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Lost In Space (Chapter 1 & 2)

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Album Review

Originally issued as two separate EPs in 2007, Avantasia's Lost in Space doubleheader never received an official physical release in North America, so the chances that this handy single-CD repack that emerged the following year will piss off their fans are slim to none — especially with an ABBA cover, "Lay Your Love All Over Me," on hand to draw the brunt of spiteful indignity from the heavy metal faithful. And it doesn't end there; Lost in Space also features a rocking waltz through "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes," by '80s synth-happy new romantics Ultravox; a suitably rococo sashay across Freddie Mercury's slick solo single, "In My Defense"; and, least controversial of all, a faithful bash over one of metal's all-time classic '70s obscurities, "Ride the Sky," by German cult favorites Lucifer's Friend. All of which should make it obvious to close-minded metal heads that Lost in Space — far from being the musically progressive, two-part concept album that its title might suggest — is in fact a sojourn into more accessible songwriting regions for Tobias Sammet's pet project. But for those who can appreciate a few well-done cover versions like the above, as well as a couple of well-wrought commercial rock songs, there's much to like about the incredibly infectious modern AOR of the title track (available in three different incarnations, no less) and the flamboyant über-ballad "The Story Ain't Over," boasting a duet with frequent Avantasia collaborator Amanda Somerville. Power metal isn't missing entirely, mind you, just accounting for a minority share for once, via familiar-sounding offerings like "Another Angel Down," "Promised Land," and the Iron Maiden-esque "Scary Eyes." And that's it; all done! That wasn't so bad now, was it? Sure, although the ABBA track may lead to endless ribbing from his metal buddies, Sammet's creative vision for Lost in Space is ultimately about as consistent and impressive as it is for all his other projects, making these oftentimes surprising song choices less important than the element of pleasant surprise that comes with them.

Biography

Formed: 2000 in Fulda, Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Avantasia was an all-star side project headed by Tobias Sammet, lead singer of the prog-tinged German power metal band Edguy. While recording a guest appearance from Blind Guardian singer Hansi Kürsch with his regular band, Sammet conceived of a massive-scale rock opera featuring the cream of the current power metal scene. He spent a year composing the material, named the "band" Avantasia, and recruited a variety of vocalists to tell his story: Gamma Ray's Kai Hansen, Stratovarius' Timo Tolkki, Virgin...
Full bio
Lost In Space (Chapter 1 & 2), Avantasia
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