Timo Tolkki is a well known and highly revered musician with hundreds of thousand of fans across the world. Best known as the creative force, behind some 17 Stratovarius releases and a member of super groups such as Revolution Renaissance (members of Helloween, Edguy/Avantasia and Thunderstone) and Symfonia (members of Helloween, Sonata Arctica, Angra and Avantasia).
Timo is also highly regarded for his two Avalonalbums, where he really gathered the crème de la crème, of international metal talent including : Michael Kiske (Helloween, UnisonicAvantasia), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation), Elize Ryd (Amaranthe, Kamelot), Rob Rock (Solo, Impelliterri, Avantasia),Russell Allen (Symphony X), Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica), Jens Johansson (Dio, Stratovarius, Yngwie Malmsteen), Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Planet X, Solo) and Alex Holzwarth (Sieges Even, Rhapsody) to participate, receiving great commercial and popular acclaim.
In 2011, Guitar World magazine, included Tolkki in theall-time top 50 list of fastest guitar players in the worldas well as counting him among the 100 most influential ever!
Timo Tolkki in now embarking on a 2017 tour where he will be exclusively performing ‘Songs from his Career’ including Stratovarius favourites “Black Diamond” , “Hunting high and Low” , “Father Time” , “Against the Wind” … This “best of show” should bring back fond memories to all those who were there during Visions of Europe, but will also include a few deeper cuts for good measure..
Joining him on stage will be Keyboard playerMikko Harkin (ex Sonata Arctica, Symfonia) following their collaboration on Symphonia albums; Santtu Lehtiniemi on Bass, a highly skilled professional player and academic; Alex Landenburg (Rhapsody and many others) – one of the most exciting new drummers; and finally vocalist Mike Livas, well known for covering Angra and Queensryche. Timo handpicked Mike having discovered his faithful but also quite passionate renditions of some old Strato favourites.
The Tuska Open Air Festival is definitely a real metal institution amongst all other metal festivals in Europe. This Suvilahti area located in the heart of Helsinki, is only a few kilometres away from the downtown of Helsinki, is a perfect place for the metallic onslaught during the weekend. As far as the line-up of 2015 is concerned, it offered a wide range of different sort of metal. Even a few hiphop vomits had been added to the line-up to draw other type of audience, which is truly odd. However Alice Cooper, Sabaton, In Flames as headliners and of course Amorphis did the whole TALES FROM THE THOUSAND LAKES album as well as Stratovarius doing all of VISIONS. All in all 25.000 people made a visit to Tuska during these three days. As usual Metal-Rules.com was present to check out a lot of bands and enjoy the burning sun.
Foreseen has carved the reputation as an aggressive live band. The four piece crossover outfit raged extremely hard when supporting Madball some time ago. However the slot at Tuska wasn’t that ideal and obviously the thrashers haven’t found this savage live band yet, because the venue wasn’t full at all. However during the 20 minute slot the band with the bald singer delivered the uncompromising crossover metal with real old school style.
Exodus has been on a long European tour, crisscrossing several countries. The gig at Tuska was the last one on the long run. As Gary Holt has been rather busy with his obligatory commitments with Slayer, the Heathen axeman had stepped in to take care of the guitars. Exodus sounded thrashingly brutal at Swedenrock and offered a real lesson in the thrash metal violence with the metal commader Steve Souza. Obviously the long run through several European fests may have squeezed the water out of the guys even though the band sounded tight and handled the gig in the professional way, but it was a bit sterile and plastic at Tuska. The set list had been shortened for a mere one hour sting unfortunately. They should have chosen a better slot for sure.
Black 13 Blood In, Blood Out Children of a Worthless God Piranha Blacklist Body Harvest Bonded by Blood The Toxic Waltz Strike of the Beast
LAMB OF GOD
Lamb Of God was supposed to enter the Tuska fest a few years back, but was cancelled due to all the hassles with Blythe’s arrest in the Czech Republic. The band was definitely highly anticipated amongst the audience. Yes, the band pulled the massive crowd and all hell broke on loose, when the opening riff cut the air. The massive pits were rioting in the audience when LOG whipped up the crowd to go insane and loose their minds. The frontman Randy Blythe proved to be one hell of a raging frontman as raging and running like a maniac all around the stage. The set included a plenty of well known LOG tunes as well as the brand new songs from the new output STURM UND DRANG. LOG is a tremendously tight live band. Especially the current fill-in drummer Chris Adler is definitely the man behind the drumkit. Hopefully LOG will be seen in Finland soon again.
