A track-by-track breakdown of "Blackoustic", the first-ever acoustic album by Finnish heavy metal singer Timo Kotipelto (STRATOVARIUS, CAIN'S OFFERING, KOTIPELTO) and guitarist Jani Liimatainen (CAIN'S OFFERING, ex-SONATA ARCTICA), can be seen below. The CD will be released on October 19 via earMUSIC.
The duo has been working together and playing acoustic shows for a while, and the idea of recording an acoustic album came from the fans.
Comments Kotipelto: "The fans were recording our shows with their cell phones and the've been telling us that we should make an album, so they could have better quality recordings of the songs to listen at home. At first, we were just joking about it, but after a while we thought, 'Why not? As far as we know, not many people have done it before, at least not within the heavier music genre. Our initial idea was to make a self-financed album with a relatively small pressing and then just maybe sell them at our shows."
But instead of making it a "fan-club release," the duo has opted to work with the label earMUSIC/Edel, which also releases STRATOVARIUS's work since the album "Polaris".
Most of the songs were chosen from the duo's live setlist, including familiar STRATOVARIUS covers like "Black Diamond" and "Hunting High and Low", but also songs like "Serenity" and "Sleep Well" from Kotipelto's solo albums have been given the new acoustic treatment; proving that behind great heavy metal song, there's very often a stunning melody "screaming" to come out. Furthermore, the album includes beautiful cover versions of PETE TOWNSHEND's "Behind Blue Eyes" and DEEP PURPLE's classic "Perfect Strangers".
"Blackoustic" also features a brand new composition, "Where My Rainbow Ends", written by Jani Liimatainen, who says: "I remembered a song I wrote last winter. Originally it was an instrumental track, but after listening back to it I thought that the melody would work very well with vocals. We re-arranged the song into our acoustic format and — as a slave of habit — I wrote the lyrics for it the night before our last day of recording. It turned out surprisingly beautiful and delicate."
"Jani's new song is a beautiful ballad," adds Kotipelto. "We have quite a few ballads on this album, as even the more rock oriented songs tend to sound more ballad-esque when performed by a duo."
"Blackoustic" was recorded at Kotipelto's cottage at Lappajärvi and mixed and mastered by the STRATOVARIUS guitarist / studio wizard Matias Kupiainen.
The duo will also hit the road in Finland in support of the album, although the first show was on the sea, performing at the Radio Rock cruise on the Baltic Princess on September 8.
"Blackoustic" track listing:
01. Sleep Well
02. Out In The Fields
03. Black Diamond
04. My Selene
05. Behind Blue Eyes
06. Hunting High And Low
07. Where My Rainbow Ends
08. Speed Of Light
09. Perfect Strangers
10. Coming Home
12. Rainbow Eyes
13. Karjalan Kunnailla
The official trailer for "Blackoustic" can be seen below.
"Blackoustic" track by track: