"some music was meant to stay underground..."

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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Firewind Announces U.K. Tour With Stratovarius

Guitarist Gus G. of Greek melodic metallers Fireweind has issued the following update:

"Even though we toured the U.K. hard in 2008 and are still planning to kick some serious ass at the Hellfire Festival next month, when the opportunity came to do this tour with STRATOVARIUS, we just couldn't say no.

"U.K. and Ireland have turned out to be some of the best places on earth for FIREWIND when it comes to our ever growing fanbase and on how dedicated our fans are in these countries. Teaming up with STRATOVARIUS makes this such a killer package. They are a band with quality, catchy melodic songs and a high level of musicianship. They are pioneers in their genre. They are definitely a band that has inspired us and we are honoured to share the same stage with them!!

"So what can you expect from FIREWIND on this one? a) your face melted by our Metal, b) a different setlist, and c) maybe even an exclusive brand new track? See you out there very soon!" More...

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Stratovarius Announces Tour Dates

Keyboardist Jens Johansson of Finnish power metallers, Stratovarius, have issued the following update:

"A long, long time, fans all over the world have eagerly waited for Stratovarius to return to the stage. They will finally be back on the road this year, with new guitar player Matias Kupiainen. We are happy to announce that Stratovarius will rock England, Scotland and Ireland for a couple of exclusive European shows before digging into the festival season 2009." More...

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Revolution Renaissance Cancels South American Tour

REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE has issued an official statement concerning their forthcoming South American tour:

"We are forced to postpone our tour due to lack of professionalism and responsibility of the promoter Incartaz. They approached us with an offer for the tour in June, which we were very happy about. When the time came to start fulfilling the contractual obligations, it became evident that this promoter was incompetent and could not be trusted.

"We are very sorry about this and we tried to book the tour with the new promoter Eric De Haas of Dynamo Productions, but due to his obligations with Nightwish's South American tour, he did not have enough time to finalize the touring arrangements. We have full confidence in Eric De Haas, who was responsible for the first three South American tours for Stratovarius. The tour is currently being booked in correspondence with the new album release."

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Sacred Reich Confirmed For Hellfest

Reunited thrash metal act Sacred Reich has announced that they will be performing at Hellfest in France next year. The festival takes place from June 19th- 21st and also boasts a lineup featuting Heaven And Hell, Anthrax, Amon Amarth, Orange Goblin Cathedral, Manowar, God Forbid, Gorgoroth and Stratovarius. More bands will be announced soon.

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Stratovarius Posts Studio Video Blog Online

Stratovarius has posted a video blog documenting the band at work on new material. It includes audio samples of new music and can be viewed below. More...

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Revolution Renaissance Signs Asian Record Deal

Revolution Renaissance has signed a four-album deal with JVC Victor in Japan for the territories of Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, India, Mongolia, Indonesia, East Timor, Thailand, Malaysia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma and Singapore. JVC Victor has released all Stratovarius records in Japan since 1992.
The negotiations for the other territories are still in progress while the band is getting ready to enter the studio in September to record their new album for an early 2009 release.

Additionally, preliminary dates for a South American tour that is being booked have been released. The band intends to return to play more shows to South/Central/North America after the new album has been released and after its European and Asian tour dates.

The preliminary South American tour dates are:

3.12 Manaus (BR)
4.12 Caracas (VEN)
5.12 Lima (PERU)
6.12 Santiago (CHILE)
10.12 Buenos Aires (AR)
11.12 Porto Alegre (BR)
12.12 Curitiba (BR)
13.12 São Paulo (BR)
14.12 Rio de Janeiro (BR)
17.12 Belo Horizonte (BR)
19.12 Brasilia (BR)
20.12 Fortaleza (BR)
21.12 Recife (BR)

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Revolution Renaissance Leaves Frontiers Records

Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius) and his new band Revolution Renaissance have parted with Frontiers Records. Here's the update from Tolkki himself:

"Yesterday I finally got confirmation that we are able to do this. They simply were not the right label for us. That became clear in the last few months. I would describe the experience with Frontiers Records with the word: 'interesting.'

