Posts Tagged ‘Stratovarius’

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November 23rd, 2012
Stratovarius - "UNBREAKABLE" (EP)

Stratovarius – “UNBREAKABLE” (EP)

EarMusic is proud and very happy to announce the release of “Nemesis” the new studio album by Stratovarius, to hit the stores as standard 11-track edition as well as 13 track special edition on February 22nd, 2013.

A taste of the new studio album can be enjoyed with the Limited Edition EP “Unbreakable”, released on January 25th, 2013.

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. To shorten the waiting period for the album, January 25th, 2013 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.”


01. Unbreakable (taken from the brand new studio album “Nemesis”)
02. Falling Star (taken from “Polaris”)
03. The Game Never Ends (taken from “Elysium”)
04. Freedom (taken from “Infinite”)
05. Why Are We Here (taken from “Intermission”)

Songs 2-5 remastered by Mika Jussila in 2012.

Preorder via Amazon – click here!

The band will perform the new songs live for the very first time headlining the Radio Rock Cruise in Finland from February 9th to February 10th , followed by their first club show in Helsinki on March 3rd., 2013. On March 20th, 2013 Stratovarius will kick-off for their Nordic Nexus Of Nemesis Tour 2013 with fellow Scandinavians Amaranthe, before they return to Finland mid April to play 5 more shows:

09.02.-10.02.2013 (FI) Radio Rock Cruise (Headliner)
08.03.2013 (FI) HELSINKI / Tavasti *

NORDIC NEXUS OF NEMESIS TOUR Stratovarius & Amaranthe Double Headline Tour

20.03.2013 (D) MÜNCHEN / Backstage Halle
21.03.2013 (D) ERFURT / Stadtgarten
22.03.2013 (CZ) ZLIN / Masters of Rock Café
23.03.2013 (H) BUDAPEST / Club 202
24.03.2013 (SK) BRATISLAVA / Majestic Club
26.03.2013 (A) VIENNA / Szene
27.03.2013 (D) NÜRNBERG /Hirsch
28.03.2013 (D) BOCHUM / Matrix
29.03.2013 (D) HAMBURG / Grünspan
30.03.2013 (NL) UDEN / De Pul
31.03.2013 (F) PARIS / Cigale
02.04.2013 (F) STRASSBURG / La Laiterie
03.04.2013 (F) LYON / Le Kao
05.04.2013 (E) BARCELONA / Razzmatazz 2
06.04.2013 (E) MADRID / Arena
07.04.2013 (E) BILBAO / Rock Star
09.04.2013 (CH) PRATTELN / Z7
10.04.2013 (I) MILAN / Alcatrazz
11.04.2013 (D) LUDWIGSBURG / Rockfabrik
12.04.2013 (D) ASCHAFFENBURG / Colos-Saal
13.04.2013 (B) MONS / PPM Fest (Festival)
14.04.2013 (D) OSNABRÜCK / Rosenhof
16.04.2013 (DK) COPENHAGEN / Amager Bio
17.04.2013 (S) MALMÖ / KB
18.04.2013 (S) STOCKHOLM / Klubben
19.04.2013 (FI) LATHI / Finlandia-klubi*
20.04.2013 (FI) TAMPERE / Pakkahuone*
26.04.2013 (FI) MIKKELI / Vaakuna*
27.04.2013 (FI) JYVÄSKYLÄ, Lutakko*
30.04.2013 (FI) HELSINKI, Virgin Oil*

Posted in Festival/Tour News, Power Metal, Progressive Metal | Comments (0)

STRATOVARIUS Complete New Album

November 15th, 2012
Stratovarius 2012

Stratovarius 2012

STRATOVARIUS have finished work on the follow-up to 2011’s Elysium. Says the band: “Wonderful news! We just walked out from Finnvox studios with our new album in our hands! Band’s longtime friend and mastering guru Mr. (Mika) Jussila (NIGHTWISH, AMORPHIS, SENTENCED) gave his magical touch to our record and it sounds awesome!!!

The as-yet-untitled album is the first to feature drummer Rolf Pilve and is due out in the spring via Edel/JVC.

