Sunday, December 5, 2010

Avantasia - Runaway Train

Welcome to Avantasia.

Back in January 2009 I reviewed Avantasia – Lost in Space, and informed the good people who read my music in reviews that the best album of 2008, at least in my opinion, was Avantasia – The Scarecrow. Fortunately for me, and you as well, Tobias Sammet was not done. He had so many ideas that he had eight additional tracks that never saw official release on The Scarecrow, and he had many more ideas to come, as it was his intention all along to make The Scarecrow a trilogy.

The lead song writer, singer, bass player, and occasionally keyboard and lead guitarist, Tobias Sammet, is sort of like a modern Mozart, insofar that he has a great skill set and mind set to write beautiful music and also he is very young, as of this moment Tobias is thirty-three. Sammet’s rock group “Edguy,” was formed back in 1992 when he was merely fourteen years old. Under the Edguy title Sammet has released eight albums plus a ton of singles which for reasons unknown never made it to release on any of the albums, under the Avantasia project he has released five albums (arguably six) with a ton of songs never released on any of the official albums. You know someone is creative when they can’t even fit all their ideas on thirteen studio albums, and this is an ongoing problem.

I could try to beat into all your minds that Avantasia is in fact the greatest thing in the world right now, and I have a lot of things I could use to argue this point, but personal taste usually wins out such debates, so let me play the emotional card and explain to you why this music perfectly suits me. I love methodical music, and Avantasia is very methodical. I have always loved rock opera’s, I love the narratives style, and I love how it creates a pattern of familiarity that really speaks to the human ear, and well Avantasia is a perfect example of such a concept. I love this style of music, finding simplicity in complexity, and harmony in chaos.

The other reason this music really speaks to me is the story being told is open enough for our imagination to fill in the blanks. The story is there if you want to pick it out, but instead of being told to you point blank it is told only through the poetic thoughts and expression of the main character.

“The Scarecrow is a tragic story of a lonesome creature, emotionally isolated from his environment and suffering from a distorted sensory perception.” - Tobias Sammet

That’s a neat concept, dealing with a lot of powerful and deep ideas that I as well have given a lot of thought about in the past. If I could sum up my feelings for Avantasia in a single sentence it would be; this is the kind of music I would write if I had the talent, it speaks to me on every level.

This year Sammet released Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony, part two of the epic, and on this album I fell in love with my favourite Avantasia song of all, my favourite song of the year, “Runaway Train.”

There is a reason why it took me till halfway through the month to write up this music in review and that reason is life sucks. If you know me well there won’t be any need to elaborate so I won’t, I’ll just restate the obvious, I’m living life the hard way most every day, at the very least it feels that way. “Runaway Train” is all about being miserable and yet finding bliss in a faraway world, it is escapism, and it is the beautiful to think if you but hold on to a runaway train it will take you somewhere else, “a world beyond human imagination.” This song couldn’t possibly do a better job of capturing both extremes, dark inescapable misery, and yet, freedom and peace, just one train ride away, all you need do is hang on through the wind and rain.

As I said this is the kind of music I would right, what a narrative, in just one song it paints an entire story for your own mind to fill in all the blanks and paint wild images both grim and glorious. I feel a kinship with Sammet, even though we have never met, there is a great measure of parallel thinking between the two of us and I couldn’t be more thankful for his existence and the music he has given me, it captures so many things I would have wanted to say, and says it better than I ever could have. No one could ask for better music than that.

Until next month, hang on to a runaway train.

- Colin Kelly

Your pocket full of dreams
Your mind in a daze
Keep on chasing rainbows
Fly high
Leave the past behind
The dark road you take bears no escape

In a world of grand illusions
Where love is just a dream
You got to make your sacrifices
Time to pick your poison

The fool is he who is noble minded
And bellies up to poverty
He's not a king in the world of diamonds
Paling into oblivion

I lay down my soul for glory
I've given a life away
Don't know if I am sorry
Blind me, blind me

Don't know where I'll be going
I got to get away
From the pain of recollection
Drawn into the faint

Hang on to a runaway train
No turning back
Tethered to a runaway train
Take me away
Torpid in the wind and rain
No turning back
Hang on to a runaway train
Take me away

If I'm a stranger to myself
Then I better got to stay away
Even better got to get away, get away
Time to pick my poison

Feel the devil sitting in my neck
Straight ahead into the unknown
Oh father I forgive you for I
Don't know what I'm doing

It's only human nature
To keep away from pain
Take a train to ecstasy oh
Ride on, ride on

Inhale the scent of heaven
Respire the smell of fame
You've been to hell and back
You can't change things anyway, no

I hang on to a runaway train
No turning back
Tethered to a runaway train
Take me away
Torpid in the wind and rain
No turning back
I hang on to a runaway train
Take me away

Reaching out to rule the world
you'll watch the mirror shatter
As you'll be dazzled by the sight
Once only diamonds mattered

How can you justify the way
When you wake up screaming
Will you pretend that you were blind
When you were really seeing

Your image everywhere
The looking glass: a sheet of ice
It's thick enough to dance on
In a frozen realm of lies

But the ice will break
And you will scream repenting
Oh boy the ice will break
You'll just feel your heart rending

Riding on to a world of funny flowers
Riding on to the white wide world
If coming back would hurt my pride
I rather take another ride
Riding on, winter on the mirror
Riding on into the unknown
If I'll awake in pain one day
I got to catch just one more train

Days gone by
Who'd want to live forever
On our knees up your road
Paved with good intentions
Fly high
Where angels can't breathe no more
Some dare to go blind
Some stay behind

I hang on to a runaway train
No turning back
Tethered to a runaway train
Take me away
Torpid in the wind and rain
No turning back
I hang on to a runaway train
Take me away

Hang on to a runaway train
No turning back
Tethered to a runaway train
Take me away
Torpid in the wind and rain
in the wind and rain
I hang on to that runaway train

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