Theater of Sorcery

Label: Rockshots Records
Three similar bands: Avantasia/Ayreon/Edguy

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Theater of Sorcery
2. Gypsum Flower
3. Let the Wind Blow
4. Storyteller
5. Escape to Paradise
6. Holy Kingdom of Fools
7. Never Let Me Walk Alone
8. Deja Vu
9. I’ll Be Ready for Your Love
10. War of Minds
11. Rise from the Ashes

Adrien G. Gzagg : Composer, Writer, Lead Singer, Keyboards and Orchestrations
Christophe Feutrier - Guitars
Lucas Martinez - Guitars
Camille Souffron - Bass, Double-Bass
Léo Mouchonay - Drums


Guests / Characters :
Adrien G. Gzagg is Adam Wilstorm
Zaher Zorgati is Adam’s Inner Voice
Jeff Kanji is Jacob Reiser, Adam’s Best Friend
Heli Andrea is Solveig Elweiss, Adam’s Beloved
Emmanuelson is The Master Of Sorcery
Zak Stevens is The Storyteller, appearing from the past Ralf Scheepers is Aloïsius Jestens, King Of Avaland
Madie is The Guardian Angel
Guests Guitars :
Ricky Marx on « Theater Of Sorcery »
Stephan Forté on « Gypsum Flower »
Ayman Mokdad on « Never Let Me Walk Alone » Virgile ) on « Deja-Vu »
Choirs and Back Vocals :
Adrien G. Gzagg, Chris Feutrier, Leo Mouchonay, Emmanuelson, Jeff Kanji, Heli Andrea, Yves Campion , Cara

Recorded at KNT Studios, Echirolles, France by Steven Rozier
Mix and Arrangements by Caleb Bingham at Nightmare Sound Studios Mastering by Kevin Codfert
Support & Publishing by Christophe Martin/KNT Editions
Cover, Booklet and Logo by Stan W Decker Pictures by Lilou Desonges
Produced by Adrien G. Gzagg
All Rights Reserved to Adrien G. Gzagg

Released 2021-04-02
Reviewed 2021-04-06


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Being a fan of the rock opera concept, I was naturally a bit curious about the new project called Avaland, a rock opera project by Adrien G. Gzagg, a young Frenchman. The album is called Theater of Sorcery, a title that has me wondering if Gzagg learnt spelling by Dream Theater or if it is a stylized title in homage of said band. It is a cover that draws parallels to other bands, not just the title, the look reminds of Avantasia, as does the logo – and isn’t the concept a bit similar to Avantasia? It doesn’t appear as Gzagg is going for the novelty approach, rather the nostalgic.

It is of the epic kind of power metal with strong arrangements and several singers, it is quite reminiscent of previously mentioned Avantasia. I think the production is pretty good, but I am not that impressed by the vocalists and maybe in particular the leading role – they are okay but not much more, and none of them stand out. The adventure never really becomes adventurous and doesn’t quite move outside the most threaded paths, creatively careful might be a way to describe it. Not too varied either, I think there is a lot of room for improvements in the creative aspects. I think of this album a little bit like a light version of Avantasia, less exciting and less dramatic than the bands that have inspired them.

Theater of Sorcery has received surprisingly high praise from many internet reviewers, and I just cannot understand why. I listen to it many times over and over, and still cannot see why the high ratings for this album. It is good, sure it is, but it is not great. It isn’t an album that stands out compared with albums that inspired it, and it isn’t better than some other recent albums within the rock opera style. It isn’t a standout album, and the question is if it wasn’t a bit rushed, in a way it is a pretty typical debut album.

It ends with the best track, but all tracks on the album are of a good quality. Still, none of the tracks can be describe as standout hit songs. It is probably good enough for most of the fans of the rock opera style as it is good and easy to like. I am not sure that it will make much of a mark in the ever-growing scrolls of music, it will not be seen as groundbreaking rock opera album, not one of the best of 2021, at best it may be a footnote somewhere – like the careful opening of an exciting career, only time will tell. But it is a fine album to listen to, and that might be enough to give it a chance.