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.


Confirmed dates include:



20 – Backstagehalle – Munich, Germany

21 – Stadtgarten – Erfurt, Germany

22 – Masters Of Rock Cafe – Zlin, Czech Republic

23 – Club 202 – Budapest, Hungary

24 – Majestic Club – Bratislava, Slovakia

26 – Szene – Vienna, Austria

27 – Hirsch – Nürnberg, Germany

28 – Matrix – Bochum, Germany

29 – Grünspan – Hamburg, Germany

30 – De Pul – Uden, Netherlands

31 – La Cigale – Paris, France



2 – La Laiterie – Strasbourg, France

3 – Le Kao – Lyon, France

5 – Razzmatazz 2 – Barcelona, Spain

6 – Arena – Madrid, Spain

7 – Rock Star – Bilbao, Spain

9 – Z7 – Pratteln, Switzerland

10 – Alcatrazz – Milan, Italia

11 – Rockfabrik – Ludwigsburg, Germany

13 – PPM Fest (Festival) – Mons, Belgium



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Stratovarius – Keyboardist Jens Johansson

October 21st, 2012

Keyboardist Jens Johansson

Interviewed by EvilG

Live photos by Arto Lehtinen (unless where otherwise noted)

For many years now I’ve counted Stratovarius amongst my favorite bands. Despite the bands ups and downs, they’ve have been on a steady incline over the past 4 years with two killer albums in a row and a new live album/DVD/Blu-Ray and a new album coming in the spring of 2013.  I spoke with Jens about their current live release, the upcoming album, the departure of drummer Jorg Michael, the absence of the band from North America on the previous tour, and much more. Enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry »

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STRATOVARIUS To Unleash Under Flaming Winter Skies – Live In Tampere 2-CD/DVD In North America

August 13th, 2012

The news of drummer Jörg Michael’s departure from the Finnish melodic metal brigade STRATOVARIUS in September 2011 was a shock for all of the band’s fans. To say goodbye to a friend, hero and member who characterized STRATOVARIUS‘ sound for over a decade, the group embarked on a five-show farewell tour of Finland in November of last year. Before returning with a brand new studio album in 2013, STRATOVARIUS will release a two-hour 2-CD/DVD set filmed and recorded in Tampere, Finland on November 19, 2011. This is one of the very last shows the band played with Michael.

Set for North American release on August 28, 2012 via Eagle Rock imprint Armoury Records, Under Flaming Winter Skies – Live In Tampere, which entered the Music DVD chart in Finland at position No. 1 upon its first week of release overseas, marks the end of an era as well as a new beginning. Hits and classics like “Under Flaming Skies”, “Speed Of Light” and “Hunting High And Low” as well as exclusive bonus material (30-minute documentary about the band’s history, exclusive interviews with each member as well as a special comment from Jörg Michael regarding reasons for his departure) makes it a must-have for every fan and a real collector’s item not to be missed.

Check out the DVD trailer as well as a “Black Diamond” performance clip below:

Under Flaming Winter Skies – Live In Tampere Track Listing:
CD 1
01. Under Flaming Skies
02. I Walk To My Own Song
03. Speed Of Light
04. Kiss Of Judas
05. Deep Unknown
06. guitar solo
07. Eagleheart
08. Paradise
09. Visions
10. bass solo
11. Coming Home

CD 2
01. Legions Of The Twilight
02. Darkest Hours
03. Burn
04. Behind Blue Eyes
05. Winter Skies
06. keyboard solo
07. Black Diamond
08. Father Time
09. Hunting High And Low

DVD  Track Listing:

01. Intro
02. Under Flaming Skies
03. I Walk To My Own Song
04. Speed Of Light
05. Kiss Of Judas
06. Deep Unknown
07. guitar solo
08. Eagleheart
09. Paradise
10. Visions
11. bass solo
12. Coming Home
13. Legions Of The Twilight
14. Darkest Hours
15. Jörg Speech
16. Burn
17. Behind Blue Eyes
18. Winter Skies
19. keyboard solo
20. Black Diamond
21. Father Time
22. Hunting High And Low

Posted in Power Metal, Progressive Metal | Comments (0)


June 20th, 2012
Stratovarius 2012

Stratovarius 2012

Last year Jörg Michael announced his departure from Stratovarius after sixteen years of incredible drumming, countless tours and nine studio albums. Jörg played his final tour with the band in 2011. One of the last concerts in Finland was recorded, and will be released as a Live DVD/Bluray on June 27. It is titled “Under Flaming Winter Skies – Live In Tampere”. Check out a one-song sample of the song “Black Diamond” here: (and below).

