Avaland – Theater Of Sorcery

Theater Of Sorcery Album Cover Art

Avaland – Theater Of Sorcery
Rockshots Records
Release Date: 02/04/2021
Running Time: 62:53
Review by Beth Jones

France is not necessarily the first country I think of when it comes to exciting European metal. But recently there seems to be a heck of a lot of good music coming out from bands based there. And Avaland is certainly no exception to this rule. The brainchild of Adrien G. Gzagg, Avaland is an Epic/Symphonic Heavy Metal Opera project, and their first album, “Theater Of Sorcery,” has just landed. Now, this genre, I know, can be pretty chalk and cheese. Some people love it, some just think it’s pretentious. Personally, I can’t get enough of it! It is lavish joyfulness, created by melding together musical artforms, in a way that would make the ancient apothecaries fawn! So, what does this latest offering from the guilty pleasure gods bring? Well let’s find out!

“Theatre Of Sorcery” is a tale of adventure; the story of a young sorcerer, Adam Wilstorm, on a quest to bring back the light to the kingdom of Avaland. But, to succeed, he must learn to harness the storm within his powers. It’s a huge production, and a pretty astonishing composition, as Adrien is only 22! And it features some well-healed guest stars, too; Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Zak Stevens (Savatage/TSO), Zaher Zorgati (Myrath), Emmanuelson (Rising Steel), Stéphan Forté (Adagio), and Madie (Nightmare) to name but a few.

The album begins with the title track, which sets the scene for this grand production. It’s theatrical and I can imagine it looking spectacular on a stage. Musically, it’s good solid Heavy Metal, with a twist of Power, and Symphonic. In places, it almost reminds me of Jeff Wayne’s “War Of The Worlds,” but with a heavier, metal twist.

Good solid Metal anthems pepper this album, but they’re embellished with classical orchestration, choral harmonies, and traditional folk instruments, that sit in the mix, making for a very exuberant and indulgent feast of musical joy. But alongside that are crunching riffs and rhythms that you just have to bang your head to. And what Epic theatrical metal opera masterpiece would be complete without some face-melting guitar solos? Well, certainly not this one, as they’re also there by the bucket load, courtesy of some big-name guitarists.

I think my favourite track on the album is ‘Deja-Vu’. It starts with a solitary melancholy piano, but quickly launches into a powerful rhythmic track, with melodic verses, and peaks and troughs that make it punchy and exciting. It also has one of those delicious guitar solos that I alluded to earlier. I’m going to skirt over the fact that this track fades out at the end. As you’ll know, this is one of my pet hates, so there was a touch of inner turmoil for me with this, because I really like it!! I will also add that it’s not the only song to succumb to the dreaded fade out.

Production wise, no corners have been cut either. Placing of instruments, panning, and effects are all used to their full potential, to explore the depth and expansiveness of recorded music, making this a much more mature album than you’d expect from a debut penned by someone of such a tender young age. (I am almost green with envy right now! At 22 I could barely write a second-rate pop song, let alone an entire metal opera!) There’s nothing new or groundbreaking about this album, but if the likes of Avantasia do it for you, then you’ll love this album.

‘Theater Of Sorcery’ (Official Video)

01. Theater Of Sorcery (feat. Emmanuelson)
02. Gypsum Flower (feat. Scheepers/Emmanuelson/Zorgati)
03. Let the Wind Blow (feat. Zorgati/Heli/Kanji)
04. Storyteller (feat. Zak Stevens)
05. Escape To Paradise (feat. Zorgati/Kanji)
06. Holy Kingdom Of Fools (feat. Jeff Kanji)
07. Never Let Me Walk Alone (feat. Madie)
08. Deja-Vu (feat. Emmanuelson)
09. I’ll Be Ready For Your Love (feat. Heli Andrea)
10. War Of Minds (feat. Zorgati/Madie)
11. Rise From The Ashes (feat. Zorgati/ Madie/ Stevens/ Heli/ Kanji/ Emmanuelson/ Scheepers)

