Symfonia. Does that name of the band ring any bells out there yet? Maybe not for everyone as Symfonia is basically a new band on the metal map. But behind Symfonia there are well known names and persons involved in the band. When unveiling names such as Andre Matos, Timo Tolkki, Uli Kusch, Jari Kainulainen and Mikko Harkin it is quite obvious the interest toward this five piece may increase tremendously. The Metal-Rules.com team had an nice and pleasant task to witness the debut show of Symfonia at the Finnish Metal Expo. After the show we were lucky enough to have an opportunity of doing an interesting and in-depth interview with vocalist Andre Matos regarding the birth of Symfonia, Avantasia, and plenty of other topics including Symfonia’s future activities. Ladies and gentleman, the first Symfonia interview here at Metal-Rules.com.
Today legendary Finnish melodic metal troupe STRATOVARIUS unleashed their thirteenth studio album, Elysium, to North American fans. Recorded at 5-By-5 studios in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki, Finland, the nine-track full-length will is available via Armoury Records and features the gorgeous cover art of Gyula Havancsák. In an advance review, About.com called Elysium “one of STRATOVARIUS‘ strongest CDs in years.” Noted SMN News: “The record bristles with gorgeous keyboard landscapes, fiery solos, and the most glorious choruses this side of Gamma Ray,” while Blistering added: “STRATOVARIUS haven’t sounded this focused and on-point since they seemed poised to overtake the melodic metal world over a decade ago.”
In conjunction with the record’s release, Loudtrax.com is currently selling Elysium for the low price of $6.66. For more info, point your browser HERE.
In an official message from STRATOVARIUS: “Some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we’re back on the road with Helloween. And Jörg Michael is back in his drum chair after his brush with death.
The bad news is that Timo Kotipelto caught some sort of bacterial infection. We suspect it was something from the backstage food in December, but we don’t know. Two of the other people on the tour had the same thing: A very bad dysentery-like stomach infection with vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration, also eventually had to go to hospital, etc.
Timo’s infection is stubborn and in addition to ruining his Christmas break, it has dried out his vocal cords. In his own words, he can’t sing a note at the moment. We are currently in France and so far we had to cancel playing in Paris and Lyon.
We are of course very sorry about this, and nobody is more heartbroken or frustrated than Timo himself. Apart from heeding the advice from doctors we are in touch with, the only thing we can do at the moment is to hope Timo gets better. We will ride the 1000 km to Bilbao tonight and hopefully we will all get some sleep on the nice smooth French motorways.
Check out a short video about the Paris cancellation and some words from Jörg HERE.
The legendary Finnish melodic metal troupe are gearing up to unleash their thirteenth studio album, Elysium, in North America next week. Recorded at 5-By-5 studios in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki, Finland, the nine-track full-length will be released on January 18, 2011 through Armoury Records and features cover art by Gyula Havancsák.
STRATOVARIUS has just released “Under Flaming Skies,” another track from their forthcoming new album. Produced by guitarist Matias Kupiainen, Elysium, will be hitting stores on January 18th via Armoury Records. The cover art for the record was created by Gyula Havancsák who has also worked with the likes of Annihilator and Destruction. “Under Flaming Skies” finds the Finnish metal masters firing on all cylinders with a particularly impassioned performance from vocalist Timo Kotipelto, who wrote the track along with Kupiainen.
Formed in 1984, Stratovarius has sold over 2.5 million albums throughout their career so far. Elysium will be the quintet’s 13th studio album. In November of 2010, the band announced that doctors had found a cancer in drummer Jörg Michael’s thyroid. After a successful surgery and some post-op treatment, Michael released a statement in late December letting his fans know that his health is rapidly improving. The drummer stated, “The surgery was done about 6 weeks ago and the first therapy is done as well. All looks good so far and as Jens (Johansson, keyboards) told me before: “Do not worry Jörg, nothing survives in your body after all what you did to it!”
