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Stratovarius

Genre: Power Metal, Neo-Classical Metal, Melodic Metal  |  Status: Active  |  Viewed: 54101 times

STRATOVARIUS to release 'Elements Pt. 1' and 'Elements Pt. 2' reissue on December 5th 2014

19 October 2014

With the albums “Elements Pt. 1” and “Elements Pt. 2” STRATOVARIUS succeeded with what only very few bands manage to achieve: they opened doors, tore down (genre) walls and created two milestones in progressive symphonic metal. Both albums showed the Finnish band on top of their game and perfected the foundation of what was to become the instantly recognizable Stratovarius trademark sound. 11 years after their original release (and Top 5 chart positions in their home country Finland), both albums will be combined for a high quality reissue including exclusive bonus material. “Elements Pt. 1 & 2” will be released on December 5th 2014 on earMUSIC. Jens Johansson explains: “The idea for this 2014 reissue revolves much around the sur

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Biography

Finland's most known metal group of the '90s, STRATOVARIUS, being one of the most influential bands of European metal scene, have set the tone of an entire genre. TIMO TOLKKIs virtuoso, emotional  neoclassical guitar-playing and Timo KOTIPELTOs opera-like vocals are well-known among fans of the genre and rated first class. Along with the extremely precise drumming of  German percussionist Jörg Michael and one of the most influential keyboard players of the scene, Swedish Jens Johansson, band leader TIMO TOLKKI has released extraordinary albums since the 1990s. Throughout the world these albums achieved a high status and worldwide recognition. Their INFINITE album of 2000 was gold awarded, to not mention the high positions in the world's charts that many of their album have reached during the years.

In 1989 STRATOVARIUS  (with a line-up including  Tolkki on vocals/guitars/songwriting, Lassila on drums, Ikonen on keyboards and Lentonen on bass) releases their debut FRIGHT NIGHT through Sony/Columbia Music and receive lots of attention in their native Finland.  Tolkki himself due to his excellent guitar playing he is being called the Finish answer to Yngwie Malmsteen and is added to the ranks of guitar heroes.

It takes three years for Tolkki to get back into the limelight.  The line up of Tolkki/Lassila/Ikonen releases in 1992 their second album STRATOVARIUS II (which was re-released after some months under the name TWILIGHT TIME)  which break STRATOVARIUS in Japan. Tracks like "The Hands of Time" or "Break the Ice" receive a cult status in some European countries and Japan and the fanbase of the band is growing bigger with each day.The release of DREAMSPACE (1994) further establishes the band as being one to play critically acclaimed, complex but nevertheless catchy Melodic Metal.  In countries like Greece, Italy and Japan the Stratovarius-mania becomes really strong at that time.During the recordings of DREAMSPACE Tolkki takes on a new bassist, Jari Kainulainen.The song "Wings of Tomorrow" from that album becomes the Official Anthem of the Eurobasket Tournament '95 of Athens and a special CD single comes out from Modern Music, including this track both with two tracks of the upcoming album FOURTH DIMENSION.

In 1995 Tolkki decides that he has to be dedicated on the guitar, leaving the singer's position to a new vocalist. Timo KOTIPELTO joins the band and the album FOURTH DIMENSION is being recorded.  The former quartett now is a quintett and the band becomes more solid. At this time STRATOVARIUS make their first european tour by visiting countries like Italy, Spain, Germany and Greece. Longtime members Tuomo Lassila (drums) and Antti Ikonen (keyboards) are leaving/fired. While next album EPISODE (1996) is being recorded the final dream team with Jorg Michael on drums and Jens Johansson on keyboards is being established. Songs "Father Time" and "Will the Sun Rise" are the 2 singles from that album, when the metal press is being enthusiastic about tracks like "Speed of Light" or "Stratosphere" because of their extremelly high technical level and their finest musicianship. Next year brings new album VISIONS (1997). Songs like "The Kiss of Judas" or "Black Diamond" are making huge success everywhere and the album becomes a top-seller in many countries.  They also release their first double live album VISIONS OF EUROPE (1998) recorded in Athens/Greece and Milan/Italy, cities where Stratovarius have a strong fanbase. STRATOVARIUS return to discography with the album DESTINY (1998) and after a small break they release their most commercial album to date, INFINITE (2000). At this moment STRATOVARIUS name reach unbelievably new heights, with new fans almost everywhere in the world. lt's obvious now that the last albums of the band conquer the entire world in a heartbeat.A massive tour follows and another break leads to the release of  ELEMENTS PT.1 album of 2003. This album impresses most of the metal press with its orchestral and progressive parts and its big arrangments.    Aside from Europe the band is hailed in Japan, South America and even in the United States and receive gold status in their native Finland. The release of ELEMENTS PT.2 finds the band in a strange situation, where the relationship between the bandmembers is not so clear.

