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The Odyssey - SYMPHONY X

Once you dig beneath the dungeons, dragons and decorative armor, "true" metal carries as many false promises as it does genuine attributes. The fact that recycling standardized riffs and possessing a singer with a voice more featureless than the Arizona desert (take a bow, HAMMERFALL and ICED EARTH) can propel you into the stratosphere seems ...

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SONATA ARCTICA Name Album, Announce Japanese Tour

Finnish melodic metallers SONATA ARCTICA have set "Winterheart's Guild" as the title for their upcoming CD, which is due to be released on Feb. 22 in Japan and Mar. 17 in Finland. "Winterheart's Guild" features a guest appearance by keyboardist Jens Johansson (STRATOVARIUS/ex-DIO), who plays on four of the album's cuts. In other news, SONATA ...

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NILE, MALEVOLENT CREATION Confirmed For WACKEN OPEN AIR 2003

NILE and MALEVOLENT CREATION are the latest acts to have been officially confirmed for next year's installment of Wacken Open Air festival, which is scheduled to take place between Jul. 31 and Aug. 2, 2003 in Wacken, Germany. Also set to appear at the event are ICED EARTH, GAMMA RAY, STRATOVARIUS, DARK ANGEL, and THE ...

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THE ALMIGHTY PUNCHDRUNK Confirmed For WACKEN OPEN AIR 2003

THE ALMIGHTY PUNCHDRUNK, featuring STRAPPING YOUNG LAD/DARK ANGEL drummer Gene Hoglan, are the latest act to have been officially confirmed for next year's installment of Wacken Open Air festival, which is scheduled to take place between Jul. 31 and Aug. 2, 2003 in Wacken, Germany. Also set to appear at the event are ICED EARTH, ...

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DARK ANGEL Confirmed For Germany's WACKEN OPEN AIR 2003

The reformed DARK ANGEL — featuring guitarists Jim Durkin and Eric Meyer, vocalist Ron Rinehart, and drummer Gene Hoglan (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD) — are the latest act to have been officially confirmed for next year's installment of Wacken Open Air festival, which is scheduled to take place between Jul. 31 and Aug. 2, 2003 in ...

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GAMMA RAY Confirmed For Germany's WACKEN OPEN AIR 2003

GAMMA RAY are the latest act to have been officially confirmed for next year's installment of Wacken Open Air festival, which is scheduled to take place between Jul. 31 and Aug. 2, 2003 in Wacken, Germany. They will be joined on the bill by the likes of ICED EARTH and STRATOVARIUS, both of whom were ...

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STRATOVARIUS Frontman: Why My Brazilian Tour Was Cancelled

STRATOVARIUS frontman Timo Kotipelto has issued a statement clarifying the reasons for the cancellation of his Brazilian solo tour. "This is the truth about the KOTIPELTO Brazil tour!" begins the statement. "I didn't cancel the tour! Me and the guys in the band wanted to do the tour and I was calling every day to ...

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KOTIPELTO's South American Tour Cancelled

KOTIPELTO's proposed tour of South America has been cancelled, according to frontman Timo Kotipelto (STRATOVARIUS). "The guys in the band and I were extremely happy to hear that there might be a short tour in South America," the singer wrote on his official web site. "I'm very sad to tell the fans over there that ...

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STRATOVARIUS Frontman Offers Update On Solo Activities

STRATOVARIUS frontman Timo Kotipelto has posted the following message via his official web site: "I just thought to inform you about my activities in the past couple of weeks... "I've been composing some songs lately. If they will be used for my next possible (KOTIPELTO) album is still a little bit open. "There's also been ...

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STEEL ATTACK Begin Work On Third Album

Swedish heavy metal act STEEL ATTACK will enter Studio Underground in December to begin recording their third album for an April 2003 release through Spain's Arise Records. The as-yet-untitled effort — the band's first with new vocalist Dick Johnson — will be mastered by Mika Jussila (STRATOVARIUS) at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland. ...

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NIGHTWISH Get Involved In Side Projects

NIGHTWISH drummer Jukka Nevalainen and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen will make guest appearances on the debut album from SETHIAN, a new Helsinki, Finland-based act that also features in its ranks former WIZZARD frontman Tapio Wilska (who had previously done session studio work with NIGHTWISH). The album will be recorded at Walltone studios and will be mixed ...

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STRATOVARIUS' TIMO TOLKKI Speaks Out On New CD

STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has posted the following update via the group's official web site: "The [Elements — Part 1] album is ready, mastered and sent to our record companies in Germany, France and in Japan. "The track list will be provided later, but I can tell you that it contains 62 minutes of music. ...