"I am currently negotiating with several interesting labels, but I haven't made any decision yet. There is a lot of interest and that feels good.

"We were offered an extensive 20 date Latin American tour for this December.

"I am also already (well it's been over 2 years since I wrote "New Era" songs) writing new songs and can't wait to go to studio and on the road with these energetic and positive guys I was blessed to find. We will keep you posted regularily about what is happening on our camp.

"Many thanks from all the support you have shown in the las weeks. We will not forget that. You can listen/download full version of the song 'Revolution Renaissance' with lyrics from the player."

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Revolution Renaissance Still Seeking Bassist

Ex-Stratovarius main man, Timo Tolkki's new band Revolution Renaissance is still seeking a bassist. Here is the update from the man himself:

"Having almost completed the line up for REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE, we are still looking for bass players. You have to be quick, recordings and tours are awaiting. So please send 2 recently taken photos (one headshot and one fullbody shot) and 3 MP3's of your playing with a short desrciption about yourself. Don't send links, send the material exactly as requested. You can be from anywhere, but Scandinavians have the priority. Good luck! Send the stuff to: rr@timotolkki.com"

As previously reported, Tolkii recenlty revealed the band's vocalist as Gus Monsanto, a 33-year old metal singer from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. More...

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Timo Tolkki Announces Vocalist for New Project

Ex-Stratovarius main man, Timo Tolkki, issues a major update on his MySpace page discussing his new project, Revolution Renaisance:

“Dear Friends,”

”I'm writing this from Hong Kong overlooking the amazing bay. It is a great pleasure to announce the new singer of RR I have chosen from over 400 vocalists that sent me their MP3s. Thank you so much for sending all those...all together I have received over 1500 applications and I have listened through them all. I am sorry for those who were not chosen, but I can tell you that you should NEVER give up. Follow your heart and you will get there eventually. Don't think about money or success, think about your art, the money comes by itself, not the other way around.” More...

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Ex-Stratovarius Mainman Hits Back At Ex-Bandmates

Former Stratovarius frontman Timo Tolkki has posted a lengthy response regarding the statement made by his former bandmates on his Myspace:

"Just wanted to let you know, that I will be away for a while. I need to get away from this negative and hate-filled atmosphere of the last days.

"The statement of [Tolkki's former STRATOVARIUS bandmates] Jens [Johansson, keyboards] & co hurt me deeply with its aggressiveness and hate, not to mention the lies they wrote to make it look like totally my fault. I have been very down the last days, so I need some time alone.

"I still cannot believe that it is not possible to go separate ways in a civilized way. My statement was in my opinion like this. From their statement, all I get is this enormous hate and bitterness towards me plus that they made it public, even including figures there. Being accused of being greedy narcisstic Faust by someone I talked on the phone in the last six months countless times laughing like before and making jokes comes as a very heavy blow. I thought Jens was my friend. More...

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Stratovarius Members Explain Their Side Of Split

The remaining members of STRATOVARIUS have posted this joint statement on their MySpace page:

"Timo Tolkki published a statement on April 2 this year. The other members of STRATOVARIUS would now like to set the record straight. You can't argue with someone's perception of things, you can just explain how you see things differently.

The confrontations, fights, incompetence, tensions, negativity, bitterness, hostility, disinterest, bad musicianship, and unfriendliness that Timo described were never there. He constructed this alternate reality around these simple and for him painful facts:

1) The band's momentum has been slowing since 2004.

2) The media chaos of 2004 made him lose a lot of trust and respect both within and outside the band.

3) STRATOVARIUS' label Sanctuary had severe financial problems from 2005 on. It forced us to start a legal process at the beginning of 2007. More...

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Headline News

Stratovarius Break Up

Stratovarius’ Timo Tolkki issues the following statement on his website:

“Dear Stratovarius Fans,”

“It is time to stop the silence and announce what some of you have already been speculating. Stratovarius is no more.”

