Alex Landenburg (pictured below; AT VANCE, ANNIHILATOR, MEKONG DELTA) has commented on his new gig as the stand-in drummer for STRATOVARIUS after the band's regular drummer, Jörg Michael, was diagnosed with cancer and had his entire thyroid removed."I will be stepping in for Jörg Michael on the first part of the upcoming tour with HELLOWEEN," Alex said. "Being a longtime fan of the band myself (I bought [1995's] 'Fourth Dimension' as a 14-year-old kid), this is, of course, exciting for me. "Sadly, the circumstances — as you can read in the statement from [STRATOVARIUS keyboardist] Jens Johansson — are terrible. Jörg has cancer. "I feel honored to have been chosen to step in for Jörg on this part of the tour and I will do my best to deliver great shows to the STRATOVARIUS fans. "I'm sure Jörg will be back soon and just like anybody else I'm mostly looking forward to seeing STRATOVARIUS from besides the stage with Jörg behind the drums again! "OK, all for now... gotta go back to learning some new songs! "See you on the road." STRATOVARIUS's thirteenth full-length studio album, "Elysium", will be released in Asia on January 12, 2011 via JVC and in the rest of the world on January 14, 2011 through earMUSIC/Edel. A single with two new songs will be released on November 26 to coincide with the start of the "7 Sinners World Tour" on which STRATOVARIUS will join HELLOWEEN as very special guests — kicking off the same day at the Szene in Vienna, Austria. STRATOVARIUS' first CD since the departure of guitar player and main composer Timo Tolkki, "Polaris" was released in the U.S. in May 2009 via Armoury Records (a division of Eagle Rock Entertainment).