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Avantasia, the power-prog-rock opera helmed by Edguy frontman Tobias Sammet, is gearing up for the release of their six full-length studio album, a concept album titled The Mystery of Time. The album is set for release on March 30, and as that date inches ever closer Sammet is shifting head first into promotional mode. Just the other day the album’s official cover artwork was release, which is featured above. The artwork was painted by the phenomenally talented and acclaimed British artist, Rodney Matthews, who has also created artwork for bands like Thin Lizzy, Scorpions, Asia, Nazareth, and Magnum, so he has definitely been around the block.

Sammet has also released the official tracklisting and guest-list for the album. For those who don’t know, Avantasia works in a similar vein to the progressive rock/metal project, Ayreon, with Tobias Sammet writing the majority of the music and concept, then enlisting a long list of talented session musicians and vocalists to record and perform the music alongside him. As always, The Mystery of Time will feature a long list of guests, some of them I’m excited about, like Arjen Lucassen who previously worked with Sammet on the Ayreon vs. Avantasia single that was released when the two projects were “competing” back in 2008. Though not all of them get me as hot and bothered as guests on the past albums, and it will be weird to hear an Avantasia album without the bellows of  Jorn Lande after he stole the show on the last three albums, but oh well. The album will also feature orchestral work courtesy of the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg.

Full guest-list and track-listing after the jump.

The Mystery of Time guest-list.
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.

The Mystery of Time track-list.
01. Spectres
02. The Watchmaker’s Dream
03. Black Orchid
04. Where Clock Hands Freeze
05. Sleepwalking
06. Savior In The Clockwork
07. Invoke The Machine
08. What’s Left Of Me
09. Dweller In A Dream
10. The Great Mystery

Avantasia’s The Mystery of Time will be released March 30 on Nuclear Blast.

– EC

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