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Stratovarius

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Finland (1984 – present)

Stratovarius is a band from Finland. They became more popular in the ’90s, and throughout their career have inspired upcoming power metal bands with their baroque arranged keyboard solos & Ritchie Blackmore-like guitar portions.

Stratovarius was founded in Finland in 1984 from former members of the band Black Water. They went through a number of personnel and musical changes before the band found its own voice. In 1984, the name was changed to Stratovarius (a portmanteau of Stratocaster and Stradivarius), an idea of Stråhlman’s. By 1984, Timo Tolkki entered the band, replacing Stråhlman in the guitar. He took up the vocal duties as well. Tolkki became the driving force and mastermind of the band assuming almost complete control of the song writing. He brought along not only strong rock influences but also a neo-classical tinge. The band released a demo to various record companies by 1987, finally being picked up by CBS Finland. In 1989, their debut album Fright Night was released followed by two singles.

After being dropped by CBS the band went through several member changes but they managed to release on another label and they also toured a bit. In 1994 they released their third album, Dreamspace, featuring new bass player Jari Kainulainen, (who joined the band when 70% of the new material was already recorded) which was a great success.

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