The DVD is the first live DVD the band has ever released, and sadly it is the final for Jörg Michael. It includes two hours of a very powerful live show, plus a 30 minute long documentary about the band with interviews with all band members. It is a must-have for all Stratovarius fans with lots of inside information, very honest interviews, and the once in a lifetime departure of an outstanding member and friend: Jörg Michael. Even though he will still be working for the band on the management and agency side, it was a dramatic and nostalgic moment when he finally left the stage.

As a bonus track, the Bluray disc contains a 5.1 mix of the 18 minute song “Elysium” from the last studio album with the same name.

It was not easy to find a new drummer who is not only an excellent musician and a cool guy, but also courageous enough trying to fill the big hole Jörg Michael has left.

24 years old Rolf Pilve from Finland is that courageous and gifted drummer.

“Although the competition was fierce, Rolf was clearly the best one of the bunch. His precise playing, sureness and right attitude was there right away. He has an astonishing technique and to top that of he has a very musical way of playing, so he can bring something of his own into our old songs as well. Rolf has played a variety of different styles of metal, so fast tempos or more progressive parts will not be a problem. Whatever songs we might compose in the future – I have no doubt that he will be able to play them.”, says singer Timo Kotipelto, commenting on the new drummer’s abilities.

“I had prepared for the audition thoroughly, learning all the songs we agreed on, with the live-endings and everything. In addition to that I had also learned some extra songs just to be safe. Playing with the guys was excellent, and already the next day after the audition I got to hear that I had been the best one of the drummers they had auditioned. What followed was yet another audition where we would play more casually and jam”, says the newly chosen drummer.

The band received more than 100 applications, some of them very competent and high caliber Finns, but also included were some foreign drummers who had already made a name for themselves.

Timo Kotipelto describes the criteria the band had for the new drummer: “He had to be a really good player, but also a nice guy. We were not looking for a Jörg Michael clone. “

Stratovarius has been an influence for Pilve for years, and now he gets to step into the big boots of his idol. Rolf Pilve will join Stratovarius first time on stage at Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland on July 11, 2012.

11.7. Helsinki, Tavastia, Finland
12.7. Tampere, Tammerfest, Finland
13.7. Pecs, Rockmarathon, Hungary
14.7. Zlin, Masters of Rock, Czech Republic
28.7. Huuhkajavuori, Huuhkurock, Finland
18.8. Murcia, Leyendas del Rock, Spain
25.8. Andernach, Summer’s end Festival, Germany

Line up:
Timo Kotipelto – Vocals
Jens Johansson – Keyboards
Lauri Porra – Bass
Matias Kupianen – Guitar
Rolf Pilve – Drums

Posted in Power Metal, Progressive Metal | Comments (0)

STRATOVARIUS – “Drummer Wanted”

March 8th, 2012


Finnish metallers STRATOVARIUS have checked in with the following update:

“We have now played the final Latin America gigs with Jörg Michael, who is leaving the band after 16 years. 2011 started with the release of the Elysium album and was a long year with a long world tour together with HELLOWEEN. After some time off, we are now looking to the future, composing material for the next album, and we are also looking for the next drummer.

We have some great candidates already, but since we have a bit of time, we decided to also cast a wider net to see what comes up. So, if you have some touring and recording experience, are – more important – musical and hard hitting, and – most important – a nice dude, you might be the one we are looking for!

