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Timo Tolkki

Timo Tolkki is best known as the former guitarist, songwriter, and producer of the Finnish power metal band Stratovarius. 

Guitar World magazine ranked him in the top 50 (28) fastest guitar players in the world and in the top 100 (88) of the most influential metal guitarists of all time.

Tolkki joined Stratovarius in 1984. In the beginning of his career with Stratovarius, he was handling the vocal duties as well as all lead and rhythm guitars. After the band’s third album, the highly acclaimed Dreamspace, Tolkki decided that it was the right time to hire a vocalist. Tolkki’s desire to evolve the ‘sound’ and overall musical direction of Stratovarius — as well as feeling the need to concentrate more exclusively on his own guitar work — ultimately resulted in vocalist Timo Kotipelto, acclaimed keyboardist Jens Johansson, and drummer Joerg Michael being added to form a new line up.

Tolkki’s songwriting and producing abilities resulted in a flurry of what some consider to be the best Stratovarius albums ever: Episode, Visions, Destiny, and Infinite. The band toured heavily for these albums, and earned its place as one of the leaders of melodic power metal around the world with album sales of over 2 million copies worldwide.

After a series of internal and financial conflicts Tolkki left Stratovarius in October 2007. After his departure he formed a new band called Revolution Renaissance that released 3 albums: New Era (2008), Age Of Aquarius (2009), and Trinity (2010).

In 1994 Tolkki released his first solo album, Classical Variations And Themes, which had at the time been one of his longtime ambitions. The album turned out to be quite different from his work with Stratovarius, comprising influences of neoclassical metal and a focus on primarily instrumental compositions. In 2002 he released his second solo album, Hymn To Life, which showed a much more personal side as it dealt with such emotional issues as his relationship with god and his late father. Tolkki’s third solo album called Saana – Warrior Of Light was released in January 2009.

In 2010 Tolkki joined forces with vocalist Andre Matos (Angra), drummer Uli Kusch (Helloween), bass player Jari Kainulainen (Stratovarius) and keyboardist Mikko Härkin (Sonata Arctica) to form a new melodic power metal supergroup called Symfonia. Their debut album In Paradisum was released worldwide in April 2011.

In 2013 Tolkki launched his metal opera project, Avalon. The debut album, The Land Of New Hope, charted in 7 countries and featured performances from accomplished metal singers such as Michael Kiske, Sharon Den Adel, Elize Ryd, and Rob Rock. This was followed by the acclaimed albums Angels Of The Apocalypse (2014) and Return To Eden (2019).

Tolkki has worked as a producer for numerous metal bands and his productions have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. He has his own production company, Goldenworks Entertainment Ltd.

Currently, he is working on his new band, Infinite Visions. Joining Timo on his musical quest are vocalist Jorge Segersbol (Ancestral Dawn/Pegasus), bassist Jari Kainulainen (Masterplan/ex-Stratovarius), drummer Pawel “Pavulon” Jaroszewicz (ex-Hate/Vader), and keyboardist Jimmy Pitts (Eternity’s End/Northtale).

DISCOGRAPHY

STRATOVARIUS
Fright Night (1989)
Twilight Time (1992)
Dreamspace (1994)
Fourth Dimension (1995)
Episode (1996)
Visions (1997)
Destiny (1998)
Infinite (2000)
Intermission (2001)
Elements Pt. 1 (2003)
Elements Pt. 2 (2003)
Stratovarius (2005)

SOLO ALBUMS
Classical Variations and Themes (1994)
Hymn to Life (2002)
Saana – Warrior of Light Pt 1 (2008)

REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE
New Era (2008)
Age of Aquarius (2009)
Trinity (2010)

SYMFONIA
In Paradisum (2011)

TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON
The Land of New Hope (2013)
Angels of the Apocalypse (2014)
Return to Eden (2019)

Infinite Visions

Infinite Visions is the new band formed by ex-Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolkki. Joining Timo on his musical quest are vocalist Jorge Segersbol (Ancestral Dawn/Pegasus), bassist Jari Kainulainen (Masterplan/ex-Stratovarius), drummer Pawel “Pavulon” Jaroszewicz (Hate/ex-Vader), and keyboardist Jimmy Pitts (Eternity’s End/Northtale). The band is currently recording a 5-song demo to be presented to labels worldwide.

The debut album by Infinite Visions will be titled “Union Magnetica” and feature 10 songs, including, “Voice Of Tomorrow”, “You Rock My World”, “Sonata Black”, “Dangerous”, and “Infinite Visions”. The band is scheduled to record their debut album at the end of 2020, with plans to tour for the album when it is released next year, and to perform at festivals as well in 2021.

On tour, Infinite Visions will perform songs from throughout Timo Tolkki’s career. They will not only play material from their upcoming debut album, but also Stratovarius classics, and tracks from Revolution Renaissance, and Symfonia.

