SYMFONIA, the new melodic metal project featuring former members of HELLOWEEN, STRATOVARIUS, ANGRA and SONATA ARCTICA, entered Studiomega in Varberg, Sweden on November 25, 2010 to begin recording 12 songs for its debut album, which is tentatively scheduled for a March 25, 2011 release.
In a posting on the band's official blog, SYMFONIA guitarist Timo Tolkki writes, "Me and André [Matos, vocals] have been here in the middle of a Swedish forest for a week recording vocals.
"We rented a cabin which is at a top of a hill with an amazing view.
"If the drumming studio was in the middle of nowhere, then this one is in the middle of that nowhere.
"Things are going smooth; we got a great vocal sound.
"Had to put some blankets on the wall to treat the place acoustically a bit.
"The cabin is slightly haunted; the owner told us that a man named Hans died here 80 years ago and can sometimes be seen around. So far we haven't seen him.
"Things got off to a bit difficult start because André has been singing with a certain piece of art right next to him since he left ANGRA. It is a famous painting by Salvador Dali called 'Madonna of Port Lligat'. So we had to FedEx that from Sao Paulo [Brazil] for him and that took some time.
"André is a massive Dali fan, so I understand this completely. Also he wants two cactuses and two other any kind of plants on the floor next to him where he is singing.
"Days are filled with writing and rewriting lyrics and recording vocals in a very nice atmosphere. Listening to Beethoven and analyzing it. We both are big fans.
"The album is taking shape in a very nice way."
Check out photos from the studio at this location.
SYMFONIA has signed a four-album deal with the biggest Japanese metal and rock label Marquee Avalon for the territory of the entire Asian region, including China. Negotiations for the other territories are still in progress.
A press release reads as follows: "They are all legends among the melodic metal community. By sheer coincidence, they all found themselves living on the same continent, in Scandinavia. They decided to join forces and express their talents in the form of a new melodic metal project: SYMFONIA.
"Honoring the heritage of their previous bands STRATOVARIUS, HELLOWEEN, ANGRA and SONATA ARCTICA, SYMFONIA continues their superb melodic metal tradition with an incredible musicianship that is a match made in heaven. This is a force that no serious melodic metal fan will be able to ignore."
* Timo Tolkki (STRATOVARIUS, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE) - Guitar
* André Matos (ANGRA, SHAAMAN, VIPER) - Vocals
* Jari Kainulainen (STRATOVARIUS, EVERGREY) - Bass
* Mikko Härkin (SONATA ARCTICA, KOTIPELTO) - Keyboards
* Uli Kusch (MASTERPLAN, HELLOWEEN) - Drums
SYMFONIA will make its live debut on February 18, 2011 at the Finnish Metal Expo (part of the Helsinki Metal Meeting) in Helsinki, Finland.
For more information, visit www.symfonia.fi.