Desolation Ghost Walking 512 Walk with Me in Hell Ruin Set to Fail Still Echoes Hourglass Now You’ve Got Something to Die For Vigil Laid to Rest Redneck Black Label
Sabaton enjoys massive success at the moment. The band draws a lot of people to the show and especially now when the stage got its prestigious setup when a tank-look-alike had been dragged to the stage. Didn’t Kiss already have a tank on the stage back in the day? Basically it is fun to see how newer bands recycling the old ideas. The whole massive spectacle was started out by the intro being the legendary wellknown Europe’s Final Countdown. It was rather odd as well as surprising to see how the kids born in the late 90’s kept singing the old 80’s hitsong. As for the gig, it was one big of comedy show thru the 90 minutes. The frontman Joakim seemed to have one kind of stand-up comedian talents to joke and act on the stage. It got a bit out of hand as Sabaton should let the music roll and reduce the amount of joking. Besides the joking, the pyros and bombs gave the bombastic fiery feeling to the warlike show. All in all Sabaton sounded tremendous great and delivered a brilliant show despite the joking. The Swedish warpowermetallers will return to Finland with Gamma Ray as a supporter…
The Final Countdown (Europe song) The March to War Ghost Division To Hell and Back Carolus Rex Swedish Pagans Resist and Bite The Art of War Soldier of 3 Armies Gott mit uns (Swedish version) White Death Night Witches Talvisota Primo Victoria Metal Crüe Dead Soldier’s Waltz Masters of the World
When the Swedish retrodeathmetallers tapped Nick Holmes to growl on the newest output, the interest toward the band increased tremendously. Therefore the band has been crisscrossing the European festivals with the tight schedule. Bloodbath hit the main stage right in the afternoon. Obviously the timing wasn’t that perfect after all as Nick Holmes announced Bloodbath will never play again… in the daylight. Well, at least the sun scorched the ground so did Bloodbath. The old school death metal sounded pritive and raw. If Bloodbath had been around about 25 years ago, would they have achieved the success or remained on the cult status. However the nostalgia in the old school death metal is high at the moment and especially having the known frontman as a singer definitely drew more attention. Bloodbath would definitely work in the underground death metal gig better than some open air festival under the burning sun.
Ne Obvliscaris hail from Australia. The Aussies self-financed their trip to European soil and it was a worth of every penny for these Australians Prog-whatever metal they want to claim to be. However the true prog heads were totally obsessed and possessed by Ne Obvliscaris’ skills and extraordinary playing, at least judging by all the reactions in advance and especially after the gig. The band seems to have two different kind of singers, the first one was like some nice fellow looking like a dude dragged from some office, whereas another one presented more the evil screamo-emo approach. Obviously this sort of technical and skilled playing with the complex song structure appeals to Prog Metal fans, whereas for other metal fans it sounded pretty confusing.
Japanese hard rock legends Loudness played in Finland for the second year in a row. Last year, the band received a lot of positive feedback from their Jalometalli metal, gig and now was Tuska’s turn witness the Thunder from the East. Loudness opened up with the bands biggest hit and best known song “Crazy Nights”. Although most of the audience are friends of heavier stuff it seemed that the song was well known and widely accepted among people. Maybe “Crazy Nights” can be describes a timeless classic, at least in the Loudness repertoire. The set list included only nine tracks and the classic THUNDER IN THE EAST was present with 4 tracks. The rest set was also from the early 80’s with the exception of “The Sun Will Rise Again” which is the title track of the band’s latest studio-album (2014). Akira Takasaki proved his amazing guitarist skills but honestly it must be said say that Loudness is a bit obsolete band nowadays. Vocalist Minoru Niihara has never been the greatest vocalist on Earth and his singing sounds still barely English at times. The rhythm section of bassist Masayoshi Yamashita and drummer Masayuki Suzuki played tightly but so do countless other bands so that’s not a big news here. This show was purely a nostalgia but there were also unintentional humor that was certainly not intentional. Maybe this band would work much better in different situation, such as intimate club gig where band could play a full 90-minute set, which would include material from the bands entire career.
