Brazilian singer André Matos (ex-ANGRA, SHAAMAN, VIPER) has joined the list of guest musicians who will appear on the forthcoming release from EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet's AVANTASIA project.
Tobias met André in 1999 when EDGUY supported ANGRA on a French tour, and he immediately invited his Brazilian counterpart to sing a guest role on AVANTASIA's "The Metal Opera 1 & 2". Sometime later Tobias returned the favor with a special guest appearance on one of André's CDs as well as on a DVD. The returning of favors has gone on and on, and the tradition has lasted to this day.
Commented Tobias: "In 2008 André was part of the AVANTASIA live ensemble when we played the world tour which culminated in a headlining show in Wacken in front of more than 100,000 people. Half a year later, we invited André and his band to be special guest on the first leg of EDGUY's European tour. I mean, we have known each other for over ten years now, our paths have crossed countless times, and I remember André had a huge influence for me in the early 90s when we founded EDGUY. He was the key member in one of the few bands who dared to play traditional melodic metal when NIRVANA and PEARL JAM had killed any form of music that I loved. It was great for EDGUY and me to be able to tour France with him in the late '90s. That was the time when we built the foundation for a strong relationship with André, with Brazil, and — not to forget — a very successful one with France! Now André is my guest again and I am really happy about this collaboration. He is special singer with a unique voice and he is a real friend and a class act! I am happy that our paths have crossed once again, his performance is great and am looking forward to hear people's opinion on it!"
So far Tobias has confirmed the following musicians to be part of the forthcoming AVANTASIA opus:
* Klaus Meine (SCORPIONS)
* Tim "Ripper" Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ICED EARTH)
* Eric Singer (KISS, ALICE COOPER)
* Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN)
* Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN, ARK, MILLENIUM)
* Bob Catley (MAGNUM)
* Sascha Paeth
* Felix Bohnke (EDGUY)
* Alex Holzwarth (RHAPSODY, SIEGES EVEN)
* Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X)
* Jens Johansson (STRATOVARIUS, DIO, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN)
* André Matos (ANGRA, SHAAMAN, VIPER)
AVANTASIA project will celebrate its comeback next year with a new epic masterpiece, to be released on April 3, 2010 as two separate albums and in a limited deluxe edition (in one box set) entitled "The Wicked Symphony" and "Angel Of Babylon".
Regarding his decision to release the next AVANTASIA chapter in two separate CDs, Tobias said, "I have always given my very best, but this new chapter in AVANTASIA's history is too much and too ambitious to be just a regular album. I have worked on it for years now, and it has become even more than two albums!
"I knew that story would be spread out over two albums back then when we started working on it in 2006, 'cause we had written a real rock opera of over 20 songs even back then. But since then, we kept composing, and out came even bigger and better material.
"Looking at the music industry today with all the CD burning and downloading, I guess in the near future many of us traditional rock and metal bands won't be able to spend such a production budget. I am afraid I won't be able to afford so many guests and such a big production with orchestration and a choir and all that. That's why this production takes so much time; it may be the last big epic I will be able to afford, and I want it to be the biggest piece I have worked on so far."
Kiske has appeared on every AVANTASIA album so far, including the first two full-length releases, "The Metal Opera" (2001) and "The Metal Opera Pt. II" (2002).
On the topic of the new AVANTASIA album's musical direction, Sammet recently stated, "We've got quite many songs, and it ranges from epic ballads to metal opera. From pop to hard rock to folk to speed metal. My best friend, who co-wrote the story of 'The Metal Opera' back then, just listened to some of the tracks and he said that it will blow people away and enchant AVANTASIA fans and it will surely piss people off . . . It's just enchanting music. And these days honest and good music is kind of offending to some, that's pretty sick, isn't it? But as long as I get goose bumps hearing majestic music, I do not really care if I am fashionable or not."
The most recent album from AVANTASIA, "The Scarecrow", was one of the 20 best-selling albums in whole Europe during the fourth week of January 2008, according to a press release.
"The Scarecrow" was released on January 25, 2008 as a standard CD as well as rare picture (double) vinyl. It features a long list of guest musicians, including Bob Catley, ex-MASTERPLAN frontman Jorn Lande, ex-HELLOWEEN singer Michael Kiske, Alice Cooper, KISS drummer Eric Singer, SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker and GAMMA RAY's Kai Hansen. The album produced a Top 10 German hit single, "Lost In Space", and entered the national charts in 15 countries, with the CD landing in the Top 10 in four countries.