The Flying Opera-Around the World in 20 Days

1. Twisted mind
2. The scarecrow
3. Another angel down
4. Prelude / Reach out for the light
5. Inside
6. No return
7. The story ain't over
8. Shelter from the rain
9. Lost in space
10. I don't believe in your love
11. Avantasia
12. Serpents in paradise
13. Promised land
14. The toy master
15. Farewell
16. Sign of the cross / The seven angels (Medley)

1. Around the World in 20 days - the movie
2. Documentary
3. Lost in Space (video clip)
4. Carry me over (video clip)
5. Carry me over (making of)
Dying for an angel (video clip)

Tobias Sammet - vocals
Andre Matos - vocals
Jorn Lande - vocals
Kai Hansen - vocals
Bob Catley - vocals
Oliver Hartmann - vocals & guitars
Amanda Somerville - vocals & backing vocals
Cloudy Yang - backing vocals
Sascha Paeth - guitars
Robert Hunecke-Rizzo - bass
Miro - keyboards
Felix Bohnke - drums

Angel of Babylon (2010)
Lost in Space (2008)
The Metal Opera (2000)
The Metal Opera Part II (2002)
The Scarecrow (2008)
The Wicked Symphony (2010)

Henjo Richter - Guitars

Tobias Sammet & Sascha Paeth (prod.)

Released 18/3-2011
Reviewed 26/3-2010


To go out on a live tour as a project like Avantasia is just as impressive as the success that Tobias Sammet and his little project have gained. In the summer of 2008 this mastodont project went on a tour that started in Switzerland and ended in Hungary after more than a full lap around the globe with 13 stops in countries like Sweden, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Germany and Czech Republic. The last two is where the live material on this DVD has been recorded. About half of it comes from the Wacken Open Air 2008 in Germany where the band headlined and played in front of unbelievably 80 000+ people. More like 100 000 was what Sammet thought if you counted the "unofficial audience". The second half comes from the Mosters of Rock festival in Czech Republic. And beside the live material there's also a documentary where Sammet tells the story of Avantasia and there's also a tour diary, or what you should call it, where we can follow the band around their journey behind the scenes.

So what we have here is an Avantasia DVD parted into three. There's the live material, the documentary and the tour diary. I'm not very used to review DVDs, and especially not when they're divided the way they are on this one. It actually makes it quite difficult to review, because how am I suppose to review the DVD? The complete film? Or all the segments for them selves? In that case, what segment am I suppose to focus on? Well, in the end I decided the best thing was to review this double DVD as a complete unit with every part as a bearing pillar. So moving on to pillar number one - which is the most important segment. The live part, how does it sound?

The live segment is on its own a full DVD and begins with three songs from the show at Wacken, before they change to the Czech show to burn off four songs before returning to Wacken where they play the rest of the songs. Except a last farewell at Monsters of Rock with a medley song. Actually, I don't really know what material that comes from where since they don't say anywhere. But I hope I'm right... No, off course I know, but still they don't say anywhere. However, I think the live material feels incredibly good! It's much better than what I had expected and compared to most other live material too. The sound is great! The vocals are also really good and seen to what you get to see it's absolutely okay. Not a superb show, but compared to a live CD this at least have a show and that's absolutely something which is good with this. And there are good stuff in the show too. Especially in the clips taken from the Wacken show where you can see the amazing sea of hands and people, but also parts like when Sammet climbs up the stage construction, when André Matos walks in with a German flag like if he were some kind of Hitler out feeding on grass from the Swiss hills where they started the tour. And also the part where Sammet introduce his band and call all his stage collegues "lead", no matter what they do. Like "lead backing vocals and lead lead vocals" as he sais about Amanda Sommerville.

The songs on the live show that makes you most in love are the mighty The Scarecrow, the beautiful The Story Ain't Over, the superhit Lost in Space, the more modest hit Avantasia and the gorgeous Farewell. Beside these I think I Don't Believe in Your Love and The Toy Master sung by Olli Hartman and Kai Hansen respectively really impress on me. All the vocalists sounds really great. Except one... Tobias Sammet him self.

I've always thought that the biggest, and perhaps only, problem with Avantasia has been that Sammet sings way too many songs on his own. And that really gets obvious on this DVD. Not that Sammet sings like some tone deaf idiot in more or less every song, but because ten shows in on this live tour he has begun to lose his voice. That can especially be heard in the Wacken clips (which were further in to the tour) when Sammet sings the more demanding notes and his voice cracks like the skirt of a woman that too fat and are about to pull up her tights, which probably will crack sooner or later as well. Overall though I think he struggles through the material quite well. However, so many vocalists and all sounds great except him should mean something... and what can that be? Because he use his voice in way too many songs!

The documentary where Samme tells us more about his project are less amusing. You can summarize it by saying it's about an hour where Sammet sits in a dark room speaking in english with short clips cut in here and there. And these can more or less all be found on this DVD, mostly in the live segment. I don't think the documentary gives too much happiness to the viewers but it tells the story about Avantasia well. With the words of the creator him self. And that's better than how whichever journalist in the world could tell it in an article. As Sammet sais him self on his website: definition of rock journalism - people who can't write, doing interviews with people who can't think, in order to prepare articles for people who can't read". Quoted from Frank Zappa.

The third pillar is the tour video diary. It's about 45 minutes of how the gang took them selves around the world (in 20 days) to spread the message of metal. Like a document or something. But this feels like a half unnecessary too. To be honest you don't see that much of what they do and most of what you see are drowned in loud music and... well, you look at it once and maybe laugh a couple of times but that's it.

So what we have here are three pillars were only one is really meaningful. And that means quite a lot. If you've read my live-album reviews lately have read how I time after time say that live albums are useless if the live show they've recorded doesn't have bigger purpose than to be just a live show. Why release something on an album if it isn't anything special with it? Well, this is a live album that have plenty of meaning. It was the first time the Avantasia gang made something live together and the only time too, or so they thought (but they've went on another tour just recently and in the summer they will play Wacken again). However, it isn't a live package that stays on the road most of the year that everyone gets the oportunity to see. This was and is something unique and of course then it must be documented! And what a tour this was to record! Such songs! Such singers! What a fantastic package!

This might just be the most logical live release ever made. Maybe not the best in every way and the second disc, which doesn't have the live material, actually feels somewhat wasted to produce. But this is and will keep being a DVD with really good live materal and to argue with the purpose of it is useless. It's like argue about why a car needs safety belt, airbags and rubber on the wheels. You would have to be an idiot to question it. And Avantasia live are as natural as not tp set your self on fire in the purpose of being a human scarecrow. It's a DVD that everyone who saw the live shows can enjoy and remember when they were there. But it's also a DVD that makes everyone who wasn't there a chance to be there and enjoy the band live too. What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of why you should make a live album or live film - to give us a document of something worthy to see that very few was given the chance to see in the first place but more wanted to see. This DVD gives us just that, and actually more than that as well! Avantasia is not dead, wrapped in plastic. It's ALIVE!


Label - Nuclear Blast/Triada
Three similar bands - Aina/Edguy/Gamma Ray
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm