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Stratovarius logo

Formed: 1984
From: Helsinki, Finland
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Stratovarius News

Below is our complete Stratovarius news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Shear Announce New Album, Guest Appearances

Finnish metal/rock upcomers Shear have revealed the album artwork cover and title of the forthcoming sophomore release. "Katharsis" is set to drop via Lifeforce Records on March 24th in Europe and on April 1st in North America.

The artwork for the new effort was handled by Remko Tielemans, who is also known for his position as bass player in Textures. "Katharsis" was recorded Sound Supreme Studio, Mökkitie and 5by5 Studio (also mixed) between April-October 2013. Mastering was handled by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios. The album will feature a guest appearance by Stratovarious keyboardist Jens Johansson.

According to the press release: "the Finnish sextet impresses with a mature and beneficial designed sound, that is catchy and heavy at the same time. Just as important: Shear are playing authentic and honest music that is based on deep-seated emotions and a latent slope to great hymns. This is their 'Katharsis.' The chosen style is of subordinate importance for the effect of the perfectly balanced songs. Metal and rock come to fruition to create a Scandinavian heavy sound with a fresh approach and a convincing self-conception.

"Listening to 'Katharsis' you will fall in love with the charismatic voice of Alexa Leroux. But keep in mind: Shear is more than a female-fronted fairytale. Somewhere in between melodic metal, symphonic power and classical rock the Finns are heading for well-written and – simply – beautiful music with a unique charm." More...

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Stratovarius Releases New Music Video

Finnish power metal act Stratovarius posted a new music video for the track "Unbreakable." The song appears on the band's latest album "Nemesis," which was released early this year via earMusic (see review here).

The video was directed by Mariano Biasin. Check it out below. The "Nemesis" track listing is as follows:

1. Abandon
2. Unbreakable
3. Stand My Ground
4. Halcyon Days
5. Fantasy
6. Out Of The Fog
7. Castles In The Air
8. Dragons
9. One Must Fall
10. If The Story Is Over
11. Nemesis

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Timo Tolkki's Avalon Taps Stratovarius Founder

Tuomo Lassila, the founder of the legendary Finnish Power Metal band Stratovarius, will join his old bandmate Timo Tolkki for the recording of the drums and percussion parts on the second album of Tolkki's Avalon Metal Opera, due for release on Frontiers Records in 2014.

Lassila founded Stratovarius and came up with the name of the band in 1984, so next year marks the band's 30th Anniversary. Tuomo Lassila's drumming style is world famous from the first Stratovarius albums like "Dreamspace" and "Fourth Dimension" and his versatility as a drummer will bring to the record a great flavor of world class drumming. Lassila currently plays percussion in the Symphony Orchestra of the city of Lohja in Finland.

Timo Tolkki said: "I am extremely happy to have Tuomo on board for this album and look forward to the contributions he will give to the music".

Lassila joins Simone Simons (Epica), who was previously announced as the first guest vocalist for the untitled album. More...

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ProgPower USA XV Mid-Week Mayhem Show Revealed

The annual ProgPower USA festival announced the mid-week mayhem lineup for Wednesday, September 10, 2014. The lineup will feature Pain of Salvation (playing a regular set as opposed to the special set during the main festival comprising of "Remedy Lane" in its entirety), along with Atlanta's Theocracy and Oklahoma's Vangough. Ticket information will be announced soon.

The festival previously announced the kick-off show for Thursday, September 11th: Pagan's Mind (playing the debut LP "Celestial Entrance" in its entirety for the first time ever), Italian power/progressive act DGM and Indiana's Draekon. Tickets for the kick-off show will go on sale on November 1st.

The main festival, which is held from September 12-13, 2014, will feature:

Friday (September 12, 2014)

Thought Chamber (replaces Disperse)
Orden Ogan
Leprous
Overkill
Seventh Wonder (playing "Mercy Falls" in its entirety)
Stratovarius (Headliner)

Saturday (September 13, 2014)

Withem
Divided Multitude
Voodoo Circle
MasterPlan
Pain of Salvation (playing "Remedy Lane" in its entirety)
Jon Oliva's Pain (playing "Streets" in it's entirety) (Headliner)

Tickets for the main festival - as of this morning - are 70% sold after the first 24 hours, so head over to this location fast. More...

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ProgPower USA XV Lineup Revealed

The annual ProgPower USA Festival held in Atlanta, Georgia announced the lineup for its 15th year just after Soilwork's set On Friday, Sept 6th. The festival will be held from September 12-13, 2014.

