Finnish band Amberian Dawn revealed more details about their fourth album ‘Circus Black.’ The release is planned for 29th February 2012 on Spinefarm Records and Universal Music Group.
Vocalist Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius) and keyboardist Jens Johansson (Stratovarius, Dio,Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force) have contributed their talent on this album.
Kotipelto sings lead vocal parts on “Cold Kiss” and Johansson plays a keyboard solo on “Crimson Flower”.
”Circus Black is our most impressive album so far. Musically it represents the most sophisticated and most symphonic edge of AD-music. There’s more diversity on this album than never before. This is the first time we used a real choir and we gathered some really excellent professional opera singers together to be able to achieve the best sounding choir possible. This choir was conducted by Mikko P. Mustonen from Pathos Music. He also arranged the choir and orchestral parts.
We managed once again to get some world-class guests on this album. So, the production is our biggest so far and the final polish on this album was given by Teropekka Virtanen (mixing engineer) and Mika Jussila (mastering engineer) at legendary Finnvox Studios in Finland.
The whole band did excellent job with recordings. It was really awesome, that Kasperi recovered from his hand injury just in time (only a couple of weeks before the mixing sessions started) and he was able to play guitar solos on this album. Even in the fall it seemed that I and Kimmo would have to play all guitar parts by ourselves. Like usual, allmusic is on this album is written by me and lyrics are written by Heidi.” statement from Tuomas/Amberian Dawn.
The power metal band Helloween is forced to postpone five German shows on their European tour, together with special guest Stratovarius. Vocalist Andi Deris suffers from a serious vocal chord infection. The cancelled dates are:
01. Feb D – Saarbrücken
02. Feb D – Bonn
04. Feb D – Hannover
05. Feb D – Oberhausen
06. Feb D – Osnabrück
The tickets stay valid and the shows are postponed to April, after the Japanese part of this tour package. The new dates are:
Fr 08. Apr. Oberhausen / Turbinenhalle
Mo 11. Apr. Hannover / Capitol
Di 12. Apr. Saarbrücken / Garage
The concerts from Bonn and Osnabrück will be replaced when a good date is found in cooperation with the venues. The other German dates still stand and the shows continue as scheduled. Soon update on: http://www.helloween.org/home.html
Timo Kotipelto, the vocalist from Stratovarius also suffers from a flue infection. He posted a few days ago on the Stratovarius forum: Due to a recent bacterial infection my voice isn’t what it should be. The infection dried out my vocal chords, and I’m still struggling to recover. Although canceling the tour was discussed, we decided to not let you down but to play for all of you great people out there who have been with you through thick and thin and continue to support Stratovarius no matter what.
I want to thank all of you who have sung with me on the gigs, you guys keep me going on! I’ll keep you posted about my condition and everything directly related to me on <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/ officialkotipelto”>my facebook page</a>. I hope you’ve enjoyed the shows as much as we have and like our new album, Elysium. See you at the gig!
More information about this tour from both bands on Twisted Talent concerts.
The photo’s from Stratovarius and Helloween from the show in Effenaar, Eindhoven on 6th December 2010 are online. Thankword to Nando Hamsen. Also the review is published on LIVEXS.nl and the interview with Timo Kotipelto will follow soon. Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/nandoonline/sets/72157625450307687/ and NandoOnline: http://concerten.nandoonline.com/
The bands are in Stockholm at the moment, but according to Stratovarius frontman Timo Kotipelto, they didn’t had any problems concerning the terroristic attack yesterday evening in the city.
foto’s: Nando Harmsen – copyright protected.
Power metal bands Helloween en Stratovarius zijn beide groot geworden in de jaren tachtig en beleefden hun hoogtepunt in de jaren negentig. In tijden dat folk- en gothic metal groots zijn, lijkt deze vrolijke power metal haast vergeten.
Maar het tegendeel is waar: beide bands veroveren nog dagelijks nieuwe zieltjes en zijn verzekerd van een flinke vaste fanbase. Een deel van hen heeft zich vanavond verzameld in de Eindhovense Effenaar.
De Italiaanse opwarmer Trick Or Treat is een band van jonge honden, die bol staan van de energie. Ze weten zeker de aandacht te trekken met kleurrijke outfits en de geslaagde cover “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun“ bewijst wel dat het getalenteerde muzikanten zijn.
De zanger heeft een onuitputtelijke dosis energie en weet al rennend de hoogste noten makkelijk te halen. Een origineel geluid ontbreekt, maar het is zeker een vermakelijke show.
Een stem die door merg en been gaat, gierende gitaren en melodieuze toetsen. Het Finse Stratovarius is terug, met een nieuwe line-up én met drummer Alexander Landenburg, die de zieke Jörg Michael vervangt.
De passie straalt er vanaf en de interactie tussen de leden maakt de show ontspannen. De Finnen leveren een uptempo set, beginnend met “Phoenix“, waarbij zanger Timo Kotipelto veel van zichzelf vraagt in de hoge uithalen.