Elysium will be out 1/18 via Armoury Records and is available for pre-order
Listen to “Under Flaming Skies” here:
“Seven Sinners” tour together with Helloween
January 11, 2011: Elysee Montmatre, Paris, France
January 12, 2011: Le Transbordeur, Lyon, France
January 14, 2011: Rockstar Live, Bilbao, Spain
January 15, 2011: La Riviera, Madrid, Spain
January 16, 2011: Razzmatazz I, Barcelona, Spain
January 18, 2011: Alcatraz, Milan, Italy
January 19, 2011: Altantico, Rome, Italy
January 21, 2011: Fuzz Live Music Club, Athen, Greece
January 22, 2011: Principal Club Theatre, Thessaloniki, Greece
January 23, 2011: Hristo Botev Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria
January 24, 2011: Hristo Botev Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria
January 26, 2011: Boogaloo Club, Zagreb, Croatia
January 27, 2011: Kino Siska Club, Ljubljana, Slovenia
January 28, 2011: Sports Hall, Hlohovec, Slovakia
January 29, 2011: Sports Hall, Presov, Slovakia
January 31, 2011: Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland
February 01, 2011: Garage, Saarbrücken, Germany
February 02, 2011: Brückenforum, Bonn, Germany
February 04, 2011: Capitol, Hannover, Germany
February 05, 2011: Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany
February 06, 2011: Halle Gartlage, Osnabrück, Germany
February 09, 2011: Docks, Hamburg, Germany
February 10, 2011: Jako Arena, Bamberg, Germany
February 11, 2011: All-Kart-Halle, Kaufbeuren, Germany
February 12, 2011: Volksbankmesse, Balingen, Germany
February 20, 2011: 札幌 Zepp, Sapporo, Japan
February 22, 2011: 仙台 Zepp, Sendai, Japan
February 23, 2011: 名古屋 Zepp, Nagoya, Japan
February 25, 2011: 福岡 Zepp, Fukuoka, Japan
February 27, 2011: 大阪 なんば HATCH, Osaka, Japan
February 28, 2011: 東京 Zepp, Tokyo, Japan
March 2, 2011: Changchoong Gym, Seoul, Korea
March 4, 2011: GC Live House, Beijing, China
March 6, 2011: Taipei University Auditorium, Taipei, Taiwan
August 27, 2011: Ayia Napa Youth Festival (Harbour Square), Ayia Napa, Cyprus
LIVE REVIEW AND PICTURES BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
German power metal pioneers Helloween have been a regular visitor in Finland since 1987 when the band made its virgin visit in Hameenlinna’s legendary Giants of Rock festival with Dio among other acts. Since then band has faced many up and down hills in its career. The band has gone through many changes including a number of lineup changes and they have had problems with record companies but they have survived and, in fact, during the past few years Helloween’s success has increased tremendously. In 2008 Helloween played two gigs with their colleagues Gamma Ray on the HELLISH ROCK tour and venues were entirely packed. Obviously, due to the highly successful package tour, Helloween have now asked Finnish power metallers Stratovarius to take part in their tour. Doing this tour, without having the new album released, was quite an interesting choice from Stratovarius. However a package consisting of two leading power metal names on the bill turned out to be another great success and the two Finland shows were quickly sold out again.
STRATOVARIUS’ German drummer Jörg Michael, who was was recently diagnosed with cancer and had his entire thyroid removed, has issued the following update:
“I hope this message finds everybody well and everybody is in an easy-peasy Christmas mood already.
“The first leg of the European tour with HELLOWEEN is over — time to have a few words with you.
“First of all, let’s not forget the brilliant emergency rescue action and playing of Alex [Landenburg; AT VANCE, ANNIHILATOR, MEKONG DELTA]. Thanks again for all what you did for the fans, the band and also for me.
“Surely I hate the idea of somebody is sitting on ‘my chair,’ but this special action needed some special treatment and I am proud and happy that it was you, Alex. Thanks again; we’ll get together for a real drink, not like these other Scandinavian pussies in the band 🙂
“I was overwhelmed by all the wishes, tons of emails and text messages I received from all over the world wishing me a speedy recovery. Thank you so much for supporting me, and it made me feel very strong when fighting these bastards inside of me.
“I have some good news to tell you and believe me — I really enjoy to tell the world:
“The surgery was done about six weeks ago and the first therapy is done as well. All looks good so far and as Jens [Johansson, STRATOVARIUS keyboardist] told me before: ‘Do not worry, Jörg, nothing survives in your body after all what you did to it!’
“Finally he was right, there are only small bits and bobs left — I will fight those with another therapy in about four months’ time.
“I think I have been very lucky that it was discovered by one of my friends in a very early state. Very good that my friend decided to become a doctor; he was very lousy when he tried playing the guitar.