Crazy Nights Like Hell Heavy Chains We Could Be Together Crazy Doctor In the Mirror The Sun Will Rise Again S.D.I.
Amorphis had announced to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the legendary TALES FROM THE THOUSAND LAKES they would be playing the entire album and some other songs. The gig was kicked off by doing the opening song INTO THE HIDING. Each song from the album got played in the chronological order. The songs sounded bombastic and truly awesome. Most of songs have been played after the album came out or rarely since. The vocalist Tomi Joutsen hit each song perfectly with the true old school death metal style. Especially his death metal vocals fitted to the old Abhorrence tune “Vulgar Necrolatry”. The next songs were the obvious choices such as My Kantele, Better Unborn. The Tales album is one of the most important metal albums in the Finnish metal genre.
When Immortal kind of got drifted into the personal crisis, the frontman of Immortal launched the solo band of his own with his very own name Abbath for obvious reasons. The debut gig of Abbath was carried out at the Tuska Open Air. That was kind of weird as that sort of debut gig could have been expect to happen in his domestic country Norway. Well whetever, the debut show of Abbath at Tuska was a cool event. Abbath kicked the set off by doing the songs of the I project such as Warrior, Battalions. Of course Fenrir Hunts as a new Abbath song was the part of the set. Of course a bunch of Immortal tunes were the essential such as One By One, Nebula Ravens Winter etc. Nice set, but the band could have done more rare jewels from the past, but on the other hand this was an open air festival with the limited playing time, therefore seeing Abbath in a club would be awesome.
In Flames is either liked or disliked nowadays. The older fans don’t appreciate the current modern approach whereas the younger fans seem to be fanatical for the newer style of In Flames. Even though the band divides the opinions they however deliver a good and professional performance. Even though they looked to have more aged in a few years than Gene Simmons in the last two decades, the Swedes managed to pull thru the show. Obviously Anders Friden is used to seeing the crowd surfing, as demanding the crowd to do the surfing cos Friden wanted to smell the crowd. There were some crowd-surfers which the security tried to kick them out. In Flames did a solid professional performance by delivering the 21st century stuff as well as two songs off from Clayman. It is obvious the younger metal generation are obsessed by the newer material. Even though In Flames seems to focus on the modern approach, the five-piece is still a pure live band and in a great way for sure.
Warmen is a fun side project of the keyboard player of Children Of Bodom. However they featured Alex Laiho on the mic for the last two songs and the session COB guitarist in the rank as well. Obviously Warmen should be considered some sort of tongue-in-cheek thing because of Laiho’s manners and all those guest showing up on the stage. The band was having fun and seemed to enjoy the time and joking to each other. Obviously it was time to take a bit relaxed mood for the COB camp to enjoy the flexible and not tight performance.
The Sirens is a project band thing featuring Liv Kristine, Anneke van Giersbergen and Kari Rueslåtten. All these ladies have gained the reputation of their own in various different bands in the past and present.The three female singers shared their duties and songs between them. However, each of these female singers definitely has the loyal fan base of their own with certain fave tunes. This more poppish sounding stuff was quite Listening to their singing was both utter pleasure and grim torture for ears.
Treat Me Like a Lady Vervain Saturnine Death Hymn Stay Image Fearless Push Venus Ride My Wilderness Strange Machines Sisters of the Earth
It wasn’t that long time ago when the offspring of Suicidal Tendencies, Dr. Living Dead debuted at Tuska. The band hasn’t changed any since them, and why would they as the current concept seems to be working more than well. Of course, the mask thing is weird, but the crossover thrash ruled by causing a nice reaction amongst the audience. The circle pit was burning the floor up.
Opeth is tremendously celebrated and popular and enjoys the fanatical following in both amongst the metal fans as well as the progressive rock fans. Even though Opeth is also a tremendously boring live act, but in a way or another they manage to create a touching feeling with the atmospheric hymns and sounds. The frontman Mikael Åkerbelt’s singing has developed a lot and reaches the ethereal feeling with the catchy riffs blasting out of the speakers. Opeth is Opeth, there is no way the band would start venturing into some non-prog rock/metal direction.