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 – Adam Wilstorm
Zaher Zorgati (Myrath) – Adam’s Inner Voice
Jeff Kanji – Jacob Reiser, Adam’s Best Friend
Heli Andrea (Mobius/Olane) – Solveig Elweiss, Adam’s Beloved
Emmanuelson (Rising Steel/Ellipsis) – The Master Of Sorcery
Zak Stevens (Ex-Savatage/TSO/Archon Angel) – The Storyteller, appearing form the past
Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear/ex-Gamma Ray) – Aloïsius Jestens, King Of Avaland
Madie (Nightmare/Faith In Agony) – The Guardian Angel

Guests Guitars:
Ricky Marx (Ex-Pretty Maids/Now Or Never) on ‘Theater Of Sorcery’
Stéphan Forté (Adagio) on ‘Gypsum Flower’
Ayman Mokdad (Venus Syndrome/Alien Encounters) on ‘Never Let Me Walk Alone’
Virgile (ex-Rising Steel/Schräpnel) on ‘Deja-Vu’


Avaland Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.



Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Vancouver, Canada based Epic Metal band, Atavistia. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist, Mattias Sippola, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi! My name is Mattias Sippola and I am the vocalist/guitarist of the band Atavistia.

Atavistia was founded by me back in 2017 when I compiled a few songs together and released them under the current name. At that time, Atavistia was a one manned project and I wrote, recorded, mixed, and mastered the debut titled, “One Within The Sun”.

Fast forward to 2018, when the band became a full line-up, and we played our first show in December of that year. We have recently released our sophomore album titled, “The Winter Way”.

How did you come up with your band name?

My friend actually came up with the name when I sent him a compilation of different name ideas. I came across the word, “Atavistic” while reading Nergals autobiography, and was immediately interested in incorporating that word into the band title.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are from Vancouver, Canada. The scene here is on and off. Sometimes it’s a hit but sometimes it can be quite dull. I blame our transit system.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our sophomore album, “The Winter Way” was released on May 29th along with a lyric video for the included song, ‘The Forbidden One’.

Who have been your greatest influences?

My greatest influences have been Wintersun, Ensiferum, Devin Townsend, and Dimmu Borgir.

What first got you into music?

I come from a family of musicians, so music has always been a part of my life.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Hmmm that’s a great question! it depends on which vibe we’d like to portray… if we were to portray a party vibe, it would be either Alestorm and/or Æther Realm!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

There are too many which are equals in my eyes, but any festival in Europe would be a dream come true.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Nothing weird yet! fingers crossed! Haha

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thank you for the overwhelmingly positive support. We wouldn’t be able to continue like this without it!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

It’s always tragic when we lose one of the great ones… so… all of them? Haha!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Expressing myself through music has always been a big part of being a musician. The challenges involved are also intriguing for me as I’m always up for a challenge! However, what I dislike about being a musician is the self-criticism and getting “burnt out” periods. Unfortunately, right now is one of those burnt out periods.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I feel like I’m not qualified to answer such question, but my answer would probably be directed more towards the social media aspect of it all… The algorithms used in social media now are quite ruthless and require bands to stay on top every single day… otherwise, the exposure is lost in the algorithmic madness.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Wintersun’s, “Time I”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

All of the above! Variety is very important.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Hmm probably the Starlight Room in Edmonton, Alberta when we went on our mini tour across western Canada with our friends in Sōlborn.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

As controversial as this answer will be during these hectic times, I’ve always had a love and passion for the police and military, so I’d probably pursue one of those careers.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

There are too many to choose for this question! Haha.

What’s next for the band?

We are playing by ear at the moment due to the craziness going on in the world.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Our music is available on all online platforms from Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes to Youtube, Bandcamp, Facebook, and Instagram.

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Sounds like a small snack sized cake if you ask me!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for having me! Again, I’d like to thank our wonderful supporters especially during these hectic times. Stay safe everyone!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.