“Besides preparing myself for Christmas, I am currently practicing the drums to be ready and kickin’ again when the tour continues in the New Year. I will be back.
“Thanks again for everything and let’s get alive and kicking once again.
“See you in Paris and everywhere else.”
STRATOVARIUS will release its thirteenth full-length studio album, “Elysium”, in Asia on January 12, 2011 via JVC and in the rest of the world on January 14, 2011 through earMUSIC/Edel.
Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS will release their thirteenth full-length studio album, “Elysium”, in Asia on January 12, 2011 via JVC and in the rest of the world on January 14, 2011 through earMUSIC/Edel.
Check out audio samples of all the songs that will appear on the CD at Amazon.co.uk.
“Elysium” will be released as a regular CD; a deluxe digipak edition with bonus track; a “collector’s edition” (featuring two exclusive bonus tracks on a seven-inch single); and on vinyl.
“Elysium” collector’s edition track listing:
01. Darkest Hours
02. Under Flaming Skies
03. Infernal Maze
04. Fairness Justified
05. The Game Never Ends
06. Lifetime In A Moment
07. Move The Mountain
08. Event Horizon
01. Darkest Hours (Demo)
02. Under Flaming Skies (Demo)
03. Infernal Maze (Demo)
04. Fairness Justified (Demo)
05. The Game Never Ends (Demo)
06. Lifetime In A Moment (Demo)
07. Move The Mountain (Demo)
08. Event Horizon (Demo)
09. Elysium (Demo)
Dear Stratovarius fans, I am afraid we have some quite terrible news. News of the worst imaginable kind. It’s about our friend and drummer Jörg Michael.
Jörg has cancer.
He recently discovered a lump on his neck, went to the doctor, they decided to operate, and found what they call “a malignant thyroid neoplasm”. They took out his whole thyroid just to have the best chance to get everything out. He will also have to undergo a regimen of radiotherapy. He is a fighter. We have all talked to him and it’s clear that this guy is not down for the count. He and his team of German doctors are pissed off and ready to kick ass, and I would not want to be a little cancer cell on these guys’ shit list.. believe me.
Jörg and his family (and us guys in the band) found this out only last week, after the operation. Naturally we are all going between a lot of emotions, sadness, worry, shock, confusion, even anger.
As for Stratovarius, as you perhaps know there is a long tour coming up with Helloween, and with the surgery and therapy that will now follow there is no way Jörg can do the first part of the tour. For me personally (it’s Jens writing this if you didn’t figure it out) I at first felt quite hopeless about the tour, because I was so upset about all this news. But Jörg himself has been extremely clear that he does not want the band to cancel a single show because of this. In the end this is what made at least me feel better about going back hitting the road next week.
So, we have debated what to do for many days now. Jörg first suggested my brother Anders to do this November-December 2010 leg, but it turns out Anders will unfortunately be busy recording some record or other with that little indie cellar band of his called HammerFall. :o) After a lot of searching we found a guy that both can do it and didn’t have other commitments: Alex Landenburg. He plays well, Jörg says he is a great guy (very important!) and he even started learning the set already before we even had decided what to do, which to me shows a lot of dedication. You can google Alex’ name if you are curious.
So it turns out that Stratovarius will do the first leg of the Helloween Seven Sinner tour, just as planned, only not with Jörg behind the kit, but with Jörg very much as a motivator to us being there. Not one single date will be cancelled or changed. Jörg wants to be back on the road with us again as soon as possible depending on the thearapy, but we are not making any promises, that one is up to powers even higher than Jörg Michael and his doctors. We will try to keep you somewhat updated.
Anyway, the most important thing is that they think they got all the bad stuff out and that the end result is that we just fix that sentence I wrote above. We will then say:
Finnish melodic metal troupe STRATOVARIUS are readying to unleash their thirteenth studio album, Elysium, this winter. Recorded at 5-by-5 studios in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki, Finland, the nine-track full-length will be released in the US and Canada January 18, 2011 (not January 14 as originally reported) through Armoury Records and features cover art by Gyula Havancsák. Check it out HERE. Elysium Track Listing:
1. Darkest Hours
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
Elysium will mark the debut of newest addition: 27-year-old Finnish guitarist Matias Kupiainen. Said drummer Jörg Michael of the band’s newest recruit: “In Matias we found a new character who fits perfectly with his way of melodic guitar shredding. He is a killer player, a ‘wunderkind’ from Finland!”