Then comes a set-back. Tolkki, having had psycholocial problems since childhood, cant handle the mental strain anymore. He turns manic-depressive, which puts a lot of pressure on the band and it led into a temporarily split up. KOTIPELTO, most likely the problem got worse because, as most people know, the Finish arent the most talkative people. The problems kept increasing and then got out of hand. And when problems come out in an erruption, it´s already too late

Fortunately the band gets back together and Tolkkis therapy helps to quickly improve his health. Now they are ready to release their 11th album STRATOVARIUS. Due to its various progressive and experimental skew parts it is a rather daring and amibitious album and you would never have an inkling of the difficult circumstances under which it has been recorded. The traditonal headbanger Gypsy In Me - a self-propelling hit in the tradition of Hunting High And Low, the complex Back To Madness that will capture the hearts and ears of any fan of complex compositions piano and double bass sequences, acoustic guitars, menacing grooves in the vein of Accept and HammerFall, theatrical vocals, stomping beats, in short everything that makes an outstanding slightly progressive masterpiece.

The first single Maniac Dance has astonishing monolithic riffs that develop into a rock anthem with pop-appeal due to its catchy vocal lines. Fight!!! consists of variable theme and rather off-beat, nearly Industrial compatible guitar riffs, whereas Götterdämmerung (Zenith Of Power) is prove of the epic-monumental traditions that have always been present in STRATOVARIUS' music.

The Land Of Ice And Snow, similar to Rainbow's Rainbow Eyes', starts off slowly but increasingly develops into a bombast-rock song, finally culminating in drum rolls and heavy guitar riffs. The staccato riffs of Leave The Tribe, that turn into an enerving stomping beat, create a unique depressing atmosphere due to orchestal choirs and guitar solos that bring to mind early Scorpions and Rainbow. United, influenced by a Black Sabbath/'Heaven And Hell' bass-swing, sounds euphoric and optimistic, the bridge seemingly symptomatic of the band's current situation: United we stand devided we fall, or to quote Alexander Dumas One for all all for one!

There's no evidence of any doomsday atmosphere like in devided we fall' in view of such a first class album. STRATOVARIUS aren't afraid to experiment musically and conceptionally but the fans of the more traditional STRATOVARIUS songs are certain to really like this album as well.

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Discography

Albums

Fright Night

  • Label: CBS Finland
  • Released: 1989

View all lyrics from "Fright Night"

Stratovarius II

  • Label: Bluelight Records
  • Released: 1991

View all lyrics from "Stratovarius II"

Stratovarius II re-release

  • Label: Bluelight Records?
  • Released: 1992

View all lyrics from "Stratovarius II re-release"

Twilight Time

  • Label: Noise
  • Released: 1992

View all lyrics from "Twilight Time"

Dreamspace

  • Label: Modern music records
  • Released: 1994

View all lyrics from "Dreamspace"

Fourth Dimension

  • Label: MMT EMI/ modern music
  • Released: 1995

View all lyrics from "Fourth Dimension"

Episode

  • Label: Modern music records
  • Released: 1996

View all lyrics from "Episode"

Visions

  • Label: Modern music records
  • Released: 1997

View all lyrics from "Visions"

Reviews for "Visions"

Tartarean Desire , Metal Reviews

Destiny

  • Label: Modern music records
  • Released: 1998

View all lyrics from "Destiny"

Reviews for "Destiny"

Metal Storm , Metal-Rules , Metal Reviews

Infinite

  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Released: 2000

View all lyrics from "Infinite"

