater ever since. The now legendary founding members such as John Petrucci, John Myung and Mike Portnoy were 22 at the time their first album saw the daylight.

Right now, some may think this is some sort of a misunderstanding since this review is not supposed to be about Dream Theater. But almost exactly 32 years after their first ever release came out, the debut album by a French band called Avaland is due out in April. And their mastermind Adrien G. Gzagg happens to be… you have guessed correctly: 22 years old. Here are Avaland with their debut album Theater of Sorcery. Perhaps the Dream Theater analogy has been pointed out for a reason.

Theater of Sorcery is very likely to be one of the hottest releases of the year 2021, even though it has not even been half way through yet. It is like a mixture of Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal, Folk Metal, Classical Music and Opera. Blending all these genres into a musical smoothie certainly has resulted with something worthwhile to say the very least. Energy and passion are omnipresent and abound. Beautiful and sophisticated melodies combined with heavy riffs and the cockiness so typical for various Power and Symphonic Metal bands – yes, that may be something most of the Metal fans are not strangers to. But to think that this masterpiece was created by someone who’s just 22 years old and it is their debut album is quite beyond any belief.

It should be no surprise that influences by such bands as Savatage, Dream Theater or Avantasia can be heard in the music created by Avaland. Each of the aforementioned bands sure wouldn’t be ashamed to have such tracks as “Gypsum Flower” or “Let The Wind Blow” in their repertoire. Also, it would be interesting to know what someone like Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Blackmore’s Night) would have to say about Adrien G. Gzagg and friends, considering how rarely he tends to compliment anyone, unless they’re The Beatles or Van Halen.

If there is anything Theater of Sorcery is short off, then it’s having short songs: “Storyteller” which happens to be the track number 4 is barely four and a half minutes long. But that’s what can be expected from any band that has at least some Progressive Metal influences in their music. If all of the above is still not enough for an idea as to what the music by Avaland actually sounds like, then there is also a way of putting it very short: compared to Avaland, any average Power Metal band sounds rather simple and possibly even mainstream. There is hardly anything negative that can be said about Theater of Sorcery. The production is immaculate; every instrument can be heard perfectly. The only thing that might be slightly annoying is that – at least in the near future – no live performances can be expected due to obvious reasons.

It is worth mentioning that Theater of Sorcery features many guest appearances, such as Zak Stevens (Savatage) and Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear, ex-Gamma Ray). One might think it’s beyond cool and exciting for any band to have such prominent singers sing on their debut album. Yes, that is beyond cool, beyond any doubt. But it is probably all those guest musicians who are the winners here. They were lucky enough to perform on the debut album by a band that may not be heard of much right now, as of early 2021. But this is certainly going to change as the time goes by.

New bands come and go like everything else and if a new exciting project comes to life, then it quickly gets acclaimed as the newly born star. That can actually be applied to Avaland, although it would be good to be more precise in this instance – after all, stars come in many sizes and weights. The world of Metal is witnessing the birth of a blue hypergiant. Like Metallica said in “Phantom Lord”, the 7th track off their debut album Kill ’em All: “Fall to your knees and bow to the Phantom Lord” – with a slight modification, that quote is the perfect way to conclude this review: Fall to your knees and bow to the power of Avaland!


  • Miłosz Mikołaj Nizioł

    Miłosz is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was born somewhere in Europe and now lives elsewhere in Europe. Miłosz is a writer and it has always been his passion. Aside from that, Miłosz is also a bass player - back in his UK days he played in various bands, some of which made it to have their place in the history of Metal; this includes an English high speed Thrash Metal act Rager that got mentioned in Contract in Blood: A History Of UK Thrash Metal (Glasper, I., 2018).   When enjoying live music as a member of the audience, Milosz never says no to circle pits and a good wall of death. Besides Metal, Milosz has a very wide range of interests that don't need to be specified here since they're not about Metal. One of them can be, actually: Milosz LOVES coming up with parodies of various songs lyrics.   Milosz's Top 25 bands (in the following order) are: The Beatles Deep Purple & Black Sabbath Queen ]v[ E G A D E T ]-[ (until 24.05.2021, but still) Judas Priest Iron Maiden (first three albums mostly) Twisted Sister Mötley Crüe KISS (preferably with Ace and Peter) Exodus Overkill Pantera Rainbow (and DIO of course) Savatage Running Wild Testament Pink Floyd ABBA Red Hot Chili Peppers Death Dire Straits Alestorm Motörhead

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