If you think this sounds like you, playing in a world famous metal band for a living sounds like something you’d enjoy, and if you want us to listen, please put on some headphones and record a video of yourself playing any of these three Stratovarius songs: ‘Coming Home’, ‘Father Time’ or ‘Deep Unknown’. You can for instance upload them to YouTube.

Send the video links and a short letter with your personal information to this email address:

What do you have to lose? The world awaits you! Plus money, fame, great times, and all the beer you can drink.”

Posted in Power Metal, Progressive Metal | Comments (0)

TIMO TOLKKI Predicts “STRATOVARIUS Will Not Exist Anymore In Five Years”

February 11th, 2012


Greece’s Rock Overdose conducted an interview with the great guitarist Timo Tolkki (ex-STRATOVARIUS, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE, SYMFONIA) about a number of topics including his pending retirement. Here are a few excerpts from the chat:
Rock Overdose: You announced a retirement after the fact that Symfonia would not go on as a band. What was the story behind of that?

Tolkki: “I simply said that in the present market situation, it is not possible to earn an income by being a professional musician. My career spans over 20 years in Stratovarius plus the other works. So it was a simple rational decision. We are going to see more bands from the middle league falling in the next three-five years simply because record companies are dying themselves and they take the last bits there are to take and it’s gonna make the situation even worse. It was the same situation with Revolution Renaissance. Music business is firstly becoming boring and predictable and secondly it is dying.”Rock Overdose: So, I suppose that you will focus to your solo carrier from now on?

Tolkki: “I don’t know man. The same situation applies to a possible solo career. In this moment I am not doing anything and maybe I never will record anything anymore for commercial purpose. We’ll have to see what happens in the next years.”

Rock Overdose: There are some rumors that some old members of Stratovarius will form a group named STRATO. Did they approach you to play with them? Are you thinking to do it?

Tolkki: “Yes its true. We have met many times in the last two years. Me, Tuomo Lassila (the founding member of Stratovarius) and Antti Ikonen went to see ROGER WATERS’ The Wall in Helsinki together. We have talked about making an album called Return To Dreamspace. I wrote to Stratovarius and asked if we could use the name for this one album because there is the founding member of the band involved and who invented the name. We got a vicious letter from the lawyer that we will be sued immediately if we would use the name. It just shows the attitude and it is sad to see that a band that once had life and soul in it, is now a simple franchise. A money making machine except that the industry situation gets to them as well. Joerg Michael decided to leave the band because he did not like the music the band was heading to. Now he plays in some Greek band I think. Stratovarius will not exist anymore in five years.”

Read the entire interview here.

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December 8th, 2011


AMBERIAN DAWN’s fourth studio album “CIRCUS BLACK” is now ready. The initial release date (by Spinefarm Records/Universal Music Group) is 29th February 2012. The album is going to be released worldwide.

  1. Circus Black 3:49
  2. Cold Kiss 3:31
  3. Crimson Flower 4:25
  4. Charnel’s Ball 4:27
  5. Fight 3:21
  6. Letter 4:31
  7. I Share With You This Dream 3:37
  8. Rivalry Between Good and Evil (Instrumental) 4:00
  9. Guardian 5:09
  10. Lily of the Moon 4:12


As announced before, vocalist Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius) and keyboardist Jens Johansson (Stratovarius, ex-Dio,ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force) have contributed their talent on this album. Kotipelto sings lead vocal parts on “Cold Kiss” and Johansson plays a keyboard solo on “Crimson Flower”.

”Circus Black is the most impressive AD album so far. Musically it represents the most sophisticated and most symphonic edge of AD-music. There’s more diversity on this album than never before. This is the first time we used a real choir and we gathered some really excellent professional opera singers together to be able to achieve the best sounding choir possible. This choir was conducted by Mikko P. Mustonen from Pathos Music. He also arranged the choir and orchestral parts.

We managed once again to get some world-class guests on this album. So, the production is our biggest so far and the final polish on this album was given by Teropekka Virtanen (mixing engineer) and Mika Jussila (mastering engineer) at legendary Finnvox Studios in Finland.

