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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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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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Venom To Play 70,000 Tons Of Metal

The 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise organizers have issued the following announcement about confirming Venom as the latest band to appear at the festival:

"Injected With Deadly Toxin: Please Welcome VENOM On Board! To travel from the North Sea into the Atlantic Ocean, they must sail around the British Isles. Before doing so they decided to visit a town in North East England that they are familiar with from last year: Newcastle, and what a welcome they got! On arrival they all got injected by a deadly toxin: VENOM!

"70000TONS OF METAL, The World's Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival now sails through the Channel into the Atlantic. Our course: Straight West. Make no mistake, 70000TONS OF METAL is not your grandma's cruise. It's also not one of the cruises that share the ship with normal cruise guests. This is an all heavy metal cruise! Can you imagine that? A whole luxury cruise ship full of metalheads? And since there is no backstage area you will have the opportunity to mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison. It's like everyone has a backstage pass!

"70000TONS OF METAL will sail Monday, January 23, 2012 aboard the Royal Caribbean 'Majesty of the Seas' from Miami FL to George Town, Cayman Islands and will not return you to the real world for four days until Friday, January 27, 2012."

30 out of a total of 40 bands on board have been confirmed. The current lineup is as follows:

ALESTORM
AMORPHIS
ATHEIST
CANNIBAL CORPSE
CHILDREN OF BODOM
CORONER
DARK FUNERAL
ELUVEITIE
GOD DETHRONED
GRAVE DIGGER
HAMMERFALL
IN EXTREMO
KAMELOT
MOONSORROW
MY DYING BRIDE
NIGHTWISH
OVERKILL
PENTAGRAM
PESTILENCE
PRETTY MAIDS
RIOT
SAMAEL
STRATOVARIUS
SUFFOCATION
TANKARD
THERION
TRISTANIA
VENOM
VIRGIN STEELE
WHIPLASH

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Pretty Maids Confirmed For 70,000 Tons Of Metal

The organizers of the upcoming 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise have issued the following announcement about confirming Pretty Maids for the floating festival:

"It's getting to be winter up there in the Baltics. The days are getting shorter and you have to wait long periods to see the sun. Tired of waiting in Finland, they sailed over to Denmark. After they passed through the Great Belt they made a short stop in the city of Horsens. They should have gone there earlier, because you know what they found? Some really PRETTY MAIDS! Full steam ahead through the Skagerrak!

"Make no mistake, 70000TONS OF METAL is not your grandma's cruise. It's also not one of the cruises that share the ship with normal cruise guests. This is an all heavy metal cruise! Can you imagine that? A whole luxury cruise ship full of metalheads? And since there is no backstage area you will have the opportunity to mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison. It's like everyone has a backstage pass!

"70000TONS OF METAL will sail Monday, January 23, 2012 aboard the Royal Caribbean “Majesty of the Seas” from Miami FL to George Town, Cayman Islands and will not return you to the real world for four days until Friday, January 27, 2012."

So far 29 out of a total of 40 bands on board are known. Currently confirmed bands are as follows:

ALESTORM
AMORPHIS
ATHEIST
CANNIBAL CORPSE
CHILDREN OF BODOM
CORONER
DARK FUNERAL
ELUVEITIE
GOD DETHRONED
GRAVE DIGGER
HAMMERFALL
IN EXTREMO
KAMELOT
MOONSORROW
MY DYING BRIDE
NIGHTWISH
OVERKILL
PENTAGRAM
PESTILENCE
PRETTY MAIDS
RIOT
SAMAEL
STRATOVARIUS
SUFFOCATION
TANKARD
THERION
TRISTANIA
VIRGIN STEELE
WHIPLASH

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Amberian Dawn Taps Stratovarius Members

Amberian Dawn has checked in with the following announcement about recruiting Stratovarius members for the band's upcoming studio album:

"Hey all, we're proud to announce, that we're once again going to have some top musicians guesting on our next studio album.

"Timo Kotipelto (vocals) and Jens Johansson (keyboards) of Stratovarius will make guest appearances on our forthcoming new studio album, which is going to be released on early 2012. We'll give you later more details concerning the exact release date, cover art etc.

"This album is once again going to be released via Spinefarm Records/Universal Music Group."

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Children Of Bodom To Play 70,000 Tons Of Metal

Children of Bodom is the latest act to be confirmed for the upcoming 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, which takes place from January 23rd - 27th, 2012 aboard the Royal Caribbean “Majesty of the Seas.” So far 28 out of 40 bands have been confirmed, and the currently announced list is as follows:

ALESTORM
AMORPHIS
ATHEIST
CANNIBAL CORPSE
CHILDREN OF BODOM
CORONER
DARK FUNERAL
ELUVEITIE
GOD DETHRONED
GRAVE DIGGER
HAMMERFALL
IN EXTREMO
KAMELOT
MOONSORROW
MY DYING BRIDE
NIGHTWISH
OVERKILL
PENTAGRAM
PESTILENCE
RIOT
SAMAEL
STRATOVARIUS
SUFFOCATION
TANKARD
THERION
TRISTANIA
VIRGIN STEELE
WHIPLASH

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Kamelot Added To 70,000 Tons Of Metal Lineup

The organizers of the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise have issued the following announcement about adding Kamelot to the 2012 lineup:

"Tonight they anchored in the Tampa Bay where it came to them like a knight in a dark night: Please welcome Kamelot on board 70,000 Tons of Metal, The World's Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival. Are they staying in the Sunshine State for longer or will they sail onwards? You shall know soon..."

