Finnish Heavy Metal 'Idol' Tops Album Chart

The winner of the Finnish national TV talent competition "Idols", 22-year-old heavy metal singer Ari Koivunen, has topped the Finnish album chart with his solo debut, "Fuel for the Fire" (Sony BMG). View the whole chart at this location. Check out audio samples here (IMPORTANT: You must hold your cursor over the musical note symbol to hear each sample).

"Fuel for the Fire" was produced by Nino Laurenne (THUNDERSTONE) and Pasi Heikkilä (45 DEGREE WOMAN). Among the metal luminaries who have contributed material to the album are Timo Tolkki (STRATOVARIUS), Tomi Putaansuu (a.k.a. Mr. Lordi; LORDI), Marco Hietala (NIGHTWISH, TAROT), Janne Joutsenniemi (SUBURBAN TRIBE), Tony Kakko (SONATA ARCTICA) and Jarkko Ahola (TERÄSBETONI).

The following musicians appear on the CD:

Tuomas Wäinölä (KOTIPELTO, NYLON BEAT) - Guitar
Mikko Kosonen (MAIJA VILKKUMAA) - Guitar
Nino Laurenne (THUNDERSTONE) - Guitar
Mirka Rantanen (THUNDERSTONE) - Drums
Mikko Kaakkuriniemi (KOTIPELTO) - Drums
Pasi Heikkilä (45 DEGREE WOMAN) - Bass
Janne Wirman (CHILDREN OF BODOM) - Keyboards

Kimmo Valtanen of SonyBMG told Helsingin Sanomat that the label recognized Ari's potential early on in the competition and that the company would have made an album with Ari even if he hadn't won the contest.

Ari Koivunen's touring band will consist of the following musicians;

Erkka Korhonen (RASKAS JOULU, CHEAT CODE) - Guitar
Vili Ollila (TUNNELVISION, RASKAS JOULU, CHEAT CODE) - Keyboards
Luca Gargano (CHEAT CODE) - Guitar
Erkki Silvennoinen (AMORAL, CHEAT CODE) - Bass
Mauro Gargano (CHEAT CODE) – Drums

Ari Koivunen tour dates:

Jun. 06 - Rocktown (record release) - Helsinki, FIN
Jun. 08 - Be Special - concert (Finnairstadium)- Helsinki, FIN
Jun. 09 - Sauna Open Air - Tampere, FIN
Jun. 10 - Kaivarin konsertti - Helsinki, FIN
Jun. 16 - M/S Silja Europa - Turku, FIN
Jun. 22 - Lohimaan Juhannus - Tervo, FIN
Jun. 23 - Nummirock - Kauhajoki, FIN
Jun. 30 - Pielavesirock - Pielavesi, FIN
Jul. 13 - Lahden Yöt - Lahti, FIN
Jul. 18 - Tulisuudelma - Vantaa, FIN
Jul. 19 - Happytime Bar - Savonlinna, FIN
Jul. 21 - Riihivuori Rock - Muurame, FIN
Jul. 26 - Tavastia - Helsinki, FIN
Jul. 28 - Jalkapallostadion - Kajaani, FIN
Aug. 10 - Rock To The River - Imatra, FIN
Aug. 11 - Medihevi Open Air - Lahti, FIN
Aug. 19 - TBA - Valkeakoski, FIN
Aug. 24 - Nosturi - Helsinki, FIN
Sep. 12 - Hartwall Areena / Elämä lapselle-concert - Helsinki, FIN
Sep. 21 - Doris Night - Lappeenranta, FIN
Oct. 03 - M/S Tallink Galaxy / Metal Elite Cruise - Helsinki, FIN
Oct. 05 - Night Joensuu - Joensuu, FIN
Oct. 16 - M/S Tallink Galaxy - Helsinki, FIN
Oct. 17 - M/S Silja Europa - Turku, FIN
Oct. 18 - M/S Silja Europa - Turku, FIN
Oct. 19 - M/S Silja Europa - Turku, FIN
Oct. 27 - Sylvään koulu - Vammala, FIN

Ari is from Lahti, the Finnish town that has given birth to such metal acts as PROFANE OMEN, BEFORE THE DAWN, ENTWINE and DARK FILTH FRATERNITY. One of his hobbies is "Hevikaraoke" (Finnish "heavy metal" karaoke); he won the Finnish Karaoke Championships in 2005, and placed third in the Karaoke World Championships the same year. Among his favorite bands are IRON MAIDEN, RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, DIO, PROFANE OMEN and HELLOWEEN.

Watch Ari Koivunen's "Idols" performance of IRON MAIDEN's "The Evil That Men Do" at this location. Links to more video clips can be found at this location.

(Thanks: Metal From Finland)

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