The whole band did excellent job with recordings. It was really awesome, that Kasperi recovered from his hand injury just in time (only a couple of weeks before the mixing sessions started) and he was able to play guitar solos on this album. Even in the fall it seemed that I and Kimmo would have to play all guitar parts by ourselves. Like usual, allmusic is on this album is written by me and lyrics are written by Heidi”

– Tuomas/Amberian Dawn

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STRATOVARIUS Launch “Farewell To Jörg Michael” Contest

December 3rd, 2011


Finland’s STRATOVARIUS recently announced that drummer Jörg Michael has opted to leave the band after 15 years behind the kit for personal reasons. They have now issued the following message to the fans:


“An exceptional competition is organized from December 1st – 25th of December, with lot of presents to win (drumsticks, T-shirt, and for the winner, Jörg’s drum head signed by himself). To win, you have to create a photo assembly or a video about Jörg over these 15 years with Stratovarius. The three best will win these prizes. For participation just send your photo or video montage to: Good luck!”


Watch the band’s Facebook page for updates.


As previously reported, Stratovarius will perform in Guatemala, at Teatro de Bellas Artes in Guatemala City, on January 31st, 2012. This will now be the final show for drummer Jörg Michael, after 15 years with Stratovarius. Prior to the announcement of this date, is was expected that Jörg’s final show with the band would be in Mexico, at Circo Volador in Mexico City, on January 28th.


Jörg joined the band in 1995 and the first Stratovarius album he played on was Episode (1996). He played on nine albums and performed nearly 1,000 shows with the band.


“The rest of us just has to accept Jörg’s decision with a lot of sadness and wish him all the best for the future. But we can also assure that the band will still go on”, says the singer Timo Kotipelto.


The band and Jörg are not going completely separate ways though, since Jörg will still be working for the band with his booking agency Twisted Talent Concerts.


Kotipelto continues: “Our long journey of over 15 years together has not ended yet, as Jörg remains among our background forces – and we couldn’t be more happy about that. Not only has he been a great drummer but also a close friend and a true professional. We’re honoured to have Jörg by our side for this farewell Tour. We can’t wait to rock with our ‘German Steamroller’ one last time! These shows will be unforgettable for all of us.”

Posted in Power Metal, Progressive Metal | Comments (0)

TIMO TOLKKI – “I Made A Decision To Take Some Time Off From The Music Business… It Is Possible That I Will Never Record Anything Again”

December 2nd, 2011


Guitarist Timo Tolkki (SYMFONIA / ex-STRATOVARIUS) has posted the following update:


“I don’t know how many of you are interested in reading this and quite frankly, I dont even care so much, but I am just writing down some early morning thoughts regarding Symfonia and other stuff going on in my life.


As it turned out to be, it all started from a cake. I thought it might be some kind of a celestial joke and maybe it was, but when 2 fans handed me a Symfonia cake after the last gig of Symfonia’s South American tour, after spending 3 nights in a 15 bucks cold motel with grey concrete walls looking like a prison in Santiago de Chile and flying 28 hours to another continent to play to audiences varying from 100 to 350, I started to think that maybe this really is it. The cake was in a funny way telling me: ‘hey Timo, don’t you see: it’s over’.


And I started to really consider my whole musician’s career. This happened in June.


Exactly a year before I had flown to Sweden to record 3 demo songs I had composed hoping to record some vocals of Andre. I spent there 6 days and from those days, I was able to squeeze about 6 hours of singing from him. In between going to supermarkets, changing diapers and me trying to solve some of their domestic disputes, I started to think if it was such a good idea after all.


But people liked the demos and I went full on producing the In Paradisum album to which I put around 1,000 working hours. Andre Matos told me very clear that this band should not do any gigs if it doesnt make any money. I basically agreed but at the same time I knew that people would still consider it as a new band. Not “The Spartacus of Metal” where the gates of superstardom would open just like that. Uli Kusch had been in and out of band due to his hand injury and in the middle of vocal recordings in Sweden, he sent me a mail telling me he would never ever play any gigs in his life because ‘he was tired of piss smelling backstage rooms, the chaos, the travelling’, etc. In vain I tried to tell him that this was not what we agreed. He did tell me that if Symfonia would make a second album, we could use his name for 10,000 euros and use Alex Landenburg for the recordings. And after 10 minutes came a text message that he also wanted me to pay the taxes of his fee so it would total 13,000 euros for the usage of his name. I did not respond to that but I really found it hard to believe.


