2013 - The Land Of New Hope

2013-03-14 16:29
Release date: 
May 17th, 2013
Line up
Vocals: 
Michael Kiske
Vocals: 
Sharon Den Adel
Vocals: 
Rob Rock
Vocals: 
Tony Kakko
Vocals: 
Russell Allen
Vocals: 
Elize Ryd
Guitars: 
Timo Tolkki
Bass: 
Timo Tolkki
Drums: 
Alex Holzwarth
Keyboards: 
Jens Johannson
Keyboards: 
Derek Sherinian
Keyboards: 
Mikko Härkin
Track list

Information Timo Tolkki's Avalon

- Composed and produced by Timo Tolkki.
- The album will be released on 17.05.2013 in Europe and on 21.05.2013 (Frontiers Records) in North America.
- Michael Kiske sings on 'The Land Of New Hope'.
- Artwork done by the artist Stanis W. Decker.
 

Charts positions

Finland 7
Sweden 42
Switzerland 59
Norway 80
Germany 90

 

Singles

Timo Tolkki's Avalon Enshrined In My Memory single A World Without Us- The first single of this project, the song 'Enshrined in My Memory' (sung by AMARANTHE’s Elize Ryd) was released digitally worldwide on March 25th. At the same time it was released the video clip.

- There will be a second single of Tolkki's Avalon, the chosen song was 'A World Without Us' which will be released digitally worldwide (by iTunes, Amazon...) on 29th of April. Also the video clip will be released that day.
 

Different Editions of The Land Of New Hope

01. CD Standard edition: 10 tracks.
02. Deluxe edition: 1 CD + DVD: 30 minutes documentary “making of” and two promotional videoclips.
03. Japanese CD edition: 10 tracks + the bonus track 'I'll Sing You Home' in acoustic.
03. 2LP limited edition: 10 tracks in a limited 12" double gatefold edition, limited to 700 copies.


Musicians in Land Of New Hope

This is a new project of the Italian label Frontiers Records, "The Land Of New Hope - The new Metal Opera" with a lot of collaborations like: Michael Kiske, Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation), Russel Allen (Symphony X), Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica), Elyze Ryd (Amaranthe), Rob Rock (Impellitteri), Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater) and Mikko Härkin (Sonata Arctica).

Tolkki: "Regarding singers what can I say? I got the cream of the crop. I got the best singers in metal today. I got the right songs for them and I think that is one of the key points why this album became so good in my opinion."

(Vocalist list not confirmed at 100%)

01. 'Avalanche Anthem' (Allen/Rock/Ryd)
02. 'A World Without Us' (Ryd/Allen/Rock)
03. 'Enshrined In My Memory' (Ryd)
04. 'In The Name Of The Rose' (Ryd/Kakko/Allen)
05. 'We Will Find A Way' (Rock/Kakko)
06. 'Shine' (Ryd)
07. 'The Magic Of The Night' (Rock)
08. 'To The Edge Of The Earth' (Rock)
09. 'I'll Sing You Home' (Den Adel/Ryd)
10. 'The Land Of New Hope' (Kiske)

The orchestrations were done by Sami Boman and the Opera Vocals by Magdalena Lee.
 

Promotional stuff Tolkki's Avalon

'Enshrined In My Memory' & 'The World Without Us' Videoclip

Promo teasers Land Of New Hope

Photo session Tolkki's Avalon

The photo session and the videoclip 'Enshrined in My Memory' was made by the Swedish Patric Ullaeus. He is the founder of Revolver Film Company which is based in Sweden. He worked previously with a lot of artists like Europe, Amaranthe, In Flames, Kamelot, etc...

Timo Tolkki's Avalon photo session by Patric Ullaeus

 

The History Behind Tolkki's Avalon

Everything started in early 2012 when Timo Tolkki began writing new stuff for a solo record. It should be the fourth and a follow up to his  first album Classical Variations and Themes released in 1994. The idea was to make a 2CD album titled Classical Variations 2: Credo, the first CD it would be titled Lyra and the second would be titled Vega. The disc 1: Lyra would contain only songs with vocals and the disc 2 would contain instrumental music.

Credo-era

Timo Tolkki Credo AvalonTimo decided to use a new form to release music. It would be released via Pledge Music, an independent way to make music totally different from the typical concepts of music. No record company is involved on this project, it's a new concept for artists based in crowd founding, a way for musicians to get financial assistance to make their own music in direct contact with fans and without the mediation of any record company. Tolkki started the project on April 4th and he had 60 days to get the investment to make that project and he got it in less than one month (28 days). So the project was planned to be released on October 30th 2012.

