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Track By Tracks: AVALAND - Theater Of Sorcery (2021)


1. Theater Of Sorcery:
 
This song is a great introduction to the world of Avaland, like a kind of Hymn. It teases what’s gonna happen in the other songs, an invitation for an epic and magic journey. Adam, the main character is about to share his story. The song also introduces the character The Master Of Sorcery performed by Emmanuelson (Rising Steel, Ellipsis…), who helped me a lot for this album and coached me to do my best. He is a mentor to me so it was obvious to have him as the Sorcerer who will teach Adam to control his power. He and I share a great passion for music and I’m really proud to open the Avaland story with him. For the guitar solo, I asked to Ricky Marx (Now Or Never, ex-Pretty Maids) because after seeing him play with Now Or Never, I noticed something mystical in his guitar feelings that I found really cool, with this old school touch. I really love the magic of his solo on this track ! 

2. Gypsum Flower:

A pretty progressive track, with Egyptian and neo-classical atmospheres. It fits with the beginning of the story and presents the initial situation, but also the King of Avaland (Ralf Scheepers) and the Hero’s Inner Voice (Zaher Zorgati). It’s the longest and darkest song of the album. It was difficult to sing with Ralf and Zaher because those guys have such a powerful aura and I needed to surpass myself to approaching their performance (And I’m still far from those vocal monsters).
 
3. Let The Wind Blow: 

I was a lot inspired by the 80’s AOR rock for this track. The chorus is one that loops the most in my mind. The song introduces Adam’s Beloved, Solveig (Heli Andrea), and Adam’s Best Friend, Jacob (Jeff Kanji). 

4. Storyteller: 

This song is an exchange between the present, with Adam, and the past, with the Storyteller (Zak Stevens). The Hero is searching for answers about him and his powers. 

It’s a speed power metal track. I was listening to some Savatage songs like “The Hourglass” or “Chance” with Zak Stevens’s voices in canon when I decided to call him to join Avaland. It’s a great honor to sing with one of my main idol on my first Album 

5. Escape To Paradise:

This track is the kind of song you sing in a tavern with a pint of beer! A very Melodic which announce the start of Adam’s Journey. He feels like a king leaving cowardly is people but he keeps the hope to come back to bring the light in Avaland. 

I’d like to greet Jeff’s impressive back vocals on the chorus! If you listen carefully, he could sing very, very high notes! 

6. Holy Kingdom Of Fools:

A big allusion to Tobias Sammet and Edguy’s spirit (cf. “King Of Fools”)! 

In this song, with the incredible Jeff Kanji, I would like to criticize the kind of people who follow the fashions just because it’s fashion, the “sheeps” who makes choices just because the others make those choices. In the story Jacob, Adam’s best friend, is attracted by this “perfect” world where everybody leaves in peace but Adam feels bad about this kind of dictatorial land. I’d like to see it as a heroic-fantasy version of 1984 (George Orwell). 

7. Never Let Me Walk Alone:

I love singing this one! Madie (Nightmare) made an incredible performance on this track as The Guardian Angel! Ayman Mokdad also played solos with a great feeling on that song! I put a lot of my own into this Proggy/AOR song. 

This song is about the fear of being alone with ourselves and our inner demons. We all sometimes need someone to help us go head in our lives. 

8. Deja-Vu:

Here comes the moment for Adam to become a sorcerer and control his powers. But the master of sorcery feels like he ever saw what he’s living in prophecies. This song was perfect for Emmanuelson, I couldn’t imagine another singer on this track influenced by Savatage’s discography. 

I proposed to Virgile to play the solo on it because he and I have a lot of bands in common in our musical library, from prog-rock to black metal, especially for the 80’s band, then I was sure he could make a great solo! 

9. I’ll Be Ready For Your Love:

This one is the ballad of the album in a duet with Heli Andrea. I tried to put a lot of emotions into this song. The lyrics are inspired by a true story I lived. 
Adam and Solveig meet in this song and share their feelings for each other. 

10. War Of Minds:

To let more place to the confrontation between the Inner demon (Evil Inner Voice) and The Guardian Angel I decided to sing only one sentence on the chorus on this song. 

I really enjoy the game that Madie and Zaher play on the pre-chorus, maybe one of the most theatrical part of the album! 

11. Rise From The Ashes:

This is the great final! And what is a great final without all the actors of the show ?! That’s why I decided to make everyone sing on this song, to reunite the whole Avaland Family on a powerful chorus. With the first track, they are the 2 hymns of Avaland. It’s for this kind of emotions I created 

Avaland I’m impatient to sing this song on stage! 

Every character comes back to Avaland and the light shines again. It’s a bit “cliché” but I like this happy end for this first album. It results perfectly from all the efforts we put in this first Opus and trust me, it was a long and hard road!

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