“Last October I told the guys that I am stopping the band and told them the reasons why. This letter is addressed to you, Stratovarius fans, who have supported the band for so many years. I first thought that I would write just a very generelized, typical ”music business” statement that basically never says anything. Then I decided that you deserve to hear at least parts of the truth what has been going on behind the scenes so you will be able to understand my decision better.” More...

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Watch Kotipelto Perform "Serenity" Online

"Serenity", the new video from KOTIPELTO, the band led by STRATOVARIUS singer Timo Kotipelto, can be viewed here. The performance footage in the clip was shot in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 29, 2007.

KOTIPELTO's third album, "Serenity", entered the Finnish national chart at position No. 8. Released in Europe via AFM Records, the CD was recorded at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki, Finland and was mixed by Mikko Karmila. The album's first single, "Sleep Well", entered the Finnish chart at No. 5. The track is also included in the Finnish movie "Vares 2", which had its premiere in January 2007. "The song is a main theme and can be heard when the credits are scrolling at the end of the movie," said the band's leader, Timo Kotipelto. "The music video include[s] clips from the movie. Some of the actors who are playing the characters on these clips are my personal friends and are very well known in Finland." More...

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Headhunter Confirm New Album Tracklisting

HEADHUNTER, the side project of DESTRUCTION madman Schmier, drum animal Jörg Michael (STRATOVARIUS) and guitarist Schmuddel (ex-TALON), have confirmed the tracklisting for their forthcoming album, Parasite Of Society, due out via AFM on May 23rd.

Tracklist: '3rd Man Introduction', 'Parasite Of Society', 'Silverskull', 'Remission', 'Doomsday For The Prayer', '18 And Life', 'Read My Lips', 'Backs To The Wall', 'Egomaniac', 'The Calling', 'Payback Time', 'Rapid Fire'.

The new song 'Doomsday For The Prayer' is currently streaming online here.

Headhunter are confirmed for this summer's Wacken Open Air Festival, set to take place July 31 - August 2, 2008 in Wacken, Germany.

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Stratovarius Mainman Issues Update

STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has issued the following update on his upcoming classical rock opera, "Saana - Warrior of Light Part 1: Journey to Crystal Island":

"I have been mixing 'Saana' at Sonic Pump in Helsinki for four days now. First three days went pretty much just to get all the material from several different sources to the same place. It ended up being 123 tracks, which is way bigger than any STRATOVARIUS session. That means it's gonna be hard to mix."

"Anyways, I am getting the vibe and emotion and build up the mixes from emotional point of view." More...

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"20 Years Of Nuclear Blast" Trailer Posted Online

A three-minute trailer for the forthcoming "20 Years of Nuclear Blast" two-DVD set can be viewed below. Due on November 30 via Nuclear Blast, the collection — as the title implies — celebrates the 20th anniversary of the German metal label, featuring two DVDs with almost six hours' worth of footage, including 70 promotional clips and a four-part history of the label hosted by DESTRUCTION bassist/vocalist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer.

The following clips can be found on the "20 Years of Nuclear Blast" two-DVD set:

