The Tuska Open Air Festival has carved its name as one of the most important metal festivals amongst all other metal festivals in Europe. The media, label staff and PR -people travel all over the world to attend and feel and see the metal culture in Finland. All in all, 28,000 metal maniacs made a visit to a sold-out Tuska during three days. That’s excellent, as Tuska will be turning 20-years old next year, therefore it can be expected we’ll see something really unique as well as some bigger bands in 2017.
The line-up of the festival was mostly ignored the normal radio friendly audience whereas the die-hard metal freaks arrived at the Tuska Open Air Festival. Ghost, Avantasia, the domestic metal export Children Of Bodom and a number of other interesting names, like old thrash metal veterans Testament and Anthrax had to be witnessed of course. The Finnish Metal-Rules.com team was present the whole time and managed to catch several interesting bands during the 3 long days of pure metal madness.
INTERVIEW AND LIVE PICTURES BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
Tobias Sammet is the man and the visionary behind Avantasia and Edguy. Tobias sat down with Metal-Rules.com in Helsinki to discuss the brand new Avantasia opus entitled GHOSTLIGHTS. Avatansia is best known for their bombastic and rock opera oriented metal offerings. The band has conquered thousands of fans all over the world and they’re now more popular than ever. GHOSTLIGHTS is the bands seventh studio album. This is yet another masterpiece by Avantasia offering a magnificent journey into the world of Tobias Sammet and his musical adventures. Here’s the summary of the discussion we had about the album creation process, Avantasia in the Eurovision contest, the special quests, and more, including the current state of Edguy. Read on!
He‘s become part of rock history as the lead guitarist of KISS, MICHAEL BOLTON, MEAT LOAF and GRAND FUNK RAILROAD. And like a bat out of hell, he was back in the studio to record some lead guitars for the newAVANTASIA album. Guitar legend, solo artist and Tobi‘s dear friend Bruce Kulick! AVANTASIA‘s new album Ghostlights will be released on January, 29th 2016 via Nuclear Blast Records.
“I remember I was eleven years old when I had a KISS Crazy Nights poster on the wall”, commented Tobi. “20 years later Bruce asked me to co-write and lay down vocals for a song on his solo album BKIII (highly recommended to check out), which was a great honor for me. Bruce is a great guy, a pro and an outstanding guitar player, he comes from a different background than me, which makes it even more exciting to have him on theGhostlights album (out January 2016 via Nuclear Blast).”
The original is back! EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet has returned to the studio to work on the new chapter ofAVANTASIA. The sequel to the successful 2013
album The Mystery Of Time, which charted in 16 countries in Europe, Asia and America, including #2 in Germany, will be called Ghostlights and is scheduled to be released in early 2016. An EP/single is also planned to be released this autumn and in March 2016 a giant all-star ensemble will set off on the GHOSTLIGHTS WORLD TOUR.
AVANTASIA’s mastermind Tobias Sammet commented about the album:
“In the past months I’ve spent a lot of time in the studio, an odd recluse in the basement, secretly working obsessively on something that reads and feels and sounds like a new – very strong – chapter in the story of AVANTASIA. I must sayAVANTASIA is a fantastic outlet for creativity, and it’s truly inspiring to create a piece of music for so many great vocalists and instrumentalists.
The new material is very bombastic and dynamic, and even though it’s extremely diverse, every minute of it sounds likeAVANTASIA. I’m really proud of what we’re creating right now. And as if that wasn’t enough: I’m anxiously looking forward to hitting the road again. I didn’t necessarily expect this to happen as in the past it has always been difficult to align the individual schedules of the guest stars, but things have worked out, and we’re ready to make it happen one more time! We’ll put on a big show, we’re gonna play over three hours, and we’ll take the fans to a magical world all its own – to AVANTASIA. The live setlist is going to embrace the entire history of AVANTASIA, from The Metal Opera to Ghostlights and of course everything in between!”