Reviews for "Infinite"

Metal Storm , Metal-Rules , Metal Reviews

Elements pt2

  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Released: 2003
  • 1. Alpha & Omega (lyrics)
  • 2. I Walk to My Own Song (lyrics)
  • 3. I´m Still Alive (lyrics)
  • 4. Season of Faith´s Perfection (lyrics)
  • 5. Awaken the Giant (lyrics)
  • 6. Know the Difference (lyrics)
  • 7. Luminous (lyrics)
  • 8. Dreamweaver (lyrics)
  • 9. Liberty (lyrics)
  • 10. Ride Like the Wind (bonus Japan) (lyrics)
  • 11. Alpha & Omega (demo) bonus CD2
  • 12. Vapaus bonus CD2 (lyrics)
  • 13. Season of Faith´s Perfection (instrumental demo) bonus CD2
  • 14. Soul of a Vagabond (live) bonus CD2 (lyrics)
  • 15. Destiny/Fantasia (live) bonus CD2 (lyrics)
  • 16. Father Time (live) bonus CD2 (lyrics)
  • 17. Hunting High 6 Low (live) bonus CD2 (lyrics)
  • 18. Paradise (live) bonus CD2 (lyrics)

View all lyrics from "Elements pt2"

Reviews for "Elements pt2"

Tartarean Desire , Metal Storm

Elements pt1

  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Released: 2003
  • 1. Eagleheart (lyrics)
  • 2. Soul of a Vagabond (lyrics)
  • 3. Find Your Own Voice (lyrics)
  • 4. Fantasia (lyrics)
  • 5. Learning ty Fly (lyrics)
  • 6. Papillon (lyrics)
  • 7. Stratofortress
  • 8. Elements (lyrics)
  • 9. A Drop in the Ocean (lyrics)
  • 10. Papillon French version (bonus LP and in France) (lyrics)
  • 11. Into Deep Blue (bonus Japan) (lyrics)
  • 12. Eagleheart (demo) bonus CD2
  • 13. Soul of a Vagabond (demo) bonus CD2
  • 14. Find Your Own Voice (demo) bonus CD2
  • 15. Fantasia (demo) bonus CD2
  • 16. Learning to Fly (demo) bonus CD2
  • 17. Papillon (demo) bonus CD2
  • 18. Stratofortress (demo) bonus CD2
  • 19. Elements (demo) bonus CD2
  • 20. A Drop in the Ocean (demo) + Run Away bonus CD2 (lyrics)

View all lyrics from "Elements pt1"

Reviews for "Elements pt1"

Metal Storm

Stratovarius

  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • Released: 2005

View all lyrics from "Stratovarius"

Polaris

  • Label:
  • Released: 2009

View all lyrics from "Polaris"

Elysium

  • Label: Ear Music
  • Released: 2011
  • 1. Darkest hours (new)
  • 2. Under Flaming Skies
  • 3. Infernal Maze
  • 4. Fairness Justified
  • 5. The Game Never Ends
  • 6. Lifetime In A Moment
  • 7. Move The Mountain
  • 8. Event Horizon
  • 9. Elysium
Reviews for "Elysium"

Metalreviews.com , Metal Storm

Nemesis

  • Label: Ear Music
  • Released: 2013
  • 1. Abandon
  • 2. Unbreakable
  • 3. Stand My Ground
  • 4. Halcyon Days
  • 5. Fantasy
  • 6. Out of The Fog
  • 7. Castles in the Air
  • 8. Dragons
  • 9. One Must Fall
  • 10. If the Story Is Over
  • 11. Nemesis

Single / EP / MCD

Future Shock 7´´

  • Label: CBS Finland
  • Released: 1988

Black Night 7´´

  • Label: CBS Finland
  • Released: 1989

Break the Ice 7´´

  • Label: Bluelight Records
  • Released: 1992

View all lyrics from "Break the Ice 7´´"

Wings of Tomorrow (single)

  • Label: Modern music records
  • Released: 1995

View all lyrics from "Wings of Tomorrow (single)"

Father Time (single)

  • Label: JVC Victor Japan
  • Released: 1996

View all lyrics from "Father Time (single)"

Will the Sun Rise? (single)