01. DIMMU BORGIR - Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
02. IMMORTAL - One By One
03. HYPOCRISY - Scrutinized
04. GOREFEST - The Glorious Dead
05. KATAKLYSM - Manipulator Of Souls
06. BENEDICTION - I Bow To None
07. PUNGENT STENCH - Shrunken And Mumified Bitch
08. BELPHEGOR - Sanctus Perversum
09. NILE - The Language Of The Shadows
10. DEATH - Scavenger Of Human Sorrow
11. MALEVOLENT CREATION - Assasin Squad
12. DESTRUCTION - The Butcher Strikes Back
13. DEW SCENTED - Cities Of The Dead
14. ANTHRAX - What Doesn’t Die
15. EXODUS - Riot Act
16. DEATH ANGEL - The Devil Incarnate
17. I - Warriors
18. SONIC SYNDICATE - Psychic Suicide
19. CLAWFINGER - The Price We Pay
20. CHIMAIRA - Worthless
21. IN FLAMES - Only For The Weak
22. MESHUGGAH - Future Breed Machine
23. SOILWORK - Exile
24. THE DESTINY PROGRAM - Project Hoax
25. SCAR SYMMETRY - The Illusionist
26. THREAT SIGNAL - Counterbalance
27. MNEMIC - Ghost
28. EKTOMORF - Destroy
29. AGNOSTIC FRONT - Warriors
30. ALL SHALL PERISH - Eradication
31. BLEED THE SKY - God In The Frame
32. DARKANE - Solitary Confinement
33. THE DUSKFALL - Trust Is Overrated
34. ONE MAN ARMY AND THE UNDEAD QUARTET - So Grim, So True, So Real
35. WINTERSUN - Winter Madness
36. HAMMERFALL - Hammerfall
37. RIDE THE SKY - New Protection
38. EDGUY - King Of Fools
39. BLIND GUARDIAN - The New Order
40. SONATA ARCTICA - Caleb
41. GOTTHARD - Master Of Illusion
42. RAGE - Full Moon
43. GRAVE DIGGER - Valhalla
44. HELLOWEEN - Immortal
45. STRATOVARIUS - Why Are We Here
46. TAROT - Before The Skies Comes Down
47. THUNDERSTONE - Face In The Mirror
48. COMMUNIC - Conspiracy In Mind
49. THRESHOLD - Slipstream
50. CANDLEMASS - Of Stars And Smoke
51. CATHEDRAL - Corpsecycle
52. NIGHTWISH - Eva
53. AFTER FOREVER - Transitory
54. EPICA - Never Enough
55. ECHOES OF ETERNITY - Voices In A Dream
56. SIRENIA - The Other Side
57. DEATHSTARS - Greatest Fight On Earth
58. SAMAEL - Valkyrie’s New Ride
59. THE KOVENANT - In The Name Of The Future
60. AMORPHIS - The White Swan
61. THERION - Der Mitternachtslöwe
62. CREMATORY - Revolution
63. FARMER BOYS - For The World To Sing
64. PYOGENESIS - Addiction Pole
65. LIQUIDO - Ordinary Life
66. CHROME DIVISION - Serial Killer
67. DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER - Riders On The Storm
68. SUBWAY TO SALLY - Meine Seele Brennt
69. KNORKATOR - Wir werden alle sterben
70. SUCH A SURGE - Mission Erfüllt More...

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Evergrey Announces New Bassist

In a post on their official website, Evergrey announced that their new bassist is Jari Kainulainen, formerly of Stratovarius. Here's part of the statement from Evergrey frontman Tom Englund:

"We got along great and it of course also helps a lot that Jari is a very experienced player when it comes to playing live with his several world tours together with Stratovarius as proof."

"This was one of the main things we were looking for in a bass-player except for the playing of course, so that we wouldn’t end up with a person who after 100 gigs finds out that this was not what he was meant for, cause this is, whether you believe so or not, a very weird and demanding life that let’s you experience the greatest things in the world as well as the sickest, most draining moments of utter insecurity - that of course immediately vanishes as soon as we get to play for you guys! We are so much looking forward to the coming months of recording and playing and it honestly feels like a fresh start and an injection I think we needed."

Kainulainen's first show with Evergrey will be at the Fosen Rock Festival in Fosen Norway on August 25th.

As previously reported, Everygrey parted ways with bassist Fredrik Larsson earlier this year, only nine months after he was recruited as the replacement for Michael Håkansson.

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Breaking News

Watch Wacken Open Air Live Online 8/3-8/4

For those of you missing Wacken Open Air, several band performances, interviews, and other footage is being streamed online during festival hours. Keep in mind that Germany is 6 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time, so make appropriate adjustments when arranging to watch your favorite band.