The world tour will kick off in Berlin on March 4th, 2016.
British rock band Magnum finally returned to Finland for the first time in 25 years. The band released its 18’Th studio album ESCAPE FROM THE SHADOW GARDEN on last month and started the “Shadow Garden” tour now from Helsinki. Although the sales numbers are quite different compared to the 80’s the album has been a great success. Album reviews have been very positive all along the line and it’s been charting highly across the Europe including the band highest rank in the UK album chart since 1992’s SLEEPWALKING. While it is true that times have changed a lot since 1989, the band still managed to attract more than 350 people, which is not all that bad on Monday night in Helsinki. It’s time to “Rockin’ Chair” again!
Imagine a weekend of nothing but pure heavy fucking metal.
Imagine being surrounded by the friendliest 15,000 people who share the same passion for heavy metal music and lifestyle. Imagine a place where it is respectable to have beer for breakfast and drinking until you drop in an accomplishment. Imagine a festival where you can see over 100 heavy metal bands and pretty much none of them suck.
Ladies and gents, this ain’t no heavy metal fairytale!
This is Bloodstock Open Air – the greatest heavy metal music festival of our times. It’s a place where metal heads run free, headbang until their heads roll off, shout ‘SLAYEEER!’ and avoid shower for 4 days straight.
It just does not get any better than this.
Our Metal-Rules.com UK team were privileged to attend Bloodstock Open Air 2013 and see things for themselves…here’s a ‘little’ insight of what went down.
Article and pictures by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjälä
“Welcome to the show” – welcomed by KISS when headlining the second day of the Sweden Rock fest. Well, once again the Finnish Metal-Rules.com team made their annual roadtrip to Sweden Rock. Metal Rules has covered Swedenrock since 2001, therefore it is quite logical to cover the festival again. The 2013 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock. Over 70 metal and rock bands offered one hell of an experience for attendees. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past ten years as the festival has always been sold out. This year wasn’t any exception as the fest was sold out despite the lousy economic situation worldwide. It has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article on several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. The weather was tremendous during these four days. The Metal-Rules.com team was there witnessing bands, not for having some beach party crap. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Rock on!
New masterpiece from Tobias Sammet out now on Nuclear Blast
GERMANY – The Mystery of Time, the latest release from German composer and vocalist Tobias Sammet’s, Avantasia, released last week in North America, selling nearly 2,000 copies and checking in at #9 on the Billboard “Heat Seekers” chart. The record also debuted at #33 on the “Hard Rock” chart.
On March 22nd the new AVANTASIA single “Sleepwalking” will hit the online stores for downloading. Tobias and AVANTASIA have also shot a video clip for the song. Check out the images below to get an impression of what the Sleepwalking video will look and feel like. The video was shot in a magical forest in Germany on a snowy winter‘s night. Tobias comments: “It was far below freezing. And there we were, standing in the snow storm for hours, walking through a haunted forest. It felt a bit like Sleepy Hollow meets Brothers Grimm, but the pictures that came out were really great and compensated for the torture.”
About the song itself Tobias says: “Sleepwalking is the most enchanting pop song I’ve ever written. Yes, it’s a pop song, and I am the first to admit it. I love stuff like A-Ha, Cutting Crew, Enya and Sarah Brightman. You know, the whole album is a journey, someone said, that “The Mystery Of Time“ is the most adventurous AVANTASIA album to date. What makes AVANTASIA what it is, is its diversity. We have five double bass songs, two big epics, a beautiful flamboyantly orchestrated ballad, and monumental mid tempo groovy stuff with big choirs. AVANTASIA has always been defined by its diversity and mingling of styles. It is an Epic Metal record and there are so many different things to be discovered, you have to give the album at least ten listens to discover half of what’s going on. Sleepwalking are four wonderful minutes out of 60 minutes, but there is not one song on the album that can represent AVANTASIA on its own, it’s the full 60 minutes you have to pay attention to, to grasp the magic of this piece!”