Eternity’s End

Eternity’s End was founded in 2014 by guitarist and songwriter Christian Muenzner (Alkaloid, ex Necrophagist, ex Obscura, ex Paradox) who wanted to realize his life long dream of forming a neoclassical power metal band with powerful classic metal vocals. Although it is a completely new band, each member has a long history in the metal scene, all having worked with successful, well respected bands and having appeared on a variety of well acknowledged albums world-wide. Besides Muenzner the original line up included legendary vocalist Ian Parry (ex Elegy, ex Vengeance), keyboardist Jimmy Pitts, drummer Hannes Grossmann (Alkaloid, Blotted Science, ex Obscura, ex Necrophagist) and bassist Linus Klausenitzer (Obscura, Alkaloid). The band recorded their debut album The Fire Within in 2015, which was mixed, mastered and co-produced by Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry) and was released in Spring 2016 via Power Prog Records.

The album was financed through a successful crowdfunding campaign in which the band reached 133% of the originally intended financial goal. Although very well-received by fans and critics alike worldwide, The Fire Within did not get the support it needed due to the band’s former label vanishing. Rather than breaking up, it was decided that the band would continue creating music, this time with a second guitarist in the fold. Band founder Christian then offered Québécois Guitarist/Songwriter Phil Tougas (First Fragment, Chthe’ilist) the opportunity to join the band in 2017, to help write new material for the band’s second album Unyielding. The result is a shift towards a twin-guitar oriented power metal album with a more aggressive approach. The line-up was completed a year later with elite power metal veterans, vocalist Iuri Sanson (ex Hibria) & bassist Mike Lepond (Symphony X), while featuring original members Jimmy Pitts (keyboards) and Hannes Grossman (drums).

The band’s 2nd album, Unyielding, incorporates the same neoclassical elements and complex keyboard work already present on The Fire Within, all while taking cues from the mid to late 90’s German/European Power Metal classics and the 80s US Power Metal scene. The intent is to create riff-oriented and straight-forward, technical yet catchy power metal hymns with a high emphasis on harmonized leads and guitar solo duels that bring to mind the golden age of Shrapnel Records guitar heroes. The highlights are numerous on this album, and include “Into The Timeless Realms”, “Unyielding”, “Blood Brothers”, and “Beyond The Gates Of Salvation”.

DISCOGRAPHY
Eternity’s End – The Fire Within (2016)
Eternity’s End – Unyielding (2019)

Christian Muenzner

Christian Muenzner is a gifted German guitarist who plays with the shredding power metal band Eternity’s End and the extreme progressive metal supergroup Alkaloid, as well as serving as touring guitarist for heavy metal favorites Serious Black. He first gained notoriety playing with the technical death metal band Necrophagist from 2002 until 2006, appearing on their groundbreaking 2004 release, Epitaph, with Christian’s neoclassical-styled solos on that album turning heads around the globe.

In addition to Necrophagist, among the other notable bands Muenzner has played with include Defeated Sanity (1999 to 2002), Paradox (2012-2014) and Obscura (2008 to 2014), after which he left to co-found Alkaloid and Eternity’s End.

In revealing why he decided to form Eternity’s End, Muenzner said: “In all my previous bands, I was mainly a side man. I wanted to have a band that is completely my own band and completely revolves around my ideas and concept. Although I am mainly known for playing in death metal bands, I have always favored the more classic, traditional forms of metal from the 80’s and 90’s, classic heavy/power/speed/epic/progressive metal, with a powerful clean vocalist and a more melodic approach to the song writing and guitar playing.”

Eternity’s End recently released their second album, Unyielding, with the band’s intent being to create riff-oriented, driving, technical yet catchy power metal hymns with memorable choruses. The highlights are numerous on this album, and include “Into The Timeless Realms”, “Unyielding”, “Blood Brothers”, and “Beyond The Gates Of Salvation”.

Christian has also released two critically acclaimed solo albums, Timewarp (2011) and Beyond The Walls Of Sleep (2014), with his third solo effort, Path Of The Hero, coming out in March 2020. In discussing his approach to solo albums, Christian stated in an interview with Guitar9:
“What I wanted to achieve was to record an album that would capture the essence of all my favorite classic ’80s and ’90s shred albums (Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Michael Lee Firkins, etc.) and to combine that with my more modern metal influences – I like to describe it as ‘Shrapnel Records shred meets modern metal’. Beyond the flashy guitar work they featured really strong and epic songs that people would still remember 25 years later.”

DISCOGRAPHY
Defeated Sanity – Talk Evolution/The Parasite (2001)
Necrophagist – Epitaph (2004)
Obscura – Cosmogenesis (2009)
Obscura – Omnivium (2011)
Timewarp (solo album) (2011)
Spawn of Possession – Incurso (2012)
Paradox – Tales of the Weird (2012)
Beyond The Wall Of Sleep (solo album) (2014)
Alkaloid – The Malkuth Grimoire (2015)
Eternity’s End – The Fire Within (2016)
Alkaloid – Liquid Anatomy (2017)
Eternity’s End – Unyielding (2019)

Lethal

LETHAL was formed by brothers Eric and Glen Cook in 1982. The lineup was solidified with the addition of vocalist Tom Malicoat in 1984, and the following year the band went into the studio to record “The Arrival” demo, which was released in 1987. Drummer Jerry Hartman joined the band shortly thereafter.