Intended Stream Schedule (subject to change)

Extended Schedules, including the Headbangers Ballroom, can be found at the following locations:

Friday, Aug 3
Black Stage
23:00-00:15 DIMMU BORGIR
02:00-03:00 APO.REITER

True Metal Stage
21:15-22:45 BLIND GUARDIAN
00:30-01:45 ICED EARTH

Party Stage
(4am EST)11:00-11:45 BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
23:00-00:15 SCHANDMAUL
02:00-03:00 SAMAEL

Saturday Aug 4
Black Stage
(5am EST)12:00-12:45 SONIC SYNDICATE
13:55-14:40 MOONSPELL
16:00-17:00 DIR EN GREY
18:45-20:00 DESTRUCTION + guests
21:45-23:00 IMMORTAL
00:45-01:45 CANNIBAL CORPSE

True Metal Stage
12:50-13:50 SACRED REICH
14:45-15:45 STRATOVARIUS
17:15-18:30 RAGE
20:15-21:30 TYPE O NEGATIVE
23:15-00:30 IN FLAMES
02:00-03:00 SUBWAY TO SALLY

Party Stage
12:00-12:45 DISILLUSION
13:55-14:40 HEAVEN SHALL BURN
16:00-17:00 DIMENSION ZERO
18:45-19:45 NORTHER
21:45-23:00 STORMWARRIOR feat.Kai Hansen
00:45-01:45 HAGGARD

Headbanger's Ballroom Notable mentions:
18:10-18:40 SWALLOW THE SUN
21:25-22:10 MOONSORROW

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Finnish Heavy Metal 'Idol' Advances To Show Finals

Video footage of 22-year-old heavy metal singer Ari Koivunen performing two Finnish metal/hard rock classics on the national TV talent show "Idols" last night (Thursday, March 29) has been posted online on YouTube:

"Sielut Iskee Tulta" (originally by KILPI): video
"You Break My Heart" (originally by BROADCAST): video

Ari Koivunen was one of two contestants who advanced to the show's final, which will be broadcast live on MTV3 from the Helsinki Ice Hall next Friday, April 4.

Former NIGHTWISH singer Tarja Turunen was the guest judge on last night's program.

Ari is from Lahti, the Finnish town that has given birth to such metal acts as PROFANE OMEN, BEFORE THE DAWN and ENTWINE. One of his hobbies is "Hevikaraoke" (Finnish "heavy metal" karaoke); in 2005 he won the Finnish karaoke championships. Among his favorite bands are IRON MAIDEN, RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, DIO, PROFANE OMEN and HELLOWEEN.

Watch previous Ari Koivunen "Idols" performances:

IRON MAIDEN's "The Evil That Men Do": video
DEEP PURPLE's "Perfect Strangers": video
WHITESNAKE's "Here I Go Again": video
STRATOVARIUS' "Hunting High And Low": video
LED ZEPPELIN's "Rock and Roll": video More...

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Wacken Open Air 2007 Confirm Lordi and Mendeed

LORDI and MENDEED are the latest acts confirmed for the Wacken Open Air 2007 (www.wacken.com) is scheduled for August 2nd - 4th in Wacken, Germany.

Acts on the bill now include: 1349, AMORPHIS, BELPHEGOR, BENEDICTUM, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, BLACK MAJESTY, BLIND GUARDIAN, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, CANNIBAL CORPSE, CHTHONIC, COMMUNIC, DESTRUCTION, DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER, DIMMU BORGIR, DISILLUSION, ENSLAVED, FALCONER, GRAVE DIGGER, HAGGARD, HEAVEN SHALL BURN, IMMORTAL, IN FLAMES, J.B.O., KAMPFAR, LACUNA COIL, LETZTE INSTANZ, LORDI, MENDEED, MOONSORROW, MOONSPELL, MUNICIPAL WASTE, NAPALM DEATH, NEAERA, NORTHER, RAGE & LINGUA MORTIS ORCHESTER, SACRED REICH, SAMAEL, SAXON, SCHANDMAUL, SODOM, SONIC SYNDICATE, STORMWARRIOR (featuring GAMMA RAY's Kai Hansen), STRATOVARIUS, SWALLOW THE SUN, THE VISION BLEAK, THERION, TYR, UNHEILIG, VADER and VOLBEAT.

More details as they become available.

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