The new album “The Mystery Of Time” will hit the stores on March 29th, “Sleepwalking” will be released on March 22nd.
A lyric video for the hard-rockin’ AVANTASIA track “Invoke The Machine” – featuring Tobias Sammet and guest vocalist Ronnie Atkins of Pretty Maids – is now up on Nuclear Blast’s YouTube channel:
AVANTASIA – The Mystery Of Time
“Invoke The Machine” comes from AVANTASIA’s upcoming The Mystery Of Time album, due out in North America on April 30th.
AVANTASIA’s latest rock opera features artwork by the highly-acclaimed British fantasy artist Rodney Matthews (Thin Lizzy, Asia, Nazareth, Magnum) and includes guest appearances by the following rock & metal heavy weights: Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow, ex-Deep Purple), Eric Martin (Mr. Big), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), Biff Byford (Saxon), Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Unisonic), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, ex-Vengeance), Bruce Kulick (Grand Funk Railroad, ex-KISS, ex-Meat Loaf), Russell Gilbrook (URIAH HEEP), Bob Catley (Magnum), guitarist/producer Sascha Paeth, and the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg.
About Ronnie Atkins‘ guest appearance, AVANTASIA mastermind Tobias Sammet has previously stated:
“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!”
The Wicked Symphony and Angel Of Babylon, AVANTASIA’s last two studio albums, were released in 2010. “Dying For An Angel” (featuring SCORPIONS’ Klaus Meine), “Carry Me Over,” and “Lost In Space” videos are available for viewing on YouTube.
Tobias Sammet also fronts the high humor/high energy heavy metal band EDGUY.
On March 30th the new AVANTASIA-album “The Mystery Of Time“ will be released. If you register for the backstage section of tobiassammet.com (HERE), you can now see the new artwork there. It has been hand-painted by world acclaimed British fantasy artist Rodney Matthews. Amongst Rodney’s most famous artworks are not only album covers for Rock legends such as Magnum, Thin Lizzy, Asia or Nazareth. He has also designed the characters for the TV-series “Lavender Castle“ and created the covers for novels by British fantasy author Michael Moorcock and many more.Tobias: “It is a great honour for me to have Rodney create the artwork of ‘The Mystery Of Time‘. Since the new album is a conceptual album and its story has a magical and enchanting atmosphere, there was no other painter I could think of to create the artwork. I’ve had several creative conversations with Rodney during the process and I had the feeling that the concept was inspiring to him right from the start. I put a lot of energy into producing a very detailed and fascinating album, and Rodney had that same enthusiasm to create an artwork just as detailed and fascinating. This is a new chapter in AVANTASIA’s history and I think it didn’t deserve less than a magical painting by my favorite painter and childhood hero: The one and only Rodney Matthews!“
The Mystery Of Time tracklist:’Spectres’
‘The Watchmakers’ Dream’
‘Where Clock Hands Freeze’
‘Savior In The Clockwork’
‘Invoke The Machine’
‘What’s Left Of Me’
‘Dweller In A Dream’
‘The Great Mystery’
In April an all-star Avantasia ensemble will set off on a world tour, playing three-hour indoor shows on their own plus a few chosen festivals.
Guests on The Mystery Of Time rock opera include: Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow, ex-Deep Purple), Eric Martin (Mr. Big), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), Biff Byford (Saxon), Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Unisonic), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, ex-Vengeance), Bruce Kulick (Grand Funk Railroad, ex-KISS, ex-Meat Loaf), Russell Gilbrook (URIAH HEEP), guitarist/producer Sascha Paeth, and the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg.
AVANTASIA’s last two albums, The Wicked Symphony and Angel Of Babylon, were released in 2010 and included guest appearances by Klaus Meine (SCORPIONS), Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN), Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-JUDAS PRIEST, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ex-ICED EARTH), Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X), and Jon Oliva (JON OLIVA’S PAIN, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, SAVATAGE) among others.