Former STRATOVARIUS leader and current SYMFONIA guitarist Timo Tolkki has teamed up with fellow ex-STRATOVARIUS members Tuomo Lassila (drums), Anti Ikonen (keyboards) and Jari Kainulainen (former member of EVERGREY) to record a new studio album. The CD, which will be released in January 2012, will celebrate STRATOVARIUS' 30-year anniversary and will feature the same lineup as the one that recorded STRATOVARIUS' "Dreamspace" LP, originally released in 1994.
For legal reasons, the band's original name — PROJECT STRATO — had to be scrapped. More than 20 songs have been written for the project, including "Return To Dreamspace", "Digital Jesus", "Santiago", "Chevaliers De Sangreal", "Full Circle" and "Farewell No. 2".
"Return To Dreamspace" will see Timo Tolkki handling the vocals again and the fans of the "Twilight Time"/"Dreamspace" era will surely not be disappointed.
Regarding the musical direction of the CD, Tolkki previously said, "It has been  years from [STRATOVARIUS' 'Dreamspace'] album, so it will be interesting, for sure... It's not a 'remake,' but a brand new album. A closure for [what] I consider to be the end of STRATOVARIUS. It completes the cycle and returns to the beginning."
In 1982, Tuomo Lassila (drums) formed STRATOVARIUS and came up with the band's name. Timo Tolkki (guitar) and Antti Ikonen (keyboards) joined the band in 1984 — that is some 25 years ago, and as a result the group recorded such classic albums as "Twilight Time", "Dreamspace" and "Fourth Dimension". After the departure of Lassila and Ikonen in 1995, STRATOVARIUS went to more neo-classical sound and style exploring Timo Tolkki's songwriting and producing skills earning the band a Finnish Grammy and sales exceeding over two million records.
Tolkki drew up and signed an official waiver on May 20, 2008 giving up all rights to the STRATOVARIUS name. The remaining STRATOVARIUS members — Timo Kotipelto (vocals), Jens Johansson (keyboards) and Lauri Porra (bass) — have since recorded and released two additional STRATOVARIUS albums with guitarist Matias Kupiainen.