OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt has been officially confirmed as one of the guest performers on the new AYREON CD, "The Human Equation", tentatively due in May 2004 through an as-yet-undetermined label.
According to a posting on AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen's (ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE) web site, "fans and journalists alike kept telling Arjen to check out Mikael as a possible choice for a singer on an AYREON album. Arjen became more and more curious to hear him and decided to pick up a copy of [OPETH's] 'Damnation'. After a few spins he became an absolute fan of Mikael's voice and music.
"When Arjen contacted Mikael to ask whether he would be interested to participate, Mikael replied within an hour that he knew about AYREON and even had some albums... and that he would love to be part of a new AYREON project.
"Mikael recorded his vocals at the Electric Castle the first week of November and if you want to know if Mikael also grunts on the album, be sure to check the full studio report including pictures to be posted next week!"
As previously reported, other vocalists set to appear on the album include James LaBrie (DREAM THEATER) 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).
AYREON's last two albums, "The Universal Migrator" parts I and II were released at the same time (2000), but were made available for sale independently. Part I, "The Dream Sequencer" contained mainly features laid-back, atmospheric material with songs focusing on melody, while Part II, "Flight Of The Migrator", featured metal songs, with guest appearances by Andi Deris (HELLOWEEN, ex-PINK CREAM 69), Bruce Dickinson (IRON MAIDEN), Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X), Timo Kotipelto (STRATOVARIUS), Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR) and Ian Parry (ELEGY), among others.