Finnish power metal pioneers Stratovarius have encountered many difficulties but nevertheless managed to continue their career successfully. A good indication of this is the band’s previous NEMESIS (2013), album, which is one of the best releases in band’s career. This time the band had no new album to promote but instead they played the bands most important album VISIONS (1997) in it’s entirely. In recent years, many bands have done the same. At least Dio, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Slayer and Accept have already done this in the past. But now it was Stratovarius’s turn. “Forever Free” opened the gig somewhat surprisingly, when it is not the first song on VISIONS. The album’s hit single “Kiss of Judas” was second and it was followed by “Legions”. 10-song-long show ended with the band’s biggest favorite, “Black Diamond,” and then it was over. No encores and other songs. In fact, I’m not such a big fan of shows like this because on every album there are inevitably some filler songs and on the other hand so many great song remain missing. But don’t get me wrong. There was actually nothing wrong with the show and I’m sure that most of the old school Stratovarius fans were pleased. The band sounded great, Timo Kotipelto performed impressively, and Jens Johansson was as crazy as always. But in spite of everything, this gig was nothing more but “quite nice”.
Forever Free The Kiss of Judas Legions Before the Winter The Abyss of Your Eyes Holy Light Paradise Coming Home Visions (Southern Cross) Black Diamond
The legendary king of shock rock doesn’t need much introduction here. Alice Cooper’s outstanding career has lasted almost 50 years already and there’s no end in sight. A man’s next album HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, will be out in September and it is his 27th studio album. During the past year and a half, Cooper has been on tour as a special quest for Motley Crue’s final tour. But he’s been playing one off headline shows as well and Tuska show was one of those.
The band opened up with classic Judy Collins cover “Hello Hooray” followed by one of Cooper’s late 80’s hit “House of Fire”. The band looked really great and there was a lot of action on stage which also looked good with all those little details including skulls, monsters and much more. Alice himself was wearing a cool looking black/red striped costume and the rest of the band looked like a bunch of guys from the 80’s Mad Max movie with the exception of female guitarist Nita Strauss who looked just damn good on her tight leather suit. The set continued with old standards “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Under My Wheels” followed by “I’ll Bit Your Face Off” which was the only track from Cooper’s previous WELCOME 2 MY NIGHTMARE album. The band played songs from four different decades. “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Hey Stoopid”, “Lost in the America” and “Dirty Diamonds” proved that Cooper has managed to provide high quality material during his entire career.
There is no Alice Cooper show without some stage gimmicks. During the “Welcome To my Nightmare” Cooper bring a giant constrictor on stage. This lucky snake is owned by “Finnish monster” and a huge Cooper fan Mr.Lordi. And of course the snake is called Alice. During “Feed My Frankestein” there was a huge “Frankestein” walking on stage. Of course Alice’s head was cut off with a giant guillotine after he tried to kill a lunatic house nurse on stage. All the classic show elements were present and in fact it didn’t matter that this everything happened in daylight. Musically the band was superb. Cooper himself was just as good as ever. It’s just amazing how Cooper in his mid’ 60’s can still deliver such performance both vocally and performing wise. If you now compare him to almost any other artist at same age you will see the difference. Three guitarists on stage might sound useless idea but it works great as every one of them has a totally different role. Strauss is clearly the main shredder whereas Tommy Henrikssen plays mostly rhythm parts and Ryan Roxie does everything in between. Bassist Chuck “Helvis” Carrick is another strong character on stage and he does a lot of backing vocals. He and drummer Glen Sobel are solid rhythm section and they make a great justice for the songs from all eras of Cooper.
Like said earlier, the set list was a great mix songs from four decades of Alice Cooper’s career. Among the classics my personal highlight was “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask). The song is from Cooper’s mid’ 80’s comeback album CONSTRICTOR and it sounded just phenomenal. The only blemish I can complain a bit was the number of cover songs played in the end of set. Maybe just one cover or a medley could have worked better than four full songs although those all were immortal 70’s classics. Beatles’s “Revolution” sounded great but otherwise the cover set was a bit boring to be honest.