Then Matos lost his voice in the middle of the vocal recordings for 4 days and while hunting for cortison shots in the middle of the deepest Swedish countryside, I really started to think that this is not gonna work.


Well we got the vocals done, did the interviews and released the album. I still think it’s a good album.




Also the Japanese earthquake messed the little touring plans the band had. Then Andre told me we could make a lucrative tour in South America booked by his manager. Apparently there was some mysterious investor that was in the game. I should have known better even hearing the word investor. I decided to do the tour and after flying 30 hours: Helsinki-Frankfurt-Rome-Sao Paulo we landed only to hear that the tour is cancelled. At that point I was already ready to buy a ticket back to Finland but they managed to make a settlement and we did I guess it was 6 gigs. It was the worst and heaviest tour I have ever done in my career.


Keyboard player Mikko Harkin developed high fever and lung inflammation that was bounding pneumonia.


While lying 2 days in Sao Paulo in Formula 1 hotel (the cheapest you can get there) in a darkness I was starting to really get doubts about my future as a musician.


When I got the sales figures from Edel Records and the report from the booking agency for the festivals of Summer 2012 I decided to call it a day. It didnt make any sense to try to “conquer” the metal world since it was obvious that there was not enough interest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally cool if there is no interest.


Then I thought about my career. Around 3,000 gigs, 20 years, 20 CD’s, productions, clinics, travelling. I realised that I have done a lot. I guess most of you know that I am suffereing from Bipolar Disorder, one of the worst mental disorders, but with medication and non stressful lifestyle, this illness can be controlled but never cured. Playing in a touring band is far from “non stressful lifestyle” and in fact the rock’n’roll life itself is manic with its highs and lows. In those long Stratovarius tours being undiagnosed with the illlness, I could have died. I am not kidding.


3.3 next year I will be 46. This autumn I made a decision to take some time off from the music business and concentrate on something else. I have a wonderful wife and daughter, who also happens to be a world class singer. I started giving guitar lessons again. I’m taking lots of photos. In other words, living quite normal life.


I do realize the marks the years have left in me and that I should rest and heal the wounds. There is a lot to heal. The music business is in extremely sick state in this moment and it’s not gonna get any better. In a few years we will know what kind of form it will take. Maybe I one day take some part of it, maybe I dont. I really dont know at the moment.


So what about my future? If you are interested in that I can only say that it is possible that I will never record anything again. For some of you this might come as a relief. I don’t know what the future will hold for me but I want to thank all of you who have supported me in these 22 some years. For you who havent supported me and continuosly are mocking me for example at Stratoboard (which makes me really sad mainly due lack of respect from a band that was my vision for 22 years and that still plays 80% of my songs although there is 2 guys left in the band called Stratovarius) I also want to thank you because without you guys, I could never have done everything I have done. It’s been a great career. I hope the future brings more music but most likely it will not. But still after all I can say… I Did It My Way.


Hope to see you somewhere, take care of yourselves.”


Tolkki is currently offering his services to mix and master albums. He has issued the following overview via Facebook:


“I have produced and mixed music over 20 years. Had many studios and as you have to change along the music industry, built this mixing, overdubbing and mastering suite. It is in Helsinki but you can send your recorded files projects to me from anywhere in the world. I mix and master them and send it back to you. I am able to make production masters from which CD plants manufacture CDs.


From when I receive the files, it takes two to four weeks for you to receive the mixed and mastered files back. If you want a sample of my work, I can send you one song I mixed and mastered with these equipment. For this, please send me an email.”


Go to this location for more information and to contact Tolkki.


