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Yes, Timo is the latest confirmed vocalist scheduled to appear on one of the two new Ayreon albums out early next year. Other vocalists already confirmed include Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), Andi Deris (Helloween), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody, Labÿrinth, Athena), Ralf Scheepers (Gamma Ray, Primal Fear) and Ian Parry (Elegy). Really impressive list! And I am really excited about all this, because Ayreon has been one of the very few projects that have left me completely breathless.
For those unfortunate who don't know what Ayreon is about... Ayreon is an incredible progressive rock/metal project by the Dutch mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Arjen writes basically complete rock operas, plays most guitars and even some keyboards, but gets top musicians to play rest of the instruments and handle vocals. 105-minute double-CD Into The Electric Castle released in 1998 features eleven vocalists (including narrator and two death metal vocalists) playing ten different characters. The list includes the likes of Fish (Marillion), Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering) and Damian Wilson (Threshold). With this album the Ayreon-project was really noticed worldwide, and this was definitely one of the reasons Arjen can get top-notch musicians to appear on his forthcoming projects as well.
To get the idea of the music, download and listen songs (64kbps MP3) Sail Away To Avalon (1.8MB) from the album The Final Experiment (1995) and The Decision Tree (We're Alive) (2.9MB) from the album Into The Electric Castle (1998). You can also order Ayreon CDs from the official website at http://www.ayreon.com/. All three Ayreon CDs get my highest recommendations! And start asking your local record stores about Ayreon as soon as possible! I know only one single record store in Finland that has had any Ayreon CDs. Easier to get the new one if the stores already know the artist...
Timo Tolkki confirmed on Perpetual Motion board that Stratovarius has signed a worldwide distribution deal with Nuclear Blast. This highly increases for example the chances for the US tour.
Enough said. For Visions this took over a year, for Destiny only a couple of months!