The trio of Alice Cooper’s biggest hits closed down the show. “I’m Eighteen”, “Poison” and finally “School’s Out” featuring Michael Monroe were a perfect way to end this over 100 minute spectacle. All in all this show was a great and valuable end for this exquisite weekend.
Hello Hooray House of Fire No More Mr. Nice Guy Under My Wheels I’ll Bite Your Face Off Billion Dollar Babies Lost in America Hey Stoopid Dirty Diamonds Welcome to My Nightmare Go to Hell Wicked Young Man He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask) Feed My Frankenstein Ballad of Dwight Fry Killer I Love the Dead Break On Through (to the Other Side) Revolution Foxy Lady My Generation I’m Eighteen Poison School’s Out
All in all 25000 metalheads made a visit to the Tuska Open Air festival of 2015. Even though Tuska definitely divides people’s opinions from one side to another side, but the fact is, Tuska will carry on. However, the organization has to find new ideas, but adding some weird reggae hiphop on the list was kind of weird. Metal bands can hardly be seen in hiphop festivals! Overall, it would be superb to have less jokes and worthless crap in the line-up instead more metal and above all serious ones. Tuska should seriously think of having more classic metal bands in the list beside the newer generation of the metal genre. See ya Tuska 2016 !!!
Stratovarius have broken their year long silence to reveal they are in the studio completing a new record. Its release will be preceded by a performance at Wacken Open Air Festival and followed by a full tour soon after release.
“Eternal” is the fourth studio album by the Finnish symphonic metal originators for the earMUSIC label.
The trilogy of albums “Polaris”, “Elysium” and “Nemesis” were released close to each other as the consequence of the renewed creative energy the band gained following the arrival of new members to support the historical members Kotipelto, Johansson and Michael. The previous three albums by Stratovarius showcased the many talents of guitarist Mattias Kupianen (prolific songwriter and producer of all the albums, including “Eternal”), virtuoso bass player Lauri Porra and, on the third of the three, the young talent Rolf Pilve, one of the best drummer of his generation who had to replace Jörg Michael after the latter decided to move into a new role in Stratovarius management.
Frontiers Music Srl is pleased to announce the release of the second CAIN’S OFFERING studio album entitled “Stormcrow” on May 15th in Europe and May 19th in North America.
Cain’s Offering is the brainchild of Finnish guitarist/songwriter Jani Liimatainen, founding member of one of Finland’s biggest musical exports, Sonata Arctica.
Drawing its musical influence from both the classic Hard Rock scene, fast-paced European Power Metal and a very modern Heavy Metal sound, CAIN’S OFFERING is, just as expected, another perfect example of today’s incredible Finnish music scene. Read the rest of this entry »
TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON to release sophomore album “Angels of the Apocalypse” with an amazing cast of singers ! Out in May on Frontiers
Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON sophomore album, “Angels of the Apocalypse” on May 16th in Europe and May 20th in North America.
Following the release of the debut album “The Land of New Hope”, the “Metal Opera” was met with critical and fan acclaim, entering the national album charts in seven European countries, including a top 10 entry in Tolkki’s home country, Finland. In August 2013, Tolkki flew to Greece to seek the right inspiration for the follow-up album and upon his return he managed to develop a sound that is even more grandiose and symphonic and yet heavier and darker in direction as compared to the debut album. “In August 2012 I planned to release a Metal Opera that had to be a trilogy. I am following a specific storyboard in a musical format and this time the musical direction is heavier and darker than the previous Avalon” says Tolkki. ”This was deliberate since the Apocalyptic scenes described in the lyrics demanded that”.
As for the players on the album, Tolkki finally managed to reunite the legendary STRATOVARIUS “Dreamspace” lineup, calling Antti Ikonen and Tuomo Lassila to play keyboards and drums respectively. “It was really nice and brought good vibes and freshness to the album,” tells Timo. “Definitely the right move.”
