Finnish melodic metallers ALTARIA have issued the following update:
"The search is over! ALTARIA has found their man to take the place behind the microphone. Multitalented vocalist Marco Luponero attended the auditions and managed to impress the band to the point that he was invited to join. The things apart from Marco's singing that caught the band's eye (and ear) was his high-class songwriting skills as well as his stage charisma.
"ALTARIA is currently rehearsing for the [upcoming] shows with LORDI and HAMMERFALL as well as writing material for the forthcoming album.
Marco Luponero commented: "I'm proud to introduce myself as the new singer of ALTARIA. Considering that I've known both Tony [Smedjebacka, drums] and Marko [Pukkila, bass] for many years, and that we've shared the same stage on several occations, it seems almost odd that it's not until now that we have joined our forces.
"My musical background is somewhat different from the other members; I've been singing mostly in more brutal kinds of bands than ALTARIA, the most recent being TERRORWHEEL, from which a few of you might recognize me. But as I started my solo project LUPONERO I switched to a more melodic style of singing that also fits ALTARIA's sound.
"I'm looking forward to play my first gig with the band and I also hope to see you all very soon!"
ALTARIA parted ways with vocalist Taage in early December. Drummer Tony Smedjebacka stated at the time that it became "clear during this year that Taage and the other members of ALTARIA had different priorities. When we wanted Taage to invest more time for ALTARIA, he decided to quit. The band and Taage had different perspective on few other things, too, which might have been part of the reason he decided to leave the band."
ALTARIA is currently writing material for its fourth, as-yet-untitled album, tentatively due in the fall of 2007.
ALTARIA recently posted its video for the song "Frozen Hearts" at YouTube.com. The clip features footage from the band's European tour with SONATA ARCTICA and DORO.
"Frozen Hearts" comes off ALTARIA's third album, "The Fallen Empire", which was released last March. The follow-up to 2004's "Divinity" was mixed the Black Lounge Studios in Sweden. Former DIO guitarist Rowan Robertson makes a guest appearance on a track called "The Lion" and keyboardist Henrik Klingenberg (SONATA ARCTICA, SILENT VOICES) is featured on a song called "The Dying Flame", which is an eight-minute epic.