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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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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
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
35. WINTERSUN - Winter Madness
36. HAMMERFALL - Hammerfall
37. RIDE THE SKY - New Protection
38. EDGUY - King Of Fools
39. BLIND GUARDIAN - The New Order
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
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
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

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
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.


More details as they become available.

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Tolkki Writing "More Traditional" Strat. Material

STRATOVARIUS guitarist/mainman Timo Tolkki has issued the following update on the songwriting process for the group's new album:

"Everything has gone very smoothly and I have written seven songs by now. I expect to complete the songwriting by the STRATOVARIUS tour that kicks off [in] Canada. After that we will record the demos and enter the studio somewhere around February. Release date should be either October 2007 or February 2008, followed by a world tour. I already have the album title and for those who want to guess, it's two separate words that both start with 'R.' The song material is more traditional STRATOVARIUS, it is very melodic and quite reminescent to 'Visions'/'Episode' era. After last album I wanted to write more traditional STRATOVARIUS songs. There are double-bass-drum songs as well."

STRATOVARIUS will be touring North America this fall in support of their latest, self-titled effort, which was released in the U.S. in September 2005 via Sanctuary. A video for the album's first single, "Maniac Dance", was shot in April 2005 in Helsinki by director and Tolkki's old schoolmate Antti Jokinen (BEYONCÉ, WYCLEF JEAN, KORN, MISSY ELLIOT, NIGHTWISH, SHANIA TWAIN, CELINE DION).

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Blind Guardian And Stratovarius To Lead Wacken 07

BLIND GUARDIAN, SAXON, STRATOVARIUS, GRAVE DIGGER, THERION, SAMAEL and SCHANDMAUL have been confirmed for next year's installment of the Wacken Open Air festival, set to take place August 2-4, 2007 in Wacken, Germany. Also scheduled to perform at the festival is the reunited Norwegian black metal band IMMORTAL, who will make its only German appearance at Wacken.

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Stratovarius Frontman To Do Solo Album

STRATOVARIUS frontman Timo Kotipelto will enter Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki, Finland in August to begin recording his third solo album, tentatively due in early 2007 via his own label, High and Loud Records.

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Stratovarius Return to North America

Finnish power metallers STRATOVARIUS will be playing at the B.B. King Blues Club in New York City on October 2nd. More North American tour dates are expected to be announced shortly.

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Edguy, Stratovarius and Rage Confirmed For BOA

Bloodstock Open Air has announced three headliners: Edguy, Stratovarius and Rage

Edguy will return to the UK to headline the Friday night (July 14, 2006) of Bloodstock Open Air with their full European Headline show.

"After gaining fantastic reviews from their recent tour with Dragonforce, we felt it only right that the freshest most exciting band to emerge from Germany in the last decade (Powerplay – issue 74 March), offer their disappointed UK fans the chance to see the full show as performed across Europe. Expect a few rockets tonight!"

STRATOVARIUS will be jetting in fresh from their Rockperry festival show in Finland the night before to offer their UK fans their only appearance here in 2006 on July 15. So for those of you who missed out on their London show last November, then now's your chance to catch their full European headline set.

Rage will be making a rare UK appearance on Friday 14th July, making this night one of the most Metal nights Bloodstock has ever seen.

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Nevermore Confirmed For Gods Of Metal Festival

Nevermore have announced that they will be playing this year's installment of the Gods of Metal festival, which is set to take place in Italy on June 3-4. The festival also features Stratovarius, Dimmu Borgir, Sonata Arctica, Testament, and more.

Nevermore have also been confirmed for the Live N Louder festivals in Mexico City, Mexico on October 7th, Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 12th and Sao Paulo, Brazil on October 14th.

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Live Report from ProgPower VI

The weekend of September 16-17th was quite a memorable one for me. I traveled down to Atlanta, Georgia from my New Jersey home to attend ProgPower VI. This year’s ProgPower consisted of Angra headlining Friday night’s show along with Conception, Orphaned Land, Circus Maximus, and Manticora opening. Saturday’s line up consisted of Stratovarius headlining, along with Therion, Pink Cream 69, Symphorce, and Stride opening.

During my stay, I was able to interview Mati from Orphaned Land and met Mark Edwards from Overlorde. Both guys were exceptionally kind, down to earth, as well as excellent guitar players and should definitely be listened to when the opportunity arises. Though Overlorde did not play, Orphaned Land did and put on quite an amazing show. During their set I found out that one of the guys standing in front of me was so dedicated to the band, that he flew all the way from Israel, where Orphaned Land is from, just to see them! What makes Orphaned Land such a band to command this response from a fan is the fact that they are very energetic on stage, quality musicians, and are able to bring everyone at the concert together. To see Orphaned Land is its own experience in itself. No matter who plays with Orphaned Land, the show will be memorable! More...

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Stratovarius Enters Finnish Chart At Position 4

STRATOVARIUS' brand-new self-titled effort has entered the Finnish album chart at position No. 4. View the whole chart at this location.

"Stratovarius" is scheduled for release in the U.S. on September 13 via Sanctuary. A video for the album's first single, "Maniac Dance", was shot on April 15 in Helsinki by director and guitarist Timo Tolkki's old schoolmate Antti Jokinen (BEYONCÉ, WYCLEF JEAN, KORN, MISSY ELLIOT, NIGHTWISH, SHANIA TWAIN, CELINE DION).

STRATOVARIUS will be teaming up with INTO ETERNITY for a North American tour beginning in mid-September.

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Stratovarius Explain Meet And Greet In Chile

Stratovarius has posted the following message on their website to clarify fake VIP tickets that have been sold to their fans in Chile:

We would like to clear up any confusion regarding "fan meetings" before and at the show this past weekend in Santiago, Chile.

Apparently there was a) VIP tickets sold for the show with a higher price and with some vague promise for a chance to meet the band; and b) tickets sold for some "welcome party" at a club called the Rockola.

We just want to make clear that the band NEVER authorized any sort of fan meeting in exchange for money. In fact, we feel it's a huge rip-off to charge our fans for anything other than either a musical performance or for merchandise.

After finding this out the same day we arrived, some of us went to the Rockola at least, so as to not totally disappoint fans who had already paid money to "meet the band".

Due to extremely poor security, the situation at the Rockola was chaotic to the point of being dangerous. If we seemed like we were a bit uncomfortable there, it was because of that issue.

In the future, if someone makes a promise that the band will appear to sign autographs/ take pictures/ etc in exchange for money you can be damned sure that a) they didn't tell us about it; and b) that we most likely will not show up. So that's that, please don't waste your money.

But other than that, the shows are going amazingly great and Chile was definitely just a spectacular experience for us! See you soon!

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