Singer Ronnie Atkins of Danish hard rock veterans PRETTY MAIDS has been confirmed as one of the guest musicians who will appear on "The Mystery Of Time", the new album from EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet's AVANTASIA project. Also scheduled to make appearances on the CD are Michael Kiske (UNISONIC, HELLOWEEN), SAXON frontman Biff Byford, former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, drummer Russell Gilbrook of URIAH HEEP and AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen (also ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE).
Commented Tobias: "I have been a huge PRETTY MAIDS fan since I was a teenager. I already asked Ronnie to be on the 'Metal Opera' in 1999, but he was busy back then. Last year I saw PRETTY MAIDS live, and they were a steam train on stage, unbelievable. After the show, we met and Ronnie was a great guy. Finally after 13 years, I am really proud to have him on the new AVANTASIA album. And his kick-ass performance leaves no doubt: It was a great decision to ask him!"
A YouTube clip containing footage of the orchestra recordings as well as a rough-mix sample of a song featuring Kiske is available below.
Bruce previously appeared on AVANTASIA's "The Wicked Symphony" and "Angel Of Babylon" CDs and Tobias contributed guest vocals to Bruce's last solo release, "BK3".
The new AVANTASIA CD is being recorded in part at VOX Klangstudio in Bendestorf, Germany with producer Sascha Paeth (KAMELOT, EDGUY, EPICA, RHAPSODY).
Immediately after the release of "The Mystery Of Time", a metal opera based on a story written by Sammet, the band will embark on a full-fledged indoor tour, during which the band and special guests will bring the epic undertaking to the stage.
Since the performances will embrace all the different eras and history of AVANTASIA, these shows will feature an extended playing time and the entire evening will be dedicated to AVANTASIA with no support acts.
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!"
Pictured below: Ronnie Atkins