During the process to get the investment, Timo announced some guests for this project, one was Michael Kiske, Timo commented about his collaboration: "The legendary vocalist Michael Kiske will sing one song on the “Lyra” Disc of the “Credo” project. This is amazing news for me and should be for you as well. If there ever was someone with a voice of an angel, it is Michael Kiske. I am very happy about this. Michael Kiske will sing the hymnic title track 'Credo' that also has a choir. When we do something together, it seems to become rather unique. The Kiske song is the biggest and longest." Other planned guests were: Mike Vescera (Yngwie Malmsteen), Michele Luppi (Vision Divine), Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), Tumo Lassila (Stratovarius) and also his daughter Nina.

So the main thing is, the fans buy a kind of "participation" in the project. We give the money in advance to finance the music activities of the artists. What kind of "participation"? and how does it cost?, well in this case, it depends of you. We have different options: For 10$ you will be available to download the 2CDs and to stay updated via your acount in Pledge Music, for 35$ you will get a copy of 2CDs signed by Timo Tolkki, for 65$ you will get a signed copy and you will be on the credits album, etc... it depends of you how many money you can invest or what stuff do you want.

Timo Tolkki Classical Variations 2 Credo

But finally, what did happen? Timo Tolkki realized that way to making music by crowd founding still has some leaks or gaps, he explained: "I have started to speak with several friends in the music business to exchange creative ideas. A lot of musicians and people I talked to were really impressed with how the material is coming along. This brought me in contact with some people that offered me a really interesting and better situation on both artistic and personal level... Initially I was dealing with a very low number of people, maybe 400. That also was not the reason why I cancelled it but it made me think that maybe the system still has flaws in it." So, on July 27th, Timo canceled the project or he changed to...

Frontiers Records-era

Timo Tolkki Frontiers Records Kiske 2008...Became a project of Frontiers Records. But before to talk about this new metal opera I think it's needed to tell the difficult relationship between Timo Tolkki and the label Frontiers Records in previous years. Timo signed with Frontiers in December 2006 to release his rock opera titled Saana - Warrior Of Light Part 1 - Journey To Crystal Island. Serafino (label owner) said: "... the new Timo Tolkki Rock Opera is expected to be some real highlights for our year." But they had problems because the label said that they expected another kind of "rock opera" so Timo decided to break with them and to release the album via his official site. There were a few hard statements by Tolkki, like: "They only have MP3 files which are not adequate to produce a high quality CD. Also they have absolutely no graphic material for the booklet, information regarding the songs or even the lyrics. I would like to ask you to boycott the possible Frontiers release of Saana because it is not the official version of the record and its quality is likely to be extremely poor." Finally via lawyers they did an agreement and Timo published: "I am very pleased that Frontiers and me have been able to come to an agreement in the end about the Saana release. We were able to come up with a mutually satisfactory compromise and we are looking forward soon to give you some news regarding my future." And the future was Revolution Renaissance in 2008. Frontiers released the debut album titled New Era but they had more problems. Timo said: "They (Frontiers) simply were not the right label for us. Although two famous power metal legends sing on this album, Frontiers has managed to organize in total 10 interviews. Usually the decent figure is around 100-150. This just proves my feeling right that it was really best to go separate ways." So Timo broke again with Frontiers. At the same moment Kiske was having some problems also with Frontiers because they were trying to "force him" to a hard rock direction. Well, anyway that was the past now let us come back to the Timo Tolkki's Avalon.