The amazing cast of vocalists appearing this time includes NIGHTWISH singer Floor Jansen – who takes care of the lead vocals on the first single “Design The Century” – along with Simone Simons (EPICA), Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY OF FIRE), David DeFeis (VIRGIN STEELE), Zachary Stevens (ex-SAVATAGE, CIRCLE II CIRCLE), plus Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE) – who appears again after contributing to the first album – and the stunning Chilean singer Caterina Nix, who is working on her debut album which is also produced by Tolkki. “Some songs were written with a specific singer in mind, while for some others I decided based on the knowledge that I had on how he or she would perform. I am particularly happy of how this record sounds especially two songs You’ll Bleed Forever and the 10 minute title track are among my favourite ever”, says Tolkki.
Once again the stunning artwork is provided by the French artist Stanis W. Decker and the first pressing of the physical edition will be available in a glossy digipak.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
TUSKA AFTERPARTY FEAT. MARKY RAMONE’S BLITZKRIEG REVIEW BY CHRISTER USENIUS
The Tuska Open Air Festival is definitely a real metal festival institution amongst all other metal festivals in Europe. This current area, Suvilahti, almost located in the heart of Helsinki, only a few kilometers away from the downtown, is the new home for Tuska for the second time. Suvilahti is more like an industrial environment with burning and hot asphalt underfoot. Tuska faced a serious battle to pull the audience as another festival named Rock The Beach was arranged on the same weekend in the Helsinki area. The line-up of that festival mostly pulled the normal radio friendly audience whereas the die-hard metal freaks arrived at the Tuska Open Air Festival. Tuska however managed to pull about 25.000 visitors during the weekend. That was pretty good as the line-up did look good, not that tempting to pull a mainstream audience.
Nightwish and Testament, and of course the legendary Danish King Diamond were headliners, but of course a few cult metal bands like Bolt Thrower, Lama, had to be witnessed. The festival was an nice success although the event wasn’t sold out. Metal-Rules.com was present to check out a lot of bands and enjoy the metal in different forms.
EXCITING CONCEPT ALBUM AVAILABLE NOW VIA FRONTIERS RECORDS
(New York, NY) – Timo Tolkki’s Avalon new metal opera, THE LAND OF NEW HOPE (Frontiers Records), has made impressive album chart debuts in Europe, with several Top 100 album chart bows, including a Top 10 album chart debut in composer Timo Tolkki‘s native Finland. The exciting concept album debut #s are as follows: Finland – #7, Sweden – #42, Switzerland – #59, Norway – #80 and Germany – #90. The album is available digitally and in regular and deluxe physical versions.
THE LAND OF NEW HOPE takes place more than 40 years in the future when most of the planet has been destroyed by natural disasters. The title of the opera refers to the safe haven that a small group of survivors seek. THE LAND OF NEW HOPE is composed by one of the forefathers of the power metal genre, former Stratovarius main songwriter and guitarist, Timo Tolkki. Click here to check out the sultry video for first single “Enshrined In My Memory,” featuring the beautiful Elize Ryd (Amaranthe). Click here to check out the official EPK and click here to access cover art. The album is available in two formats: a standard CD and a deluxe edition featuring a 30-minute documentary on the making-of the album and two videos.
Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON stunning new Metal Opera entitled “The Land of New Hope” on May 17th in Europe and May 21st in North America.
Hailed by fans and press as one of the forefathers of the Power Metal genre with his songwriting for the band STRATOVARIUS in the late 90’s and early 00’s, Timo Tolkki has been silently preparing his musical revenge. Following a call in August 2012 from Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino, Tolkki quickly cancelled all plans and started writing new music following an original concept discussed years ago between the artist and Perugino. The idea was to have a magniloquent metal / rock opera with some cinematic orchestrations to bring back the STRATOVARIUS original sound in a more symphonic and grandiose fashion. “I sort of rediscovered myself musically in the process of making this album”, explains Tolkki. “I wrote the story first and started composing the music after that. My aim was to write memorable songs with good melodies that would support the story. In STRATOVARIUS back in early 90’s, I was one of those who were there in creating the whole Power Metal genre, so it is natural that people may associate this music style to me. But on this album you will find a lot of different dynamics as well with some songs that are fully orchestrated and sound very very big”. Read the rest of this entry »
New studio album “Nemesis” charts top 50 in six countries
Melodic metal legends STRATOVARIUS are pleased to unleash their “Halcyon Days” video from the band’s latest full-length, “Nemesis”, released via earMUSIC. Hailed by the media as, “the best STRATOVARIUS album since many, many years,” by Metal Hammer Germany, “a collection of the band’s greatest hits that you never heard until now,” by Metal Underground in the US and, “the strongest STRATOVARIUS album since the beginning of the century,” by KaaosZine in Finland, STRATOVARIUS were once again able to live up to their reputation as one of the leading names of the metal genre, once again exceeding fans’ and critics’ expectations and charting all over the world: Finland: # 3, Czech Republic # 12, Switzerland # 30, Spain # 32, Germany # 41, Sweden # 44, France # 56, Norway # 56, Austria # 62, Canada # 126.