Symfonia made their live debut at the Finnish Metal Expo on February 18th. Fan-filmed footage is available below:

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STRATOVARIUS Schedules Interactive Online Show

November 5th, 2011


Staying at home can be a real choice if you want to experience live music. STRATOVARIUS, the Finnish power metal wonder, is next up playing for a global audience at an interactive online gig on November 20th. It is also a chance for the fans to say ‘farewell’ to drummer Jörg Michael, who is leaving the band soon. lets people become part of live music events on the web. The living room is the stage, with your TV or laptop showing a global online crowd and a high-quality live stream of the show. You can chat and make friends, applaud, swing a lighter, vote for songs to be played and more. The band members see all that live and talk back to the audience between songs.

“It feels great to have a chance to say goodbye to all the Finns, friends and fans I have met over the past 15 years. These last shows will be very special to me, as I never forget the support we, and especially I, got through the years. Having the opportunity to broadcast live to all the fans around the world will be an extra motivation for the band. I can promise a very special set list which we have never played before. Watch out and check it”, says Jörg Michael.

The leading idea behind is to let everybody with broadband access to take part in real live shows.

“In the 24/7 on-demand era, it is exciting to pause for an hour and participate in something together as a community. One advantage to regular shows is that you can actually choose where you take part,” depicts Antti Eronen, CEO of “On top of music, there’s an interview with the band. The audience can also chat with drummer Jörg Michael after the show.”

Stratovarius plays at here on Sunday, November 20th. Tickets cost 10€. Check your local time for the event and a demo page (here) at the site.

There are a limited number of 10,000 tickets available to the show.

Stratovarius will be in Mexico, Circo Volador, Mexico City on January 28th, 2012. This will be the last ever show with drummer Jörg Michael who, after 15 years with Stratovarius, has decided to leave the band for personal reasons.

Jörg joined the band in 1995 and the first Stratovarius album he played on was Episode (1996). He played on nine albums and performed nearly 1,000 shows with the band.

“The rest of us just has to accept Jörg’s decision with a lot of sadness and wish him all the best for the future. But we can also assure that the band will still go on”, says the singer Timo Kotipelto.

The band and Jörg are not going completely separate ways though, since Jörg will still be working for the band with his booking agency Twisted Talent Concerts.

“Our long journey of over 15 years together has not ended yet, as Jörg remains among our background forces – and we couldn’t be more happy about that. Not only has he been a great drummer but also a close friend and a true professional. We’re honoured to have Jörg by our side for this farewell Tour. We can’t wait to rock with our ‘German Steamroller’ one last time! These shows will be unforgettable for all of us,” Kotipelto continues.

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HELLOWEEN – 7 Sinners World Tour (sadly minus North America) Complete, New Album Recordings Slated For Early 2012!

September 25th, 2011

“On September 20th, the pumpkins concluded the final part of their 2010 /2011  7 Sinners World Tour with a great show in St.Petersburg, Russia. This marks the end to a very successful tour of almost one year taking the boys throughout 36 countries, playing more than 80 shows in front of several hundred thousand people all over the world. There have been far too many great moments in this period of time to be mentioned here.

A big ‘thank you’ goes out to the guys of STRATOVARIUS, who have contributed their part by being far more than a ‘very special guest’ on the tour!

Now, the pumpkin-heads will go on a well-deserved break before entering the studio in the beginning of 2012 to work on the new record. Last and foremost, Helloween wishes to thank you – all the pumpkin-maniacs all over the globe – for your enthusiastic support at every single show.”

Helloween 2010


Blitzkrieg Metal Magazine recently conducted an interview with drummer Dani Löble at the Wacken Open Air festival. Excerpts from the interview can be seen below:

Blitzkrieg Metal Magazine: You’ve been touring for the last nine months; just as you did after the Gambling With The Devil Tour, are you planning to take a break now, or are you going back to the studio?

Dani Löble: “We’re already discussing ideas for the next album, which we plan to release by the end of 2012. When this tour is over we’re heading to the studio to write some new material so that it’s ready for that album (and tour) at the end of next year No rest at all, we got a lot of rest after the Gambling… tour, and I think it’s enough rest for the next 10 years!”