  • Label: JVC Victor Japan
  • Released: 1996

View all lyrics from "Will the Sun Rise? (single)"

The Kiss of Judas (promo single)

  • Label: Modern music records
  • Released: 1997

View all lyrics from "The Kiss of Judas (promo single)"

Black Diamond (single)

  • Label: JVC Victor Japan
  • Released: 1997

View all lyrics from "Black Diamond (single)"

S.O.S. CDS

  • Label: Modern music records
  • Released: 1998

View all lyrics from "S.O.S. CDS"

It´s a Mystery 7´´

  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Released: 2000

View all lyrics from "It´s a Mystery 7´´ "

Hunting High and Low (single)

  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Released: 2000
  • 1. Hunting High and Low (lyrics)
  • 2. Millenium (lyrics)
  • 3. Neon Light Child (lyrics)
  • 4. Hunting High and Low (demo)
  • 5. Millenium (demo)

View all lyrics from "Hunting High and Low (single)"

A Million Light Years Away (single)

  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Released: 2000

View all lyrics from "A Million Light Years Away (single)"

I Walk to My Own Song CDS

  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Released: 2003

View all lyrics from "I Walk to My Own Song CDS"

Eagleheart CDS

  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Released: 2003

View all lyrics from "Eagleheart CDS"

Maniac Dance CDS

  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • Released: 2005
  • 1. Maniac Dance (lyrics)
  • 2. United edit (lyrics)
  • 3. Maniac Dance (Risto Asikainen Quantum mix)
  • 4. Maniac Dance (instrumental demo)

View all lyrics from "Maniac Dance CDS"

Darkest hours

  • Label: Ear Music
  • Released: 2010
  • 1. Darkest hours (new)
  • 2. Infernal maze (new)
  • 3. Darkest hours (demo)
  • 4. Against the wind (live)
  • 5. Black diamond (live)

Live

Visions of Europe live

  • Label: Modern music records
  • Released: 1998

View all lyrics from "Visions of Europe live"

Compilation

The Past And Now

  • Label: JVC Victor Japan
  • Released: 1997

View all lyrics from "The Past And Now"

The Chosen Ones

  • Label: Modern music records/Noise
  • Released: 1999

View all lyrics from "The Chosen Ones"

14 Diamonds Best of Stratovarius

  • Label: JVC Victor Japan
  • Released: 2000

View all lyrics from "14 Diamonds Best of Stratovarius"

Intermission

  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Released: 2001
  • 1. Will My Soul Ever Rest in Peace? (lyrics)
  • 2. Falling into Fantasy (lyrics)
  • 3. The Curtains Are Falling (lyrics)
  • 4. Requiem
  • 5. Bloodstone (Judas Priest cover) (lyrics)
  • 6. Kill the King (Rainbow cover) (lyrics)
  • 7. I Surrender live (Rainbow cover) (lyrics)
  • 8. Keep the Flame (lyrics)
  • 9. Why Are We Here? (lyrics)
  • 10. What Can I Say? (lyrics)
  • 11. Dream With Me (lyrics)
  • 12. When the Night Meets the Day (lyrics)
  • 13. It´s A Mystery (lyrics)
  • 14. Cold Winter Nights (lyrics)
  • 15. Hunting High & Low live (lyrics)
  • 16. Freedom (demo) bonus CD2
  • 17. Neon Light Child (demo) bonus CD2

View all lyrics from "Intermission"

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Members

Rolf Pilve
Drums 2012 -
Jens Johansson
Keyboards 1995 -
Lauri Porra
Bass 2005 -
Matias Kupiainen
Guitars 2008 -
Timo Kotipelto
Vocals 1995 -

Former members

Staffan Stråhlman
Guitars 1982 - 1985
Sami Kuoppamäki
Drums 1994 - 1994
Tuomo Lassila
Drums 1982 - 1995
Antti Ikonen
Keyboards 1987 - 1995
Jyrki Lentonen
Bass 1985 - 1990
John Vihervä
Bass 1982 - 1984
Jörg Michael
Drums 1995 -
Jari Kainulainen
Bass 1993 - 2005
Timo Tolkki
Guitars,Vocals 1985 - 2008

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