"The Mystery Of Time", the new album from EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet's AVANTASIA project, will be released on March 30. The cover artwork was hand-painted by world acclaimed British fantasy artist Rodney Matthews. Among Rodney's most famous artworks are not only album covers for rock legends such as MAGNUM, THIN LIZZY, ASIA and NAZARETH, he has also designed the characters for the TV series "Lavender Castle" and created the covers for novels by British fantasy author Michael Moorcock and many more.
Comments Tobias: "It is a great honor for me to have Rodney create the artwork of 'The Mystery Of Time'.
"Since the new album is a conceptual album and its story has a magical and enchanting atmosphere, there was no other painter I could think of to create the artwork.
"I've had several creative conversations with Rodney during the process and I had the feeling that the concept was inspiring to him right from the start.
"I put a lot of energy into producing a very detailed and fascinating album, and Rodney had that same enthusiasm to create an artwork just as detailed and fascinating.
"This is a new chapter in AVANTASIA's history and I think it didn't deserve less than a magical painting by my favorite painter and childhood hero: The one and only Rodney Matthews!"
"The Mystery Of Time" will feature guest appearances by Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), Michael Kiske (UNISONIC, HELLOWEEN), SAXON frontman Biff Byford, former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, drummer Russell Gilbrook of URIAH HEEP, AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen (also ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE), Ronnie Atkins of Danish hard rock veterans PRETTY MAIDS and MR. BIG frontman Eric Martin.
The new AVANTASIA CD was recorded in part at VOX Klangstudio in Bendestorf, Germany with producer Sascha Paeth (KAMELOT, EDGUY, EPICA, RHAPSODY).
"The Mystery Of Time" track listing:
02. The Watchmakers' Dream
03. Black Orchid
04. Where Clock Hands Freeze
06. Savior In The Clockwork
07. Invoke The Machine
08. What's Left Of Me
09. Dweller In A Dream
10. The Great Mystery
Immediately after the release of "The Mystery Of Time", a metal opera based on a story written by Sammet, the band will embark on a full-fledged indoor tour, during which the band and special guests will bring the epic undertaking to the stage.
Since the performances will embrace all the different eras and history of AVANTASIA, these shows will feature an extended playing time and the entire evening will be dedicated to AVANTASIA with no support acts.
Tobias originally wanted to put AVANTASIA to rest after the release of the "The Flying Opera - Around The World In 20 Days" concert DVD in April 2011, but he has since had a change of heart. He explains, "Even though I love to record and tour with EDGUY, I didn't foresee how much I need AVANTASIA when I decided to finish this chapter of my life in 2011. I didn't know if there would be another AVANTASIA album one day, but I didn‘t feel like doing it. After the worldwide success of the latest studio releases, an arena world tour that was sold out pretty much everywhere, collaborations with childhood heroes like Alice Cooper, Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Eric Singer of KISS, etc. I 'knew' that I had said everything I could possibly say in the name of AVANTASIA. But that's not what AVANTASIA is all about. I wanna create more great music, I wanna create more fantasy worlds, the bigger and the more epic, the better. And listening to the material that I have created for this forthcoming chapter in the history of AVANTASIA, I know there is no way I am not going to do it! I have got the feeling and the certainty that this is absolutely meant to happen and to be!"