The lineup was revealed to be:

Friday (September 12, 2014)

Disperse
Orden Ogan
Leprous
Overkill
Seventh Wonder (playing "Mercy Falls" in its entirety)
Stratovarius (Headliner)

Saturday (September 13, 2014)

Withem
Divided Multitude
Voodoo Circle
MasterPlan
Pain of Salvation (playing "Remedy Lane" in its entirety)
Jon Oliva's Pain (playing "Streets" in it's entirety) (Headliner)

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Stratovarius Posts "Halcyon Days" Music Video

Finnish symphonic metal masters Stratovarius posted a new music video for the track "Halcyon Days." The song appears on the band's latest LP "Nemesis," which is out now via earOne Music (EU) and Armoury Records in North America (see MetalUnderground.com's review at this location).

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.

Check it out here: More...

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Stratovarius Posts Preview Of New Music Video

Finnish metal act Stratovarius posted a teaser clip for the new music video "Halcyon Days." The track appears on the band's latest album "Nemesis," which was just issued via earMusic in Europe and Armoury Records in North America (reviewed here).

Check out the teaser here:

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Stratovarius Posts "Nemesis" Album Preview Clips

Finnish metal act Stratovarius posted preview clips for all the tracks of the new LP "Nemesis." The album. "Nemesis" drops in North America via Armoury Records on February 26, 2013. A review for the album can be found over at this location.

Check out the preview clips here:

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Stratovarius Streaming New Song

Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles today offers up Stratovarius’ “Halcyon Days” for your streaming enjoyment. The tune comes off the melodic metal legends’ forthcoming offering, "Nemesis."

Among Kotipelto’s favorite songs on the record, “Halcyon Days,” is about finding peace in the increasingly hectic landscape of daily life. Listen to the song at this location.

Produced and mixed by guitarist Matias Kupiainen and mastered by Mika Jussila (Finnvox Studios), the 11-track "Nemesis" will be released in North America via Armoury Records on February 26th, 2013. Notes vocalist Timo Kotipelto of the album:

“It has a darker more modern sound. We, as a band, have gone through a lot and have matured as songwriters. We have worked our asses off to make this and we hope the fans will like it.”

In celebration of its release, Manhattan’s Idle Hands Bar will be hosting a special "Nemesis" listening party on the evening of January 21st where both Kotipelto and keyboardist Jens Johansson will be in attendance. More...

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Stratovarius Unveils "Nemesis" Artwork, Track List

Fnnish symphonic metal act Stratovarius, which announced the new LP "Nemesis" yesterday, unveiled the album's artwork and track listing (shown below). The album will come as a standard 11 track edition along with a special edition with two additional bonus track and the album is set to drop on February 22, 2013 via earMusic.

Guitarist/producer Matias Kupiainen commented: “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."

Vocalist Timo Kotipelto added: “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."

According to the press release: "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."

Kotepelto commented on the title track: "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."

The first single, "Unbreakable," will be released on January 25, 2013 as a special EP. A preview clip and more info on the EP can be found at this location.

The track listing for "Nemesis" is as follows: More...

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Stratovarius Announces New LP "Nemesis"

Finnish symphonic metal act Stratovarius announced that the forthcoming new LP will be entitled "Nemesis." The first single will be "Unbreakable" and a preview clip can be heard below. The album will come as a standard 11 track edition along with a special edition with two additional bonus track and the album is set to drop on February 22, 2013 via earMusic.

"Nemesis" was produced and mixed by guitarist Matias Kupiainen and mastered by Mika Jussila from Finnvox studios, who has a long history with the band. To shorten the wait period for the album, the single for "Unbreakable" will be released as a limited edition EP on January 25th, 2013. It will feature 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 commented on 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."

Vocalist Timo Kotipelto added: "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."

The track list for the "Unbreakable" EP is as follows:

1. Unbreakable (taken from the brand new studio album "Nemesis")
2. Falling Star (taken from "Polaris")
3. The Game Never Ends (taken from "Elysium")
4. Freedom (taken from "Infinite")
5. Why Are We Here (taken from "Intermission")

(Songs 2-5 remastered by Mika Jussila in 2012.)

Check out the preview for "Unbreakable" here: More...

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Seven Kingdoms To Support Stratovarius In Europe

U.S. power metal act Seven Kingdoms announced that the band will provide support for the upcoming European tour for Finnish metal band Stratovarius and Amaranthe. The tour begins in Munich on March 20, 2013 and will include a performance at the PPM Festival in Belgium.

The announcement reads as folllows:

"EUROPE HERE WE COME!!! We are VERY ecstatic to announce we have been selected to support STRATOVARIUS and AMARANTHE on their Nordic Nexus of Nemesis Tour in March. The tour also confirms us for PPM festival in Belgium with Helloween, Manticora, Gamma Ray, Avantasia and more!!! Poster coming soon!"