Hij is ontwapenend, enthousiast en zeer bewegelijk. De nieuwe gitarist Matias Kupiainen is vingervlug en zweept iedereen op, daarbij ondersteund door Lauri Porra op bas.
Het nieuwe nummer “Darkest Hours” verenigt klassieke power metal met progressieve en zeer technische elementen. Een bewijs dat de band zich blijft vernieuwen.
“ Eagleheart” wordt volmondig door de fans meegezongen en mondt uit in het Finse volkslied. Tijdens de ballade “Winter Skies” verschijnen sterretjes in het publiek en alle remmen gaan los tijdens de hit “Hunting High And Low“, die gevolgd wordt door “Black Diamond.“
Met indrukwekkend pianowerk van Jens Johansson. Stratovarius staat na al die jaren nog vol vuur op het podium en bovenal blijft het zich vernieuwen. Dat dwingt respect af.
Het Duitse Helloween is zeker een icoon en al is de show van vanavond niet uitverkocht, ze trekken veel aandacht door groots uit te pakken met een gigantisch drumstel, een draaiend wiel en veelkleurige pompoenen. Maar de echte eye-catcher is zanger Andi Deris, die vol vuur en enthousiasme op het podium staat, zichtbaar genietend van de meezingende fans.
Opener “Are You Metal“, afkomstig van het nieuwe album “7 Sinners”, is krachtig – power metal in de hoogste versnelling. De gitaristen Michael Welkath en Sascha Gerstner spelen subliem en de hele set staat bol van de energie, zonder dat er ook maar een enkel spoortje ouderdom bij de bandleden te bekennen is.
Er klinken veel bekende hits, zoals “March Of Time” en “Steel Tormentor”, dat wordt gevolgd door een duizelingwekkende drumsolo. Hoogtepunt is de medley van drie bekende klassiekers, gebundeld tot een geheel.
Het is puur genieten en het uitzinnige publiek haalt het laatste beetje energie uit de tenen bij de toegiften “Ride The Sky” en afsluiter “Dr.Stein“. Een indrukwekkende avond, al is het maar omdat power metal nog steeds in leven is. Dat blijkt wel uit het zowel jonge als oude publiek in de Effenaar.
Dankwoord aan: Arnoud van Edel Records, Stratovarius, Helloween en crew.
Recently mister J.Michael, for decades drummer of Stratovarius, is diagnosed with cancer. Tonight the band will perform in Einhoven, Effenaar. A year ago when their album Polaris was released, I had a very nice interview with him. I want to publish it here again, because it is my way to support him in his struggle agains this terrible disease. Hopefully he beats it. He will perform the last part of the tour in Europe with his band members – Silviapd
Jörg Michael (drummer) of Stratovarius
The Finish power metal band Stratovarius is back in a new formation and with a new album ’Polaris.’ I have no idea what to expect when I get drummer Jörg Michael on the phone, but he is open, genially and willing to start the new chapter in the band’s history.
There happened a lot the last couple of years and the last thing many people expected was a new album and a band standing there full of retrieved energy. Willing to draw a line and give Jörg Michael the opportunity to clear the sky for the last time, I ask him to explain how he found his energy back.
Jörg Michael: We want to draw a line and continue. Timo Tolkki (ex-guitarist and songwriter) made his choice. Everybody receive things differently, but you can’t argue with certain facts. The true comes out in the end. Tolkki sold the band behind our back. I want to make a statement that we are sad about what happened, but we are a happy band now, excited to be on the road again. I understand the fans that they were sad and confused, but their support helped a lot!
How was it to sit down and start with a new album?
Jörg: The beginning was a bit strange, after years. (The previous album ‘Stratovarius’ is released in 2005- SD) Timo Kotipelto (vocalist) wanted to go separate ways and I decided to follow him. There was totally no stress and hurry. In the meanwhile there was a two years during court case to get the rights of Stratovarius. Finally we worked a few months in the studio, I wasn’t there in the beginning. The main difference is that it is in our hands now!
The German drummer is fast in his answers, extremely open about his feelings and wins my respect by that attitude. He definitely wants to clear the past, and continues his detailed story.
Jörg: We are not a driving ship and wait. Now we are free from the company and rebirth. The control is in our hands and finally we can do it! The spirit is back. I started to make music, because I have fun from it. Somehow we lost that. There was no energy…
He is silent for a while, than he goes back to 2005 when the album ‘Stratovarius’ was released and Tolkki started to have a different vision about the band.
Jörg: It was a strange time. Tolkki was the main composer of Stratovarius. ‘Elements’ (part I and II released in 2003) was hundred percent by him. I want to go from there, because it is a masterpiece and he did a great job. The whole band appreciated it. Sometimes you have to do different things to refined yourself and that is the ‘Stratovarius’ album. No speedy part, or double bass for me but do something new. It made us know that we don’t want that again.
