Tag Archives: timo kotipelto

Stratovarius: Live Photos @ Tuska Open Air (6/30/2013)

Logo - Stratovarius

This past Summer one of PiercingMetal’s staunchest advocates attended the Tuska Open Air Festival in Helskinki, Finland. The mighty Stratovarius was among the many acts performing and Samuel offered up his images to the website to entertain their Metal minds. Check them out below and while sharing is caring, these may not be altered or published elsewhere without our direct permission. Enjoy.


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A Glimpse Of Tuska Open Air Festival 2013

Long time readers of the PiercingMetal site and blog know full well just how much the Command HQ enjoys the Metal offerings of Finland. Yep, for quite a few years (even before starting the whole process that you see before you) I had been enjoying the likes of Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, HIM and many more. Now a few short years ago we became fast friends with one Samuel Jyhla, who we often refer to as our “Finnish Ambassador”. We call him this based on his continual keeping this side of the fence in the loop with the goings on back home and bringing us up to date on bands that already or might pique our interest. A few short weeks ago, Samuel went home to visit and attended the Tuska Open Air Festival. This is a massive event held in Helsinki, Finland that is primarily dedicated to Metal and I while I have wanted to go for a couple of years it has just not been logistically possible for me to do so. During a recent meetup with Sammy, he showed me some of the photos that he took from the audience at Tuska and when I asked if he wanted to share them with all of you he said “sure”. I even added some notes about his overall perceptions, but kept them brief and succinct. Just click the various band logos to be taken to the full gallery of shots that he let us post.

Logo - Tuska

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“Polaris”/”Polaris Live” by Stratovarius

Artist: Stratovarius
Title: “Polaris”/”Polaris Live”
Label: Armoury Records
Release Date: 7/13/2010
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

Back in 2009, the band Stratovarius had informed the Metal masses that not only would they be back in action with the release of new material and a subsequent tour, but that they would be doing do without longtime guitarist Timo Tolki. The album was called “Polaris” and it introduced the bands worldwide fans to their new axe slinger Matias Kupiainen. The album was loaded with powerful energy and a number of its driving tracks found me slinging my own air guitar and pounding away on invisible drums as I listened. Fast forward to 2010 as the heat of the summer begins to mess with us, the band has re-issued this killer album and added a second CD that takes the bands full live set and delivers it to your living room. Having said all that I felt was necessary about the “Polaris” album in that releases review, I am representing it for you to refresh your memory about my views. After you catch up I will talk a little bit more about the live recordings that we get.
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Stratovarius @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (9/16/2009)

Logo - Stratovarius

Artist: Stratovarius
Venue: Nokia Theatre Times Square (New York, NY)
Opener: Pagan’s Mind, Ethereality
Date: 9/16/2009
Label: Armoury Records

Even though I had missed the last time that Stratovarius toured around these parts it has still been a few years since they were able to come back and do some gigs and this is based on the band being in a bit of a limbo for awhile. This status first came from guitarist Timo Tolki who eventually decided that he was done and that the band had been broken up, but when Timo Kotipelto informed the world that they were indeed alive and breathing and that music would continue, it was just a matter of time before the right player was found to replace the now absent Tolki. Tonight the scene of the action would be the Nokia Theatre in Times Square where the band would present their newest material from the smoking “Polaris” CD along with their long revered classics and introduce us all to their new guitarist Matias Kupianen. They would be touring with Pagan’s Mind as direct support and our area show found some local boys from New Jersey called Ethereality kicking off the fun. Here is how the night went down.
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“Polaris” by Stratovarius

Artist: Stratovarius
Title: “Polaris”
Label: Armoury Records
Release Date: 5/26/2009
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 4/5

A band has two options when one of its primary creative forces chooses to move on from the lineup and that is to either cease to exist and begin other projects or rise from the ashes of disruption, find a replacement and get back to business. Such was the dilemma faced by Stratovarius when key member and guitarist Timo Tolki decided to quit the band and leave it hanging out to dry. Lucky for the world’s Stratovarius fans the guys were more than willing to press on and soon found the talented Matias Kupiainen handling the necessary duties on the axe. In the public eye this was a pretty big pair of shoes to fill as Tolki had written some 95% of the bands material since 1989, so not only would his successor need to be adept on his own but also be able to handle all of the acrobatics that were regular practice for Tolki. So how do the new guy and new album sound? Well in a word this is probably the strongest material that Stratovarius has released in years and stands high above the utter garbage that was their last album “Stratovarius”. Matias is an exceptional guitarist and to quote my Dad I can say that “no one is irreplaceable” and in the end I think that new life has been breathed into this band that will make their fans proud. I was instantly drawn into the tasty riffs that were being dished out as opener “Deep Unknown” blasted through the stereo but it was in tracks like “Blind” and “Forever Is Today” that did the most for me and had me not only repeating them but also playing them louder and louder each time while playing either air guitar or air drums.
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