Polaris, STRATOVARIUS’ 2009 “come back” offering and first since the departure or guitarist/main composer Timo Tolkki, was reissued as a two-CD digipak earlier this year via Armoury Records. In addition to the original album, the package includes a bonus disc containing 75 minutes of live material recorded during the Polaris tour spanning the band’s entire history.
Stratovarius are putting the finishing touches on their thirteenth full-length studio album “Elysium” in 5-by-5 studios, Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki, Finland. The album will be released on January 12th, 2011 by JVC in Asia and worldwide on January 14th, 2011 by Edel/EarMusic.
A single with two new songs of “Elysium” will be released on 26 November this year, coinciding with the start date of the “7 sinners world tour” on which Stratovarius will join Helloween as very special guests – kicking off the same day in the Szene, Vienna.
The single also contains a demo track, and two unreleased live tracks recorded earlier this year on Stratovarius’ wildly successful 2009/2010 “Polaris” world tour.
The following tracks will be part of the single:
Darkest Hours (from the upcoming album “Elysium”)
Infernal Maze (from the upcoming album “Elysium”)
Darkest Hours (demo version)
Against the Wind (live recording, Sofia, Bulgaria)
Black Diamond (live recording, Göteborg, Sweden)
Preliminary tracklist of “Elysium”: (order of songs and working titles are subject to change)
Elysium, part I, II and III
Under Flaming Skies
Move the Mountain
Castaway (Japan Bonus Track)
Stratovarius - Elysium
Cover artwork by Gyula Havancsák. Band photo by Kimmo Syväri.
See information about upcoming live dates here, or below.
“Seven Sinners” tour together with Helloween
November 26, 2010: Szene, Vienna, Austria
November 27, 2010: Winter Masters of Rock, Zlin, Czech Republic
November 28, 2010: Petöfi Hall, budapest, Hungary
December 1, 2010: Neue Stadthalle, Langen, Germany
December 2, 2010: Hof Ter Lo, Antwerp, Belgium
December 4, 2010: Hardrock Hell Festival, Prestatyn, UK
December 5, 2010: The HMV Forum, London, UK
December 6, 2010: Effenaar, Eindhoven, Holland
December 8, 2010: Mejeriet, Lund, Sweden
December 9, 2010: Rockefeller, Oslo, Norway
December 10, 2010: Lisebergshallen, Gothenburg, Sweden
December 11, 2010: Arenan, Stockholm, Sweden
December 13, 2010: Rock Cafe, Tallinn, Estonia
December 14, 2010: Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
December 15, 2010: House Of Culture, Helsinki, Finland
December 17, 2010: Stodola, Warsaw, Poland
December 18, 2010: Studio, Cracow, Poland
December 19, 2010: Mala Sportovni Hala, Prague, Czech Republic
January 11, 2011 – Elysee Montmatre, Paris, France
January 12, 2011 – Le Transbordeur, Lyon, France
January 14, 2011 – Rockstar Live, Bilbao, Spain
January 15, 2011 – La Riviera, Madrid, Spain
January 16, 2011 – Razzmatazz I, Barcelona, Spain
January 18, 2011 – Alcatraz, Milan, Italy
January 19, 2011 – Altantico, Rome, Italy
January 21, 2011 – Fuzz Live Music Club, Athen, Greece
January 22, 2011 – Principal Club Theatre, Thessaloniki, Greece
January 23, 2011 – Hristo Botev Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria
January 24, 2011 – Hristo Botev Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria
January 26, 2011 – Boogaloo Club, Zagreb, Croatia
January 27, 2011 – Kino Siska Club, Ljubljana, Slovenia
January 28, 2011 – Sports Hall, Hlohovec, Slovakia
January 29, 2011 – Sports Hall, Presov, Slovakia
January 31, 2011 – Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland
February 01, 2011 – Garage, Saarbrücken, Germany
February 02, 2011 – Brückenforum, Bonn, Germany
February 04, 2011 – Capitol, Hannover, Germany
February 05, 2011 – Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany
February 06, 2011 – Halle Gartlage, Osnabrück, Germany
February 09, 2011 – Docks, Hamburg, Germany
February 10, 2011 – Jako Arena, Bamberg, Germany
February 11, 2011 – All-Kart-Halle, Kaufbeuren, Germany
February 12, 2011 – Volksbankmesse, Balingen, Germany
After their extremely successful Hellish Rock world tour 2007/08, leading HELLOWEEN through 40 countries on 4 continents, the German heavy metal legend soon will be touring the world again! Three weeks after the release of the new, yet untitled and highly anticipated studio album around Halloween (end of October) 2010, the band will hit the road again and start the tour in Europe.