When Timo was working in Credo he received a call of Serafino (Frontiers owner) and he was requested to make three metal operas plus a live DVD. He agreed and Timo worked during more than four months recording this album and managing to get the collaborators. Some guests were already arranged for Credo album. And on February 2013, Frontiers started a promotional campaign with videos to show the new project to the people without saying who was behind of it. On February 25th they uploaded the video with most of the information where they say Timo Tolkki was the creator of this project. And since the first moment it started a controversy because the project name was very similar to Tobias Sammet's Avantasia, as you know the word Avantasia was formed by Avalon and Fantasia, and Timo chose the name of Avalon, also because its a new Metal Opera and some guests are the same. Tobias was very sarcastic in a interview with the Kiske Fanclub, he said: "Wow, someone is extraordinarily creative here: the title, the guests, the timing… What a funny coincidence, isn’t it?! But there have been thousands of Metal Operas, especially after Avantasia. Such is business…" A few days later, Timo answered the comments of some fans on his personal Facebook about the similar logo, band/project name, close release date and collaborators, and he said: "Nobody owns a franchise to Arthurian legends or metal operas. Avalon is an agent Arthurian legend. As far as the compararison to Avantasia, for those who get kicks out of that, have fun. For those who wanna have a really powerful and beautiful Power Metal Opera, this could be something for you. The music is way different. I just did the same what I always have done. I composed my music and recorded it, easy." A few weeks later Tobias did a more elegant and peaceful comment about the new Timo Tolkki's project: "There are a lot of metal operas out there, and I have to deal with that. If something is very successful or even not successful then other people may feel inspired by it. Its Timo Tolkki (laughs) what can I say, he's a great guy and he does what he does. I wish him the best of luck."

Michael agreed to sing one song for Timo in Credo-era and he wanted to "keep his word" even that it would sound a bit strange the comparison with Avantasia, he commented: "I didn't even know it was supposed to be something like that in terms of Timo Tolkki. When he asked me if I would sing him a song, a year before the real recording happened, I thought it would be just a solo record of his; where he has his own singer and I would just do one song for him to help him out. Tobi and I didn't know that he would go a little bit the Avantasia route with this project and we were kind of surprised when it came out and it was going in this direction."

The Land Of New Hope album is one part of the story, the end of it actually. The story is longer and goes back to the time before this album's story, so 2 more Metal Operas are likely to follow to complete a trilogy.
 

Timo Tolkki about Michael Kiske in Avalon

A fan asked to Timo in Avalon phorum if Kiske voice has Autotune on 'Land Of The New Hope', he answered: "There might have been Autotune but only about 3% which you will not hear. In generally I process vocals very carefully with eq, manual overriding and compressor if needed. Michael records on his own and sends the files so they might already be processed when I got them. Its common in projects like this. Then I do to the vocal what I can but very rarely the result is 100% satisfactory to me."
 

Michael Kiske about Timo Tolkki's Avalon

Michael Kiske to Burrn! magazine (2013-04): "A couple of months ago, I sang for Timo Tolkki. He asked me to sing this song, but it has a melody similar to "Keeper of the Seven Keys". As both have the same tone and key, I wasn't sure if I could sing the song with good feeling. But when I did it, it came very natural. And it was enjoyable, realizing that I could still sing that type of song after more than 20 years. I switched myself into that mode and sang it, and switching part was very much fun. Particularly singing something that I won't write."

 

The Land Of New Hope Press ratings

Webzine - Radio - Magazine Rating 0/10
Sarkophag-rock.com 10
Sorrow Eternal Blog 9,5
Hardrock&aor Magazine 9,5
Hardrockhaven.net 9,5
Melodicrockfanzine 9,2
Powermetal.cl 9
Dangerdog.com 9
Metalharem Blog 9
Tarrazu blog 9
Seigneursdumetal.fr 9
Heavymetalabout.com 9
Metal-temple.com 9
Ladyobscure.com 9
Metalmouth.net 8,5
Metaltraveller.com 8
Metalunderground.at 8
Metal-observer.com 8
Metal1.info 8
Getreadytorock.me.uk 8
Rockunitedreviews 8
Stalker Magazine 8
Elladooscuro.org 8
Seaoftranquility.org 8
Fallenangelrock.com 7,5
Soniccathedral.com 7
Metalholic.com 7
Rocktologist.com 7
Rocknytt.net 7
MyGlobalMind.com 7
Viriaor Blog 7
Musikuniverse.net 7
Rock&metal4you 7
Musikreviews.de 6,7
Metalexpressradio 6,5
Powermetal.de 6,5
Blackwindmetal 6,5
Metal.de 6
Metalglory.de 6
Stormbringer.at 6
Metalhammer (Germany) 6
RockOverdose.gr 6
Metalsymphony.com 5
Goetiamedia.com 4
Uberrock.co.uk Tip
Break-out Magazine Tip

 

Catalog numbers
FormatCat.NumberLabel
CD/DVD editionFRCDVD600Frontiers Records
CD editionFR CD 600Frontiers Records
CD Korean editionL100004695Loen Entertainment
2LP limited editionIW83027Inner Wound Recordings