Jorge Fretes of Spain's GoetiaMedia.com recently conducted an interview with former STRATOVARIUS guitarist and current TIMO TOLKKI'S AVALON mainman Timo Tolkki. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Frontiers Records released TIMO TOLKKI'S AVALON's sophomore album, "Angels Of The Apocalypse", on May 16 in Europe and May 20 in North America.
The story: It is 2020 A.D - The Elements send 4 Angels to observe mankind and its actions in the last century. There are 4 Angels, but still they are One. Fire, Wind, Earth and Water are their names. With the Elements they observe in unimaginable sadness and anger the primitive events that take place in the last 150 years as they have the ability to go back and forth in time. As they give their final warning, Mankind sees unimaginable destruction that shakes its core foundations. Pandora's Box is opened and the forces of Nature are unleashed. Is this the prelude for Judgement Day...
Following the release of the debut album "The Land of New Hope", the "Metal Opera" was met with critical and fan acclaim, entering the national album charts in seven European countries, including a Top 10 entry in Tolkki's home country, Finland. In August 2013, Tolkki flew to Greece to seek the right inspiration for the follow-up album and upon his return he managed to develop a sound that is even more grandiose and symphonic and yet heavier and darker in direction as compared to the debut album.
"In August 2012, I planned to release a Metal Opera that had to be a trilogy," says Tolkki.
"I am following a specific storyboard in a musical format and this time the musical direction is heavier and darker than the previous AVALON. This was deliberate since the Apocalyptic scenes described in the lyrics demanded that."
As for the players on the album, Tolkki finally managed to reunite the legendary STRATOVARIUS "Dreamspace" lineup, calling Antti Ikonen and Tuomo Lassila to play keyboards and drums respectively. "It was really nice and brought good vibes and freshness to the album," says Timo. "Definitely the right move."
The amazing cast of vocalists appearing this time includes NIGHTWISH singer Floor Jansen — who takes care of the lead vocals on the first single, "Design The Century" — along with Simone Simons (EPICA), Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY OF FIRE), David DeFeis (VIRGIN STEELE), Zachary Stevens (ex-SAVATAGE, CIRCLE II CIRCLE), plus Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE) — who appears again after contributing to the first album — and the stunning Chilean singer Caterina Nix, who is working on her debut album, which is also produced by Tolkki.
"Some songs were written with a specific singer in mind, while for some others I decided based on the knowledge that I had on how he or she would perform," says Tolkki.
"I am particularly happy of how this record sounds especially two songs, 'You'll Bleed Forever' and the 10-minute title track, are among my favorite ever."
Once again the stunning artwork is provided by the French artist Stanis W. Decker and the first pressing of the physical edition was made available in a glossy digipak.
"Angels Of The Apocalypse" final track listing:
01. Song For Eden
02. Jerusalem Is Falling
03. Design The Century
04. Rise Of The 4th Reich
05. Stargate Atlantis
06. You'll Bleed Forever
07. The Paradise Lost
08. Neon Sirens
09. High Above Of Me
10. Angels Of The Apocalypse
11. Garden Of Eden
* Timo Tolkki: guitars, bass and keyboards
* Tuomo Lassila: drums
* Antti Ikonen: keyboards
* Nicholas Jeudy: orchestration
* Floor Jansen, Simone Simons, Fabio Lione, David DeFeis, Zachary Stevens, Elize Ryd, Caterina Nix: vocals
The official video for the CD's first single, "Design The Century", can be seen below. The clip, which features NIGHTWISH singer Floor Jansen on lead vocals, was directed by Patric Ullaeus of Revolver Film Company, who has previously worked with DIMMU BORGIR, LACUNA COIL, IN FLAMES, SONIC SYNDICATE and KAMELOT, among others.