Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Avantasia - Journey to Arcadia

"This plane, with whom I have shared joys and sorrows, is the Arcadia of my youth. I kept flying, believing in myself. I have no regrets about my life. Dreams do not vanish, so long as people do not abandon them.” – Captain Harlock

Space Pirate Captain Harlock and his ship the Arcadia
Arcadia is a province in Greece, in poetry it is a peaceful land of natural beauty. The fall of Rome caused the majority of territories within the Roman Empire to experience a throw back in technology, resulting in what people who are not historians like to call, “the dark ages.” Unlike the majority of Europe, hidden away in the Greek Peloponnesian region rests Arcadia, Arcadia avoided the darkness of the era and had a rebirth of quiet agricultural living. To escape to Arcadia was to escape to peace.

As you can see Arcadia is actually a real place.
Happy Arcadia by Konstantin Makovsky
Arcadia for generations has been thought of a hidden paradise.
I could have focused on the whole escapism angle in my last music in review; “Runaway Train,” clearly is a song suggesting some escape, but I had something else/more to say about that song, so let’s talk about, “Journey to Arcadia.”

I picked up “The Wicked Symphony” and loved it, but I was confused that I could not find part three of the Scarecrow epic, “Angel of Babylon.” They released both albums at the same time in Europe, so why here in Canada did we only get one of the two albums? I looked it up, and apparently I was not the only one surprised by this development, other Canadian Avantasia fans along with HMV employees could not explain the reason why only one of the two albums was made available here. As annoying as that was, this is 2010 and it was easy enough to buy “Angel of Babylon,” at So let us conclude the Scarecrow trilogy by talking about a third song by Avantasia on their third album in the set.

There is a reason at the age of twenty-seven I can still sit through “Wizard of Oz,” in its entirety, it is captivating; the childlike imagination captured there within does an amazing job of saying profound things about life and dreams. Most of us end up trading one for the other; it takes a lot of hold on to both. There is something about dreams of escape, as cliché as it is, be careful what you wish for, a magical world may be far from what you were hoping for, or it may be just too damned weird to enjoy. In time we all learn to trade youth for wisdom, but we shouldn’t have to let our dreams die by the wayside, we can have both.

I like the sounds of Arcadia though. It’s not my dream world by any means, but simplicity, is something I have longed for, for a long time. That is the thing about Avantasia, there is no clear picture of a linear story. There is a great provocation to use your own mind to see it your own way. “Journey to Arcadia,” is one of the softer songs on the album, but I believe it is the best. “The Scarecrow” set an unbelievable standard of quality, “The Wicked Symphony,” was in so many ways the most exciting and intense of the three albums, the conclusion “Angel of Babylon,” is lighter and gentler. Our signature character was so hopeless in searching for a kinder peace of heart, and here at the end waiting both the Scarecrow and us we find the joy of Arcadia. How appropriate “Journey to Arcadia,” is the last track on this journey, it was the light at the end of the tunnel.

Until next year my friends, hang on to a runaway train.

- Colin Kelly

A lonely boy, a handful of dreams
Cold wind blows through a heart wired-in
Open skies he would explore
No there ain't no mastery
Of a passion and a deep blue love

Yearn to see far away places
One day he'd feel two hearts collide
In his eyes tears and desire
But he prays and he swears every night
One day scales will fall from her eyes

Just with a dream
Just with a dream and with a song
On my own I may stumble and fall
It don't matter at all when you're blessed with
Just what's yet to come, what's yet to come

When dogs run barking
And I don't hear no sound
And the sky is as blue
As eyes have never seen it
Then I remember
What I'd have been dying for
Faith rescue my dream
From a role that I've been put in
On their screen

Your eyes, and as I'll look into your eyes
We're at the crack of dawn
Life will stop telling lies
And destiny will know
It's just you and I

Burning feet on the ground
Got my head in the clouds
Journey to Arcadia
And I know I will stand
What I can't comprehend
Journey to Arcadia

The more we see we understand
That there's a lot that we don't know
As you awake on padded ground
The final curtain of the show

Far from the eye but close to heart
No matter how we try
Can't repel the counterpart
Our common bond we can't defy

I've seen them standing at the crossroads
When they were waiting for a sign
And they unlearned to face the silence
As they unlearned to turn inside

You're turning to the sky
And you're dying for an angel
If you want it bad enough, see those eyes
That's where two glances collide

Learn to breathe, learn to crawl
Learn to stand, walk and fall
Learn to lose and to love, to believe, to rise above
Love is more than to love

Burning feet on the ground
Got your head in the clouds
You're out to find Arcadia
And you know you will stand
What you can't comprehend
Journey to Arcadia

The more I've seen I understand
That there ain't nothing that I know now
As I awake on padded ground
The final curtain of the show

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