The cruise sets sail on January 23rd, 2012 from Miami FL and returns on January 27th. So far the following 26 out of a total of 40 bands on board are known:

AMORPHIS
ATHEIST
CANNIBAL CORPSE
CORONER
DARK FUNERAL
ELUVEITIE
GOD DETHRONED
GRAVE DIGGER
HAMMERFALL
IN EXTREMO
KAMELOT
MOONSORROW
MY DYING BRIDE
NIGHTWISH
OVERKILL
PENTAGRAM
PESTILENCE
RIOT
SAMAEL
STRATOVARIUS
SUFFOCATION
TANKARD
THERION
TRISTANIA
VIRGIN STEELE
WHIPLASH

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Atheist Confirmed For 70,000 Tons Of Metal

The organizers of the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise have issued the following announcement about Atheist being the latest act confirmed for the festival:

"70,000 Tons of Metal, The World's Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival passed the Florida Straight and then turned North. They decided to make a short stop in Sarasota to look for more signs, but the people there don't believe in signs, in fact they don't believe in anything, they are ATHEIST! 25 out of 40 as they continue to sail along the US Gulf Coast...

"Make no mistake, 70,000 Tons of Metal is not your grandma's cruise. It's also not one of the cruises that share the ship with normal cruise guests. This is an all heavy metal cruise! Can you imagine that? A whole luxury cruise ship full of metalheads? And since there is no backstage area you will have the opportunity to mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison. It's like everyone has a backstage pass! So far 25 out of a total of 40 bands on board are known: More...

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Drummer Jörg Michael Leaves Stratovarius

Finnish symphonic power metal band Stratovarius announced that long time German drummer Jörg Michael has left the band for "personal reasons." It was announced in late 2010 that Michael was diagnosed with cancer, but there was no indication as of yet that the diagnosis was related to his departure.

Stratovarius issed the following statement:

"Stratovarius, one of the most successful Finnish acts with over 2.5 million albums sold, says farewell to longtime drummer Mr. Jörg Michael who will leave the band after 15 years for personal reasons. Jörg will play all the remaining tour dates until the end of January, and will celebrate with a special Finnish "Farewell Jörg" tour in Finland November 18th - 26th.

"Jörg joined the band in 1995 and the first Stratovarius album he played on was Episode (1996). He played on nine albums and nearly 1000 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 Mr. 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 fifteen 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 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', Kotipelto continues." More...

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Suffocation Added To 70,000 Tons Of Metal

Suffocation is the latest act to be confirmed for the upcoming 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, which sets sail on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 aboard the Royal Caribbean “Majesty of the Seas" from Miami, FL. So far 22 of a total of 40 bands have been confirmed. The current list is as follows:

AMORPHIS
CANNIBAL CORPSE
CORONER
DARK FUNERAL
ELUVEITIE
GOD DETHRONED
GRAVE DIGGER
HAMMERFALL
IN EXTREMO
MOONSORROW
MY DYING BRIDE
NIGHTWISH
OVERKILL
PESTILENCE
SAMAEL
STRATOVARIUS
SUFFOCATION
TANKARD
THERION
TRISTANIA
VIRGIN STEELE
WHIPLASH

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Virgin Steele Added To 70,000 Tons Of Metal

Virgin Steele has been confirmed as the latest act to perform at the upcoming 70,000 Tons of metal cruise. The organizers of the cruise commented:

"Make no mistake, 70000 Tons of Metal is not your grandma's cruise. It's also not one of the cruises that share the ship with normal cruise guests. This is an all heavy metal cruise! Can you imagine that? A whole luxury cruise ship full of metalheads? And since there is no backstage area you will have the opportunity to mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison. It's like everyone has a backstage pass!"

So far the following 18 (of 40 total) bands have been revealed:

AMORPHIS
CORONER
DARK FUNERAL
ELUVEITIE
GOD DETHRONED
GRAVE DIGGER
HAMMERFALL
IN EXTREMO
MOONSORROW
MY DYING BRIDE
NIGHTWISH
PESTILENCE
SAMAEL
STRATOVARIUS
TANKARD
THERION
TRISTANIA
VIRGIN STEELE

The 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise will sail on Monday January 23rd, 2012 aboard the Royal Caribbean “Majesty of the Seas” from Miami FL to George Town, Cayman Islands and will return on Friday January 27th, 2012.

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Hammerfall Announces Festival Appearance

Swedish heavy metallers Hammerfall have announced that they will be participating in the forthcoming edition of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise ship festival. The event, which will be an early 2012 affair, will set sail from Miami, Florida to Cayman Islands on January 23rd, 2012 and return four days later. A total of 40 acts are planned to perform on the cruise with new band reveals taking place monthly.

The currently announced lineup is as follows:

AMORPHIS
CORONER
DARK FUNERAL
ELUVEITIE
GRAVE DIGGER
HAMMERFALL
IN EXTREMO
MOONSORROW
MY DYING BRIDE
NIGHTWISH
PESTILENCE
SAMAEL
STRATOVARIUS
THERION
TRISTANIA

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