Coinciding with the band’s European tour, set to commence in Helsinki, Finland, the band today proudly reveals the video for their second single. The footage for “Halcyon Days” was shot in Lithuania by Pekka Hara, and perfectly captures the song’s theme of finding one’s peace of mind.
At once aggressive and sinister in its almost techno-influenced stormy moments, the chorus and bridge of “Halcyon Days” reflects serenity with its hopeful and powerful melody. Referring to a legend that there were seven days of peace in the midst of a stormy season, the song also features this quiet moment of passing through the eye of the storm.
The band explains: “It was a really nice experience working with Pekka and his team, and Lithuania was a pleasant surprise, very friendly people there and everything worked out great. This video sets the mood of the song perfectly. And the fact is: a band is nothing without the fans.”
Prior to the video shoot, the band had launched a fan competition asking their supporters to send a picture of their most prized STRATOVARIUS item. Over 100 items were sent, of which the band handpicked the 10 most original objects, which are now featured in the video. Over the course of the next weeks, STRATOVARIUS will also launch a special fan item version of the video on their official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/stratovarius.
EarMUSIC will release the long-awaited new studio album by STRATOVARIUS called Nemesis, as standard 11-track edition as well as 13-track special edition on February 22nd. Check out a sample of the title track below:
Stratovarius – Nemesis
Nemesis will include the following tracklisting:
‘Stand My Ground’
‘Out Of The Fog’
‘Castles In The Air’
‘One Must Fall’
‘If The Story Is Over’
Another sample of the track ‘Unbreakable’ can be heard below:
Stratovarius are hailed as one of the most influential and successful symphonic metal bands in the world and they have managed to establish themselves as one of the metal scene’s heavy names. The new album, Nemesis, unites all the best traits of the band’s melodic, powerful, fresh and technically elaborated metal, all spiced up with an incredible sense for melody.
The album was produced and mixed by Matias Kupiainen and mastered by Mika Jussila from Finnvox studios, who has a long history with the band.
Nemesis has a dark and more modern sound compared to the band’s last album, Elysium. It clearly shows how much the band has matured and grown as songwriters. At the same time, the band focused all their attention and work into creating and recording Nemesis. Singer Timo Kotipelto has spent three weeks recording the vocals in a cottage in the Finnish countryside.
Matias Kupiainen adds: “I have more or less lived in the studio for four months, obsessing over every detail. I feel very relieved that we are done and I am very happy with the material and the sound.”
Timo Kotipelto agrees: “Making the album this time was easier because we gave it as much time as it needed. We have worked our asses off to make this and we hope the fans will like it.”
Without doubt, the fans will love it! The album has it all. From the typical melodic and powerful Stratovarius sound in ‘Abandon’, to the aggressive and energetic ‘Stand My Ground’, the album represents the new style of the band mixed with good old melodic power metal. Stratovarius’ musical approach is today wider and richer than ever. The song ‘Fantasy’ sounds almost ABBA-esque with its catchy pop tune, but it’s powered by the famous Stratovarius metal sound, louder than ever. ‘Out Of The Fog’ integrates some folk music elements, with lyrics telling the story of a young person forced to march blindly into battle. The only ballad on the album, ‘If The Story Is Over’, is a very emotional song with a grand arrangement that builds up to using the full band and ends with a small female choir. The title track ‘Nemesis’ is a typical Stratovarius song, with echoes of medieval melodies with powerful double bass drumming and the catchy pop melodies from this side of the millennium.
