Tim “Ripper” Owens will guest on the forthcoming album of AVANTASIA.

Commented Tobias: “I had this pretty heavy riff monster and I remembered a JUDAS PRIEST live album with ‘the new singer’ on vocals. I listened again and when I heard him sing ‘Metal Gods’ and ‘Painkiller’, I knew that this was the voice I so desperately needed for the song.

“Tim is a cool guy and a scream machine. He makes his voice spit out the most aggressive high notes I have ever heard while fully controlling it.

“I am so proud of the heaviest metal tune I have written so far, and Tim has turned a good heavy metal song into the ultimate heavy metal monster!”

A photo of Owens in the studio during the AVANTASIA recording sessions can be viewed below.

AVANTASIA’s forthcoming album will feature additional guest appearances by Klaus Meine (SCORPIONS), Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN, ARK, MILLENIUM, VAGABOND, THE SNAKES) and acclaimed drummers Eric Singer (KISS, ALICE COOPER, BLACK SABBATH) and Alex Holzwarth (RHAPSODY OF FIRE, ANGRA, SIEGES EVEN).

Regarding the new AVANTASIA album’s musical direction, Sammet recently stated, “We’ve got quite many songs, and it ranges from epic ballads to metal opera. From pop to hard rock to folk to speed metal. My best friend, who co-wrote the story of ‘The Metal Opera’ back then, just listened to some of the tracks and he said that it will blow people away and enchant AVANTASIA fans and it will surely piss people off . . . It’s just enchanting music. And these days honest and good music is kind of offending to some, that’s pretty sick, isn’t it? But as long as I get goose bumps hearing majestic music, I do not really care if I am fashionable or not.”

The most recent album from AVANTASIA, “The Scarecrow”, was one of the 20 best-selling albums in whole Europe during the fourth week of January 2008, according to a press release.

“The Scarecrow” was released on January 25, 2008 as a standard CD as well as rare picture (double) vinyl. It features a long list of guest musicians, including Bob Catley, ex-MASTERPLAN frontman Jorn Lande, ex-HELLOWEEN singer Michael Kiske, Alice Cooper, KISS drummer Eric Singer, SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker and GAMMA RAY’s Kai Hansen. The album produced a Top 10 German hit single, “Lost In Space”, and entered the national charts in 15 countries, with the CD landing in the Top 10 in four countries.