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STRATOVARIUS Keyboardist To Play On Next SONATA ARCTICA Album

STRATOVARIUS keyboardist Jens Johansson (ex-DIO) has agreed to play on SONATA ARCTICA's next studio CD if the group don't find a replacement for the recently-departed Mikko Harkin in time for the upcoming album's recording sessions. "I really love [SONATA ARCTICA] the way they were," Jens stated in a post on the official STRATOVARIUS message board. ...

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SYMPHONY X To Tour Europe With STRATOVARIUS

SYMPHONY X have reportedly been confirmed as the main support act on the upcoming STRATOVARIUS European tour, which is scheduled to kick off in early 2003. The opening act for tour will be Finland's THUNDERSTONE. In other news, a possibility reportedly exists that SYMPHONY X will be touring with HAMMERFALL and BLIND GUARDIAN in North ...

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STRATOVARIUS Set Release Date For Upcoming Single

Finland's STRATOVARIUS will release the first single, "Eagle Heart", from the band's forthcoming Elements — Part 1 album, on November 19th through N.T.S. Records in France and November 25th in the rest of Europe via Nuclear Blast Records. STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has revealed, via the Mixing Diary page on the group's official web site, ...

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STRATOVARIUS Commence Mixing "Elements Part I"

Finland's STRATOVARIUS have commenced the mixing process for their ninth studio album, entitled Elements Part I, at Helsinki's Finnvox studios. The band have been busy at work in the studio since March and the project is expected to be completed by mid-September. Elements Part I will be released in early 2003, followed by a worldwide ...

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STRATOVARIUS Begin Tracking Vocals, Announce Upcoming Tour

STRATOVARIUS frontman Timo Kotipelto has commenced the vocal-tracking process for the group's brand new CD, entitled Elements Part I. "I have to say that it's good to be behind the microphone again," Timo wrote on his official web site. "The last months I've been mostly giving interviews for my solo album and not singing that ...

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AVANTASIA's "The Metal Opera Part II" Due In October

The long-awaited second part of EDGUY main man Tobias Sammet's all-star project, AVANTASIA, will be released in North America in October. "I am proud to say that in between touring and sleeping a bit I managed to finish the last chapter of my huge dream," Tobias recently said. "It was really exciting to get back ...

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STRATOVARIUS' TIMO TOLKKI: We Will Spare No Expense On New Album

STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has posted the following update on the progress of the recording of their forthcoming CD, entitled Elements Part I: "After spending three weeks in preproduction recording demos and now two weeks at Finnvox [Studios], things are beginning to look a little bit more clear. "We have all been working very hard ...

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TIMO KOTIPELTO: More Live Dates Announced

STRATOVARIUS frontman Timo Kotipelto has announced two more live appearances in addition to his previously-announced performance at this year's Wacken Open Air festival. The confirmed dates are as follows: Jul. 20 - Helsinki, FIN @ Tavastia Aug. 01 – Wacken, GER @ Wacken Open Air Aug. 07 – FIN @ Ruisrock ...

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EDGUY's TOBIAS SAMMET: AVANTASIA Part II Coming In August

EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet is currently hard at work on the second part of his metal opera project dubbed AVANTASIA, which released a highly-acclaimed debut effort, entitled simply The Metal Opera, in November 2000. According to Sammet, touring with my main band EDGUY is such big fun, [but] in between traveling to the different continents, ...

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DRAGONFORCE Ink Deal With Sanctuary/Noise

Britain's DRAGONFORCE, the London-based modern catchy speed power metal band, have signed with Sanctuary/Noise Records. After one year and a half of negotiations, touring with HALFORD, STRATOVARIUS and headlining their own shows across England, DRAGONFORCE have taken another step forward signing with Sanctuary Group, which currently includes artists such as MEGADETH, GAMMA RAY, HALFORD, KAMELOT ...

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STRATOVARIUS Enter Studio To Begin Work On "Elements Part 1"

Finland's STRATOVARIUS will be entering Helsinki's Finnvox studios on May 15th to begin recording their ninth full-length studio album, tentatively entitled Elements Part 1, for a January 2003 release through Nuclear Blast Records. Among the song titles that are tentatively set to appear on the forthcoming CD are the following: 01. Eagleheart 02. Elements 03. ...

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STRATOVARIUS Frontman Debuts At #4 On Finnish Single Charts

STRATOVARIUS frontman Timo Kotipelto's three-song single, containing the tracks "Beginning" (single edit), "Waiting for the Dawn" and "Kadesh" (non-LP), debuted at position #4 on the Finnish single chart. Kotipelto's debut full-length CD, entitled Waiting For The Dawn, is due to be released through Century Media Records in May. ...

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