Avaland - Theater of Sorcery
(Rockshot Records – 2021)
French Melodic Metallers, Avaland definitely sound like they've got some sorcery lined up with their conceptual debut... possibility of a few swords in there as well.
The Grenoble quintet grip me quite swiftly with their silky voiced symphonic metal delivery. Equipped with twin guitars as opposed to the single axe and keyboard approach as we are accustomed to from many European acts, the important elements still refuse to sit the game out.
Songs like 'Theater...', 'Gypsum Flower', 'Storyteller', 'Escape to Paradise' and 'Never Let Me Walk Alone' weave whirling rings of Illusion around you with their sustained harmonies and strong choruses whereas standout fave 'Let The Wind Blow' makes a strong dive for the eighties in more than one pleasing way.
Bouncy rhythms and a blend of guest singers to aid with the album's ethereal rock opera structure simply add to the treat France's next great export have in store. Plastered with pleasing solos and synth work that should have fans of Rhapsody of Fire, Yngwie Malmsteen and Stratovarius soaring to listen and a satisfactory speed variation so as to evade general tedium, this first crusade for these lads is a fearsomely bold one.
By Dave Attrill
RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Edguy, Kamelot & Gamma Ray.