Says Timo Kotipelto: “The title track of the album; with its modern twist on the myth of Nemesis, tells a story of a preacher who gives each one what they deserve, good or bad. The song has a very nice riff, cool melodies and a great good old Stratovarius style chorus.”
To shorten the waiting period for the album, January 25th finds the release of the limited edition EP, Unbreakable. It features five songs: the new album leading track ‘Unbreakable’ and a selection of four songs from previous albums, remastered by Mika Jussila. Songs like ‘Falling Star’ (taken from Polaris) and ‘Freedom’ (taken from Infinite) show a different, catchy side of Stratovarius and guide the way to the new masterpiece Nemesis.
Matias Kupiainen about the new song: “’Unbreakable’ is a very important song to me and the lyrics have a lot of personal meaning. Sometimes you can snap out of your day to day fog and see what is important. And when you are in that special moment, when you have that special feeling, you are invincible, unbreakable; you should really stop and enjoy the feeling. Even, if the whole world falls apart tomorrow.”
Timo Kotipelto adds: “This album has a darker and more modern sound. We, as a band, have gone through a lot and we have matured as songwriters. The making of this album was easier than before, because we could give it as much time as needed.”
‘Unbreakable’ (taken from the brand new studio album Nemesis)
‘Falling Star’ (taken from Polaris)
‘The Game Never Ends’ (taken from Elysium)
‘Freedom’ (taken from Infinite)
‘Why Are We Here’ (taken from Intermission)
(Songs 2-5 remastered by Mika Jussila in 2012)
Stratovarius and AMARANTHE are teaming up in a double headline bill next spring. The Nordic Nexus Of Nemesis Tour 2013 will kick off in Munich, Germany on March 20th.
Stratovarius reveals the cover artwork and final track-list for their anticipated new album “Nemesis” through earMUSIC.
The brand new studio album will be released as a standard 11-track edition as well as a 13 track special edition on February 22nd, 2013.
Stratovarius are hailed as one of the most influential and successful Melodic Metal bands in the world and they have managed to establish themselves as one of metal scene’s heavy names.
The new album “Nemesis” unites all the best traits of the band’s melodic, powerful, fresh and technically elaborated metal, all spiced up with an incredible sense of melody.
The album was produced and mixed by Matias Kupiainen and mastered by Mika Jussila (Finnvox studios) who has a long history with the band.
“Nemesis” has a dark and more modern sound compared to the band’s last album “Elysium”. It clearly shows how much the band has matured and grown as songwriters. At the same time, the band focused all their attention and work into creating and recording “Nemesis”. Singer Timo Kotipelto has spent three weeks recording the vocals in a cottage in the Finnish countryside.
Matias Kupiainen adds: “I have more or less lived in the studio for four months, obsessing over every detail. I feel very relieved that we are done and I am very happy with the material and the sound.” Timo Kotipelto agrees:“Making the album this time was easier because we gave it as much time as it needed. We have worked our asses off to make this and we hope the fans will like it.”
Without doubt, the fans will love it! The album has it all. From the typical melodic and powerful Stratovarius sound in “Abandon”, to the aggressive and energetic “Stand My Ground”, the album represents the new style of the band mixed with good old melodic power metal.
Stratovarius´ musical approach is today wider and richer than ever. The song “Fantasy” sounds almost ABBA-esque with its catchy pop tune, but it´s powered by the famous Stratovarius metal sound, louder than ever.
“Out Of The Fog” integrates some folk music elements, with lyrics telling the story of a young person forced to march blindly into battle.
The only ballad on the album, “If The Story Is Over”, is a very emotional song with a grand arrangement that builds up to using the full band and ends with a small female choir.
The title track “Nemesis” is a typical Stratovarius song, with echoes of medieval melodies with powerful double bass drumming and the catchy pop melodies from this side of the millennium.
Says Timo Kotipelto: “The title track of the album; with its modern twist on the myth of Nemesis, it tells a story of a preacher who gives each one what they deserve, good or bad. The song has a very nice riff, cool melodies and a great good old Stratovarius style chorus.”
All songs revolve around the leading track “Unbreakable”, a very melodic song with a soft piano intro in contrast to the heavy riffing that the album would display later on. This song is also the title song of the limited edition EP “Unbreakable”, to be released January 25th, 2013.