Confirmed dates of the tour are as follows:

20.03.2013: Backstagehalle, Munich, Germany
21.03.2013: Stadtgarten, Erfurt, Germany
22.03.2013: Masters Of Rock Cafe, Zlin, Czech Republic
23.03.2013: Club 202, Budapest, Hungary
24.03.2013: Majestic Club, Bratislava, Slovakia
26.03.2013: Szene, Vienna, Austria
27.03.2013: Hirsch, Nürnberg, Germany
28.03.2013: Matrix, Bochum, Germany
29.03.2013: Grünspan, Hamburg, Germany
30.03.2013: De Pul, Uden, Netherlands
31.03.2013: La Cigale, Paris, France
02.04.2013: La Laiterie, Strasbourg, France
03.04.2013: Le Kao, Lyon, France
05.04.2013: Razzmatazz 2, Barcelona, Spain
06.04.2013: Arena, Madrid, Spain
07.04.2013: Rock Star, Bilbao, Spain
09.04.2013: Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland
10.04.2013: Alcatrazz, Milan, Italia
11.04.2013: Rockfabrik, Ludwigsburg, Germany
13.04.2013: PPM Fest (Festival), Mons, Belgium
14.04.2013: Rosenhof, Osnabrück, Germany
16.04.2013: Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Danmark
17.04.2013: KB, Malmö, Sweden
18.04.2013: Klubben, Stockholm, Sweden

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Stratovarius Posts Video Statement On New LP

Finnish symphonic metal band Stratovarius posted a video featuring vocalist Timo Kotipelto and keyboardist Jens Johansson regarding the band's next album. According to the video, the drum tracks (from new drummer Ross Pilve) are already recorded and the album is targeted for a 2013 release date.

Stratovarius has just released its live DVD Under Flaming Skies - Live In Tampere last week in North America through Eagle Rock imprint Armoury Records.

Check out the video here: More...

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Stratovarius DVD Getting North American Release

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 19th, 2011. This is one of the very last shows the band played with Michael.

Set for North American release on August 28th, 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 at this location. The track listing is: More...

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Stratovarius Posts Video Introducing New Drummer

Stratovarius recently announced the recruitment of new drummer Rolf Pilve, who is taking over after the departure of Jörg Michael. The band has now posted a video clip online introducing Rolf, which can be viewed below.

Vocalist Timo Kotipelto commented on the addition of the new 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. He had to be a really good player, but also a nice guy. We were not looking for a Jörg Michael clone."

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Stratovarius Names New Drummer

Finnish symphonic metal band Stratovarius named Status Minor/Random Eyes/Solution .45 drummer Rolf Pilve as the band's new drummer following the departure of Jörg Michael. The official announcement on the bands official website reads:

"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.

"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."

Singer Timo Kotipelto had the following comments: "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. He had to be a really good player, but also a nice guy. We were not looking for a Jörg Michael clone."

Pilve also commented: "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."

One of Pilve's other bands Status Minor had the following comment on its Facebook page: "Status Minor's drummer Rolf Pilve is also the new Stratovarius drummer!!! Really big thing for Status Minor too!!!"

Rolf Pilve will join Stratovarius for the first time on stage at Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland on July 11, 2012. The band also confirmed the following live dates: More...

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Stratovarius Posts Live Clip From New DVD

Finnish power metal band Stratovarius posted a live video clip of the band's performance of "Black Diamond" (from the 1997 album "Visions"). The clip was taken from the upcoming DVD "Stratovarius - Under Flaming Winter Skies - Live In Tampere." The DVD, scheduled for release on June 29, 2012 through EarMusic, contains over 2 hours of live performance including all the band's hits along with a brand new 30 minute documentary. The gigs were the last to feature departed drummer Jörg Michael, who recently was diagnosed with cancer and who left to pursue other endeavors.

Check out "Black Diamond" here:

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Stratovarius Seeks New Drummer

Finnish symphonic power metal band Stratovarius has played the final gigs with longtime drummer Jörg Michael, who announced his departure from the band for personal reasons in September 2011. Interested parties, should submit YouTube videos to the band in accordance with the following announcement:

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: drummer@stratovarius.com.

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

With best regards,
Jens, Lauri, Matias and Timo

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Stratovarius Clip From 70,000 Tons Of Metal Posted

Footage has been posted online of Jörg Michael and Lauri Porra from Stratovarius jamming during their drum and bass clinic on board the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise on January 26th, 2012. Check out the footage in the player below.

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Bands Discuss Playing 70,000 Tons Of Metal

Metal Injection was on hand at the recent 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, and the site has now posted footage online of band members discussing the floating festival. Watch as members of Cannibal Corpse, Children of Bodom, Nightwish, Amorphis, Crowbar, Eluveitie, Athiest, Stratovarius, Pestilence, and Kataklysm discuss their favorite part of playing the cruise. The video is available below. More...

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