While rumors promise the album to be the band’s heaviest and fastest effort in years, Helloween can announce nobody less than the Finland-based heavy metal supergroup STRATOVARIUS for the slot of the very special guest!
Says singer Andi Deris: “We had a great package with GAMMA RAY last time, and we are very proud to have Stratovarius with us this time. We look forward to have another power metal party with our fans all over the planet – see you soon!”
The 7 Sinners World Tour 2010/11 European Part I
26 – Wien, Austria – Szene
27 – Zlin, Czech Republic – Winter Masters of Rock
28 – Budapest, Hungary – Petöfi Hall
1 – Langen, Germany – Neue Stadthalle
2 – Antwerp, Belgium – Hof Ter Lo
4 – Prestatyn, UK – Hardrock Hell Festival
5 – London, UK – The HMV Forum
6 – Eindhoven, Netherlands – Effenaar
8 – Lund, Sweden – Mejeriet
9 – Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller
10 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Lisebergshallen
11 – Stockholm, Sweden – Arenan
13 – Tallinn, Estonia – Rock Cafe
14 – Tampere, Finland – Pakkahuone
15 – Helsinki, Finland – House Of Culture
17 – Warsaw, Poland – Stodola
18 – Cracow, Poland – Studio
19 – Prague, Czech Republic – Mala Sportovni Hala
(Ed. note: We hope this tour comes to all of North America as well!)
Jävlä Swedenrock, här kommer vi igen. The annual roadtrip to Swedenrock by the Finnish Metalâ€‘Rules.Com team is already the tenth time in a row. The 2010 lineâ€‘up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock. Therefore, over 70 bands offered nothing but an utter blast and a helluv an experience for the attendees to enjoy metal and rock. Swedenrock has been successful during the past ten years as the festival has always been sold out. This year wasn’t any exception as the fest was sold out despite the lousy economomic situation worldwide. As mentioned in the first sentence, this is the tenth time in a row when Sweden Rock has been featured on Metalâ€‘Rules.com, so it is quite logical for us to give a real inâ€‘depth article of several bands performing at Sweden Rock. The weather wasn’t ideal compared to previous years. It either rained or was windy with a little sunshine. But we were there for bands, not for having some beach party. We are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Enjoy or die !!!
Finnish power metallers STRATOVARIUS continue work on the follow-up to 2009’s Polaris. Singer Timo Kotipelto checks in with BraveWords.com from the studio. “Right now we are recording some new demos,” he reveals. “I think we have more than 20 songs sort of demoed out. I still have to sing the demo vocals, but all the other instruments are done, and in the next couple of weeks, I hope I’ll do that. But of course, the next week we’re going to go to China and do some gigs over there, so nothing is going to happen that week. But then the plan is to start recording the actual album later this year, and the album should come out… it’s hard to say, maybe early next year between January and May, somewhere in there. But that’s the plan. Hopefully there will be a new Stratovarius album then.”
So how would you describe the music?
“That’s a good question. Songs from Matias (Kupiainen – new guitarist) are more progressive, but then again, there is still some more traditional stuff. But the songs that will be on the final album, it’s hard to say. I think we are maybe following the path of the last album, but maybe more progressive stuff. We’ll see – I don’t know yet.”
Stratovarius’ brand new studio album will be released in early 2011 through JVC in Asia and Edel throughout the rest of the world. 2011 will see another Stratovarius world tour.
In other news, Stratovarius’ highly acclaimed Infinite album (from 2000) will be re-released on June 26th internationally after the band recently reacquired the rights to the album.
It’s not often you get to see one of your favorite bands for the FIRST time. Such was the case with my trip to see Stratovarius in Toronto.
Before we dive into the review, a note about the format… As you may notice, the pics, while passable, are not incredible like the ones you’ll find in most of our other live reviews. This is because I do not usually photograph live shows since I live in the wastelands where no bands visit and as such have no real experience taking live photos. As well, even though I did have a photo pass, there was no special front of stage area to get up close to try for awesome shots.
Lastly, this review will not only cover the performances but will review the experience and treatment that we received as VIP ticket holders.