"Polaris", the new album from Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS, sold around 800 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (Note: Internet/digital sales **ARE** included in the SoundScan totals.) The CD landed at position No. 57 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
"Polaris" entered the official chart in the band's home country at position No. 2. The album also debuted on the German Media Control chart at No. 55.
"Polaris" was released in the U.S. on May 26 via Armoury Records (a division of Eagle Rock Entertainment).
The group's first CD since the departure of guitar player and main composer Timo Tolkki features the following track listing:
01. Deep Unknown (Matias Kupiainen/Timo Kotipelto)
02. Falling Star (Lauri Porra/Lauri Porra)
03. King of Nothing (Jens Johansson/Jens Johansson)
04. Blind (Jens Johansson/Jens Johansson)
05. Winter Skies (Jens Johansson/Jens Johansson)
06. Forever is Today (Lauri Porra/Lauri Porra)
07. Higher We Go (Timo Kotipelto, Matias Kupiainen/Timo Kotipelto)
07. Somehow Precious (Timo Kotipelto, Matias Kupiainen/Timo Kotipelto)
09. Emancipation Suite Part I: Dusk (Lauri Porra/Lauri Porra)
10. Emancipation Suite Part II: Dawn (Lauri Porra/Lauri Porra)
11. When Mountains Fall (Lauri Porra/Lauri Porra)
12. Second Sight (Matias Kupiainen/Timo Kotipelto)
The cover artwork for "Polaris" was created by Gyula Havancsák and can be viewed below.
In September 2008, freed from many burdens of negativity, the band found the freedom to go into seclusion for almost a month in a cottage by the sea in a Finnish forest to relax, laugh, write songs, be creative together, and record. And they found themselves being a band reborn. The result is a melodic, powerful, fresh, tight, and technically elaborate new album.
"Polaris" was recorded in the fall 2008 at Hästholmen and 5by5 studios in Helsinki, Finland. Mixed by the longtime confidant of the band Mikko Karmila the album became another shining polar star at the Northern sky. Powerful melodies mingle with sophisticated arrangements, strong anthems stand alongside heavy songs. 11 songs full of energy, musicianship, and a positive outlook.
Vocalist Timo Kotipelto explains: "'Polaris' is a positive, powerful album that STRATOVARIUS fans all over the world are certain to take to their hearts."
STRATOVARIUS' latest addition is 25-year-old Finnish guitar phenomenon Matias Kupiainen. Drummer Jörg Michael said, "In Matias we found new character who fits perfectly with his way of melodic guitar shredding. He is a killer player, a 'wunderkind' from Finland!"
STRATOVARIUS 2009 is:
Timo Kotipelto - Vocals
Matias Kupiainen - Guitars
Lauri Porra - Bass
Jörg Michael - Drums
Jens Johansson - Keyboards