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Ex-HELOWEEN Singer MICHAEL KISKE: I Will Not Join STRATOVARIUS

Former HELLOWEEN singer Michael Kiske has shot down the rumors linking him with Finnish neo-classical metallers STRATOVARIUS as the replacement for the recently departed Timo Kotipelto. The following is the official statement released by the webmaster for Kiske's new project, SUPARED: "The fact that vocalist Timo Kotipelto left STRATOVARIUS was awakening the hope of many ...

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TIMO KOTIPELTO Comments On STRATOVARIUS Departure

Former STRATOVARIUS vocalist Timo Kotipelto has posted the following message on his web site regarding his departure from the group: "Maybe you have seen in it on the STRATOVARIUS homepage (or read it somewhere else), that [drummer] Jörg [Michael] and I are no longer members of the band. That is unfortunately true. "I ...

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STRATOVARIUS: TIMO KOTIPELTO And JÖRG MICHAEL Are Out!

Finland's STRATOVARIUS have officially parted ways with vocalist Timo Kotipelto and drummer Jörg Michael. "Due to irrevocable and massive difficulties between the band leader Timo Tolkki and me, it has been agreed that this is the best thing to do to preserve at least some of the integrity the band used to have," Kotipelto said, ...

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STRATOVARIUS Guitarist Checks In With Writing Update

STRATOVARIUS leader Timo Tolkki has posted the following message on the band's official web site: "I thought I cheer you guys up by giving you a small report from the place where I have been writing songs for about a month already. I have already 10 songs written and I can give you some titles ...

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NIGHTWISH Confirmed For Finland's SAUNA OPEN AIR Festival

NIGHTWISH have been confirmed as the headliners of a new metal festival, Sauna Open Air, which is scheduled to take place on Friday, June 11, 2004 in Tampere, Finland. The festival is scheduled to end at 10:00 p.m., after which additional live activities will continue at Tampere's Pakkahuone venue (capacity 1,500). Additional bands for the ...

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STRATOVARIUS: JENS In, KOTIPELTO Out?

STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has reportedly told the Finnish daily newspaper Ilta-Sanomat that keyboardist Jens Johansson will definitely continue to be a member of the band once the group have sorted through their current personnel "crisis". The situation with the band's drummer, Jörg Michael, however, is still up in the air. According to Tolkki, Michael's ...

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METALLICA To Play Helsinki Stadium In May

According to the Finnish daily newspaper Aamulehti, METALLICA will perform at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki on May 27, 2004. As previously reported, METALLICA are scheduled to headline the Aerodrome festival in Austria on June 11. In addition, METALLICA will play a massive show in Gothenburg, Sweden as part of their spring 2004 European tour. ...

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CHARON Guitarist Quits

Finnish goth-metallers CHARON have parted ways with guitarist Jasse Von Hast. The following is Hast's official statement on the matter: "After long consideration, I have decided to change my priorities around and end this chapter of my life. The band CHARON has nothing more to give me musically and my interest in playing in the ...

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STRATOVARIUS Leader: 'Three Bandmembers Have To Leave'

STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has posted the following message on the band's official web site: "I am in the process of talking seriously with each bandmember about the future of STRATOVARIUS. "There are lots of rumours circling around and this statement is issued to clear some of those. "The band is in a severe crisis ...

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CENTINEX: First Gigs Of 2004 Announced

Sweden's CENTINEX have announced the details of their first shows of 2004. The dates are as follows: Jan. 11 – London, UK @ Underworld (w/ ROTTING CHRIST, THUS DEFILED, HELL-BORN) Feb. 06 – Borlänge, SWE @ S2 (w/ HELLPATROL) As previously reported, CENTINEX's new album, "Decadence - Prophecies Of Cosmic Chaos", is due in March ...

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OPETH Singer To Guest On New AYREON CD

OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt has been officially confirmed as one of the guest performers on the new AYREON CD, "The Human Equation", tentatively due in May 2004 through an as-yet-undetermined label. According to a posting on AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen's (ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE) web site, "fans and journalists alike kept telling Arjen to check out Mikael ...