Watch the interview below:


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September 15th, 2011
Jorg Michael

Jorg Michael

Drummer Jörg Michael has announced his plans to leave the Finnish melodic metal band STRATOVARUS for personal reasons. Jörg, who has been in the group for sixteen years, will play all the remaining tour dates until the end of January, and will celebrate with a special Finnish “Farewell Jörg” tour from November 18 to November 26.

Jörg joined STRATOVARIUS in 1995 and made his recording debut with the band on the “Episode” album (1996). He has appeared on nine full-length releases from STRATOVARIUS and has played nearly 1,000 shows with the band.

Commented STRATOVARIUS singer Timo Kotipelto: “The rest of us just has to accept Jörg’s decision with a lot of sadness and wish him all the best for the future. But we can also assure that the band will still go on.”

STRATOVARIUS and Jörg will not completely go their separate ways, however, since Jörg will still be working for the band through his booking agency, Twisted Talent Concerts.

“Our long journey of over fifteen years together has not ended yet, as Jörg remains among our background forces — and we couldn’t be more happy about that,” added Kotipelto. Not only has he been a great drummer but also a close friend and a true professional. “We’re honored to have Jörg by our side for this farewell tour. We can’t wait to rock with our ‘German Steamroller’ one last time! These shows will be unforgettable for all of us.”


Jörg Michael Finnish farewell tour:


Nov. 18 – Mikkeli, Mikaeli

Nov. 19 – Tampere, Pakkahuone

Nov. 23 – Jyväskylä, Lutakko

Nov. 25 – Oulu, Club Teatria

Nov. 26 – Helsinki, Tavastia


Michael was diagnosed with cancer last year and had his entire thyroid removed.


Posted in Power Metal, Progressive Metal | Comments (0)

Timo Tolkki Confirms 2012 Release For Dreamspace Line-Up Reunion Album & More!

April 25th, 2011
Stratovarius - Dreamspace

Stratovarius - Dreamspace

Ex-STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has confirmed a 2012 release date for the Dreamspace Line-Up reunion album (possibly under the name “Project Strato”?). As well, there will be a re-release of his Classical Variations Vol 1. solo album!

“I have nice news for you. We are planning to celebrate the 30 year existence of Stratovarius with the original Dreamspace line up releasing an album in January 2012.

Classical Variations Vol. 1 will be re-released as remastered version with new album Vol. 2 with bonus DVD including interviews. I will play guitar,bass and sing. Drummer will be John Macaluso. Release will be mid-September.

Symfonia will be active later this year with gigs around Sonisphere France.

Hope you like the news. Happy Easter.”


Stratovarius originally released “Dreamspace” in 1994, it was their 3rd album. It’s tracklist is:


1. “Chasing Shadows”

2. “4th Reich”

3. “Eyes of the World”

4. “Hold on to Your Dream”

5. “Magic Carpet Ride”

6. “We Are the Future”

7. “Tears of Ice”

8. “Dreamspace”

9. “Reign of Terror”

10. “Thin Ice”

11. “Atlantis”

12. “Abyss”

13. “Shattered”

14. “Wings of Tomorrow”

15. “Full Moon” (Japanese bonus track)





Timo Tolkki — Guitars, Vocals

Jari Kainulainen — Bass

Antti Ikonen — Keyboards

Tuomo Lassila — Drums and Percussion

Sami Kuoppamäki — Session drums on tracks 3, 4, 6, 7, and 13


This is the last album to feature Timo Tolkki on vocals before Timo Kotipelto joined the band.


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Stratovarius – Interview with vocalist Timo Kotipelto

March 11th, 2011

Stratovarius – Vocalist Timo Kotipelto

Interviewed by EvilG

Stratovarius are one of those bands that I am obsessed with. Since the release of the phenomenal album ELYSIUM I’ve been playing the album almost every day and have been going back through their discography (yet again) to see how it stacks up. In this fan’s opinion, the band have now proven, beyond any doubt, that they are as relevant and and as amazing today as they’ve always been.

Given the opportunity for an interview with Timo Kotipelto was of course a treat. A time was hard to nail down as a result of his recent throat problems and touring but with some persistence and patience, we got ‘er done and here is the result. Enjoy!

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