EDGUY mainman Tobias Sammet entered VOX Klangstudio in Bendestorf, Germany late last month with producer Sascha Paeth (KAMELOT, EDGUY, EPICA, RHAPSODY) to begin recording the new album from Sammet's AVANTASIA project for a spring 2013 release. The CD will once again be a rock opera based on a conceptual story very similar to the early AVANTASIA albums and will feature "a legion of guest instrumentalists and vocalists," according to a press release.
The drum tracks for the new AVANTASIA album were laid down by Russell Gilbrook of URIAH HEEP. Video footage of his session can be seen below.
Comments Tobias: "Russell is a killer drummer, a real powerhouse!
"When Eric Singer gave me his schedule for 2012 and how much he'd be involved with KISS, I knew that I had to find a drummer, so I was trying to kind of make a virtue of necessity and add a new flavor to AVANTASIA.
"I remembered having seen URIAH HEEP a few years ago and I was really impressed by the way the drummer mistreated his poor little kit, beating it to pieces like a monster, while still keeping the dynamics and the groove. I knew that if I‘d be in need of a drummer one day, I'd try to work with this guy. And now after the recording has been completed, I know that it's been a very good decision.
"Russell is a monster and the drums sound amazing. Also the studio must have the best drum recording room I've ever been to. Previous clients like ROGER WHITTAKER, TRUCK STOP, RAMMSTEIN, SARAH BRIGHTMAN and the WILDECKER HERZBUBEN knew why they went for the VOX Klangstudio... I am extraordinarily happy!"
Sammet previously stated about the new AVANTASIA material: "[It] sounds very fresh and new and yet you can hear the old classic AVANTASIA vibe on the album. It will be an enchanting fairytale again, far away from any musical trends.
"Our latest album was our most successful album of all time, but I guess it was only that successful because it came from the heart. That's the only proven remedy I wanna stick to.
"I tried to lay down any thought of expectations, but instead just do a completely unseasonable, unfashionable and even unreasonable piece of art.
"Anyway, I feel at home when I listen to those melodies, choirs and guitars.
"I talked to [former HELLOWEEN and current UNISONIC singer] Michi Kiske and he said that the stuff reminds him a lot of the old classic AVANTASIA material in the good old 'Keeper' style. As a fan, now that sounds even exciting to me, so the circle shuts.
"For myself, it's hard to describe the material in words. I had, and have, so many ideas that I had to restrain myself a little. Otherwise, the album would become too long, and I'm trying not to do a double album this time. However, I am really excited, and I just thought I'd let you know how excited I am."
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!"