AYREON, the brainchild of Dutch guitarist Arjen Lucassen (ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE), have invited the following guest instrumentalists to contribute to the group's new album, "The Human Equation", due in May 2004 through an as-yet-undetermined label:
Oliver Wakeman on keyboards: "Arjen has played guitar on some of Oliver's work, and they've been good friends ever since," reads a post on Arjen's web site.
Joost van den Broek on keyboards and spinet: "Most of you know Joost as the 'caped crusader' and magnificent keyboard-wizard on the STAR ONE tour (and DVD). Joost is from the band SUN CAGED."
John McManus on flutes: "John should be no stranger to fans of Arjen's work, as he is the flutist who previously performed on 'Ambeon'. He plays various flutes on 'The Human Equation', among them the renowned low-flute."
In addition, an unknown singer from Mexico by the name of Marcela Bovio was flown over from Mexico to sing on the album.
"Some time ago I came up with the to idea to give an unknown singer the chance to sing on AYREON," Arjen explained. "Obviously also in the hopes that I would discover a talent like Astrid ('Ambeon'). So on the website we encouraged fans to send in their recordings. I received over a 100 recordings (thanks to you all!), listened to them and replied to everyone. One evening I heard a Mexican girl called Marcela Bovia and her band ELFONIA, and I got goose-bumps all over. In the end, four great (female) singers were left. I made them send their version of 'Valley of the Queens' to me, and after that a song from my new album. Eventually I chose Marcela. Somehow I knew deep down inside from the very first time I heard her that she would be the one."
As previously reported, "The Human Equation" will feature guest appearances by a number of world-class singers, including James LaBrie (DREAM THEATER), Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH), Devin Townsend (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD), Devon Graves (a.k.a. Buddy Lackey, DEAD SOUL TRIBE, ex-PSYCHOTIC WALTZ), Magnus Ekwall (THE QUILL), Heather Findlay (MOSTLY AUTUMN), Eric Clayton (SAVIOUR MACHINE) and Mike Baker (SHADOW GALLERY).