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I like it! Marko sounds great! This is around the time of EMFB...

AVANTASIA - Marco Hietala on album!

October 30, 2015


"What do Geoff Tate, Dee Snider, Michael Kiske, Robert Mason, Jorn Lande, Bob Catley, Ronnie Atkins, Olli Hartmann and me have in common with Marco Hietala of NIGHTWISH? Yes, we're all good looking, funny and amazingly talented… AND: we'll be on the new AVANTASIA album »Ghostlights« - out on January, 29th 2016. About Marco: It was August 1997 and we were in Helsinki to mix the »Vain Glory Opera« album of EDGUY when someone played the band TAROT to me. That great band seemed to be some sort of a legend in Finland (in Germany TAROT were not really known at the time). A few years later a band called NIGHTWISH had appeared on the map and were about to take the European Metal world upside down. EDGUY played a festival in England with SAXON and amongst others: NIGHTWISH! I remember even though they had a great female vocalist how much I loved the rendition of Ozzy Osbourne's 'Crazy Train' that they did - if I remember correctly - which was sung by their bass player. You know, a lot of bass players are bass players because they wanna be in a band too; and there's only so much damage you can do to the sound of a band with just a bass. Sometimes they're only in the band because they talk enough to organize things or they have a day job to finance the first demo recordings, nice stage clothes, or sun glasses, but at the end of the day, most of them aren't taken seriously because… well, because they're bass players. 🙂 And they're always suspicious... 😉 Anyway - I don't need a bass player because I play bass myself (not as good as Marco, but I am the cheaper solution for my own project, ha!). AND Marco is more than a bass player, he is a proper musician! I have no clue why it took so long until I eventually asked Marco Hietala (that bass playing vocalist with the two beards and the voice!!) if he could imagine singing a role on an AVANTASIA album. Now it is happening! And the results kick ass! You will love it! We're putting together an epic metal record I believe… Furthermore Robert Mason (WARRANT) can been confirmed to sing on the new album as well. Robert first made a name for himself back in the early nineties as the lead singer in LYNCH MOB. Robert is an amazing singer coming from what some would call a different musical world, and he contributed something very unique to the AVANTASIA world. He really gave the songs what they needed! You will hear it! Cheerz, Tobi"

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Darkness descends over the hall, the curtain rises. Dear audience, welcome to the wondrous otherworld of Avantasia!

With his ninth album, 'A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society', Tobias Sammet invites you to join him on an enchanted journey into his own version of reality, which is full of fantastic events and encounters. 

It is a captivating, deeply magical universe that Tobias Sammet has built over the past two decades. Since his debut 'The Metal Opera' (2001), the Peter Pan of international rock and metal has romped between metal, classical and rock, beguiling the biggest festivals around the world with his traveling circus and working with the greatest voices in the metal world including Alice Cooper and Scorpions’ Klaus Meine.

The reward for his passionate work and years on the road: number one in the German album charts for the latest record 'Moonglow' (2019), more than three million albums sold, over 250 million streams, sold-out world tours, and a fan base that listens to him live and in front of the home speakers with excitement and enthusiasm. Sometimes Tobias Sammet, also renowned for being singer, producer and songwriter in Edguy, cannot quite believe it all himself. "My whole life is based on childish ideas and dreams, which amazingly I still get away with," he says incredulously. "Even after 30 years, music is my favourite, biggest, only hobby. And the fact that I can make a living from it fills me with deep gratitude."

But of course he also does a lot for it. The construction of a new studio, for example - an investment that proves to be a pandemic stroke of luck in 2020: In his new realm, Sammet could indulge in his art while ignoring the world outside. "I was faced with more time than ever before," he looks back. "So I was paying as much attention to details and little things as I had in my early years. On the last records, I outsourced certain things to my producer Sascha Paeth, mostly just to save time. However, now I didn't have to save time. There hasn't been a record that sounded so much like me." Tinkering with sounds for nights, writing parts for his duet partners, arranging and singing the choirs himself - on "A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society" Sammet is not only impresario, conductor and musician, he also handles a majority of the vocals, and presents himself at the top of his game.

The project, which used to be particularly famous for its changing guest singers, has long since become a band, a family. "We even have a joint WhatsApp group where there's always something going on," Sammet grins. “We are a conspiratorial bunch, a gang."

On "A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society" a lot of old acquaintances duel with Tobias Sammet in the vocal department: Eric Martin, Michael Kiske, Ronnie Atkins, Geoff Tate or Bob Catley, for example. "I wanted a classic Avantasia album, so of course I relied on people who accompany Avantasia for a long time. They are also part of this band, thus there is no need to change that all of a sudden."

Still, of course, there are still voices he has always wanted to work with. On his new album, the contributions from Floor Jansen and Ralf Scheepers make him particulay happy. He had intended the power ballad ‘Misplaced Among the Angels’ for the Nighwish vocalist. “The song was ready and she could well imagine to sing it but was not sure if it would fit her tone”, Sammet details. So, he quickly wrote the rocking, symphonic "Kill The Pain Away" for their duet. “The rest was a matter of days and after she had finished nailing this track, she was more comfortable with “Misplaced Among the Angels”, too, and sang it without further ado. And delivered like a beast!"


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