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STRATOVARIUS Confirm SANCTUARY Deal, Begin Work On New Material

Finland's STRATOVARIUS have confirmed that they have signed a three-album deal with Sanctuary Records. The contract was signed October 31 in Dortmund, Germany and the signing was followed by a big party. The agreement is said to be the biggest ever for a Finnish band, and is worth over $3.5 million dollars. The contract was ...

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STRATOVARIUS Guitarist To Make Finnish TV Appearance

STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki will be making appearance on the Finnish Top-40 program on the national Yle1 channel this Friday (November 7) beginning at 6:36 p.m. As previously reported, STRATOVARIUS have just inked a brand-new three-album deal with Sanctuary Records (parent company of Noise Records). The contract, which is said to be worth three million ...

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AYREON Name New CD

AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen (ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE) has set "Ayreon: The Human Equation" as the title for the group's forthcoming CD, tentatively due in May 2004 through an as-yet-undetermined label. Among the guest vocalists scheduled to appear on the album are James LaBrie (DREAM THEATER), Devon Graves (a.k.a. Buddy Lackey, DEAD SOUL TRIBE, ex-PSYCHOTIC WALTZ), Magnus ...

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DIABLO Complete Work On 'Eternium'

Finnish aggro-metallers DIABLO have finished mixing and mastering their third album, "Eternium", at Helsinki's Finnvox studios with Mikko Karmila. The follow-up to 2002's "Renaissance" was recorded at Fantom studios and is scheduled for release on January 16, 2004. A single, titled "Read My Scars", will precede the album in early December. Says guitarist/vocalist Rainer Nygård: ...

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STRATOVARIUS To Sign New Deal With SANCTUARY

Finnish daily newspaper Iltalehti (www.iltalehti.fi) reports that STRATOVARIUS will ink a brand-new three-album deal with Sanctuary Records (parent company of Noise Records) on Friday (October 31) in Germany. The deal, which is said to be worth three million euros (approx. $3.5 million), will reportedly be signed in elk's blood! In an interview with ...

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DREAM THEATER Singer To Guest On New AYREON CD

DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie has been officially confirmed as one of the guest performers on the new AYREON CD, tentatively due early next year through an as-yet-undetermined label. "LaBrie has known AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen's (ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE) music for a long time and did not hide the fact that he would love to be ...

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OZZY OSBOURNE: Rescheduled European Tour To Kick Off In January

OZZY OSBOURNE's rescheduled European tour, which has been postponed twice, will now take place in January/February. So far, only one date has been leaked: January 28 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. Finnish goth-metallers H.I.M., who were set to occupy the middle slot on the tour, will not be supporting OSBOURNE on the rescheduled ...

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AYREON: Guest Singers Announced

AYREON, the brainchild of Dutch guitarist Arjen Lucassen (ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE), are currently recording their sixth studio album, tentatively due in early 2004 through Transmission Records. Among the guest vocalists set to appear on the album are the following: Devon Graves (DEAD SOUL TRIBE) Magnus Ekwall (THE QUILL) Heather Findlay (MOSTLY AUTUMN) Eric Clayton (SAVIOUR MACHINE) ...

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H.I.M. To Play Finnish Warm-Up Dates Before OZZY Tour

Finnish goth-metallers H.I.M. will play two "warm-up" shows for their upcoming European tour with OZZY OSBOURNE at club Senssi (capacity: 800-1,000) in Tampere, Finland on October 17-18. Tickets go on sale on Monday, October 6 at record shops in Tampere and Lippupalvelu (www.lippupalvelu.fi). As previously reported, H.I.M. will release their first-ever live album, tentatively titled ...

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STRATOVARIUS: DVD Release Date Pushed Back

Finnish neo-classical metallers STRATOVARIUS have been forced to postpone the release date of their forthcoming DVD to April 2004 from the previously announced January. More information about the contents of the upcoming DVD will be made available soon. STRATOVARIUS will release their new album, "Elements Pt. 2", on October 27 through Nuclear Blast Records. "Elements ...

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