The new album ‘Polaris’ shows a totally different Stratovarius, but still with many references to the old roots. Also the band has a new record company: Ear Music, division of Edel.
Jörg: Kotipelto and I wanted to go on because we like to make this music. I have been member for 12 years. The most important was to find the fun back and face the problems later. It was heavy because there were a lot of negative vibes. We wanted to try something new and still use the name Stratovarius because four from the five members are still a part of it.
SD: Polaris is a very symbolic title right?
Jörg: We wanted to release it and the whole concept came later after we had the songs recorded. It was the idea of Lauri Porra ( bassplayer, new member. Also member of Kotipelto – SD). So it is not a concept, but totally the opposite. It symbolised a bright northern star. You see it shining, powerful and with a positive vibe.
SD: How was the album process of Polaris?
Jörg: It was different than for example ‘Elements.’ There was more teamwork and before there was a tight guide. Tolkki is a genius musician and always listened to suggestion, also a good producer. He is clear and strict. He knew what he wanted, but it is also limited. Now five people were discussing and we had long talks. There was no leader who did the arrangements for example.
SD: What was the challenge concerning your drum parts?
Jörg: We use the same harmonies style and the same drum techniques I know. I simply did what I like to do: play drums the best I can. I do it for friendship and not for the money. Everybody wanted to help and that motivated me to do it. I know Jens Johansson (keyboards) had big offers to play in other bands, but he choose for Stratovarius. Ten years we developed the band and now we want to prove ourselves that we still can do it!
SD: Which song is your favourite on Polaris?
Jörg: The first song ‘Deep Unknown’ units everything we have now in Stratovarius. Guitarist Mattias Kupianen has more progressive influences (co-writer of the song, together with Timo Kotipelto – SD)and adds a new element to the band. I like the ‘Dreamspace’ (2004) album the best. It has a signature on even rhythms. On this album you hear those knowledge as well. A super tune is ‘King Of Nothing’ (written by Jens Johansson) but it was difficult to record with many details. After some times you will realise how much it was. It took a lot of time to get it perfect and that is what you hear. There are even some songs not added on the album and I like those a lot as well. There is a high quality level on this album.
Bassplayer Laura Porra wrote a lot of songs and the drummer has a nice statement about him:
Jörg: He is an adult now and responsibility. He took some work and did a great job.
Than the conversation switches to the voice of Timo Kotipelto.
Jörg: He uses his voice different on ‘Polaris.’ When I heard it the first time it sounded great and it didn’t changed much, very talented. Tolki has a certain view and tone in his head how the voice needed to sound. It took away the emotions and spirit. You can hear that on ‘Dreamwaver’ or ‘Celestrial Dream’ what was a bit too high and you hear Timo struggeling. He put Timo in a cage. Now Timo feels confident again. The emotions again and he has the space to develop other sides of his voice as well and not only the very high parts.
SD: Polaris brought the energy back and convince everyone that Stravorius is back full force.
Jörg Michael asks for a last word to the fans: It was not easy and I want to thank the people who stand up with us. We celebrate it together with this new album. Thanks!
© This interview is copyright protected by LiveXS magazine
Copyright photos: Stratovarius and Edel
One of the most respected power metal bands Stratovarius is releasing a new EP ’Darkest Hours‘ on 24 th November 2010, by Edel – Ear Music. The EP will be available on CD, digital download and very limited 12″ vinyl edition. The band around vocalist Timo Kotipelto is busy in the studio, working on their thirteenth new album ‘ Elysium’ scheduled for 14th January 2011.
On the teaser video you hear a lower and darker side of Kotipelto, groovy guitars and uptempo bombastic ensemble of instruments, followed by a very dynamic guitar solo. Also a part of the ballade is giving you a glimpse of the new material. It is a totally different sound. ‘ Infernal Maze’ represents the roots of the bands, with a very dynamic song structure, high guitars and prominent drums.
‘Polaris’ (2009) has been the return of Stratovarius after many line-up changes. Many positive reviews from the media and fans, proved that the band is alive and belongs on the top of the scene, with a high quality level of songs and the unique voice of Kotipelto as their special trademark.
Interview with drummer J.Michael. “ We reached a higher level with this album. Like myself I am more open with the drums and Timo is more confident. ”
For the Dutch readers there is an ‘ Polaris’ cd review and interview on LIVEXS, Dutch version of the weblinks above in English.
Tracks EP ‘ Darkest Hours’
Darkest Hours (from the upcoming album “Elysium”)
Infernal Maze (from the upcoming album “Elysium”)
Darkest Hours (demo version)
Against the Wind (live recording, Sofia, Bulgaria)
Black Diamond (live recording, Göteborg, Sweden)
Statovarius will tour together with Helloween this month from 26th November till 23th January in Europe and Japan. Tourdates on the official website.