The band’s classic Programmed album was released in 1990 by Metal Blade Records, and the band was soon being favorably compared to their contemporaries Queensryche and Crimson Glory. The album featured such stellar tracks as “Fire in Your Skin”, “Programmed”, “What They’ve Done”, “Killing Machine”, and “Immune” — all of which are still played in their live set.

Guitarist David McElfresh joined the band in 1991, with his songwriting first appearing on the Your Favorite God EP (1995), a 6-song effort featuring the heaviest songs of the band’s career: “Waiting On The Kill”, “Hard To Breathe”, and “Swim Or Drown”.

In 1996 Lethal released their most progressive — and musically controversial — album, Poison Seed. Initially shunned by both fans and critics, years later it is now hailed as a masterpiece, with songs “Born”, “Meaning”, and “Poison Seed” but a few examples of the band’s musical depth and songwriting prowess on this release.

Lethal contributed “S.A.T.O.” to the Ozzy Osbourne tribute album, Legend of a Madman (1998). The next year they performed at the Powermad Festival in Baltimore MD.

In 2007 Lethal played their first show in eight years at the Chicago Powerfest, followed by performances at two festivals in Germany: the Keep It True festival and the Bang Your Head festival. Over the years Lethal has made more European festival appearances, including the Headbangers Open Air Festival in Germany (2008), the Keep It True Festival in Germany (2014), and the Up The Hammers Festival in Athens, Greece (2016).

Now to the present day, and Lethal return with a 5-song EP. These songs were written between 1987 – 2008, and feature the last recordings of founding guitarist Eric Cook (who tragically passed away from cancer in 2012). The vocals by Tom Mallicoat were all recorded this year, and he shines on the five tracks offered: “Poet’s Knife”, “Distortion”, “Invention”, “Secret Stare”, and “Tear Us Apart”.

DISCOGRAPHY
The Arrival – Demo (1987)
Programmed (1990)
Your Favorite God  EP  (1995)
Poison Seed (1996)

Shatter Messiah

Shatter Messiah is one of the most unique progressive metal bands in the world. Featuring the talents of founding members Curran Murphy (guitars; ex-Nevermore, Ex-Annihilator) and Robert Falzano (drums; Ramallah, Blood For Blood, ex-Annihilator), Shatter Messiah combine thrash, progressive, death, and elements of doom metal to create another level of heavy metal that never disappoints.

The band have released four albums in their storied career: the soon to be classic debut album, Never To Play The Servant, brilliant follow up God Burns Like Flesh, the sonic fury unleashed with their third opus, Hail the New Cross, and the melodic brutality of their fourth slab of metal, Orphans Of Chaos.

Shatter Messiah throw down the gauntlet with an uncompromising ferocity and technical virtuosity that few bands can match, writing brutal yet progressive compositions that combine instantly memorable choruses with atypical song structures, resulting in a unique sound that SHATTER MESSIAH are proud to call their own. 

Massive sounding records, and incendiary live performances show fans and newcomers that Shatter Messiah is a powerful juggernaut of metal. Prepare to become a believer……

DISCOGRAPHY
Never to Play the Servant (2006)
God Burns like Flesh (2007)
Hail the New Cross (2013)
Orphans of Chaos (2016)

Reveal

Reveal is a band put together by Tino Hevia, one of the founders and composers of Darksun and Nörthwind. Tino recorded two albums with Nörthwind, and has eight albums with Darksun. For Reveal, Tino recruited acclaimed Swedish singer Rob Lundgren, a well-known Youtube presence with more than 150,000 followers on the social network (www.youtube.com/user/LundgrenRob).

Reveal’s albums also feature collaborations with musicians from leading metal acts, including:

  • Marcus Siepen of Blind Guardian (Lead guitar on the track “Blood and Sands”)
  • Marcos Rodriguez of Rage (Lead guitar on “300” and lead vocals on the bonus track version of “Blood and Sands”, First solo in “Path of Sorrows”)
  • Tom Nauman of Primal Fear (Lead guitar on “You Will Rise”)
  • Derek Sherinian from Sons of Apollo/Ex-Dream Theater (Keyboard solo in “It’s only a show”)
  • Chen Balbus of Orphaned Land & The Secret Saints (Guitar solo in “The Name of Ra”)

DISCOGRAPHY
Timeline (2017)
Overlord (2019)

Evan K

EVAN is a Greek/German guitarist & composer influenced by Gus G, Jeff Loomis, Andy James, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, Uli Jon Roth, Michael Romeo, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, and Ritchie Blackmore. He has released his debut album, Blue Lightning, which features some famous guests from the Power-Progressive Metal Scene like Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire, Angra, Vision Divine), who sings lead vocals on the songs “Edge Of The Sky” & “One Last Time,” and keyboards by Bob Katsionis (Firewind, Serious Black, Outloud). All music and lyrics on Blue Lightning were written by Evan.

Evan also is a member of heavy metal greats MYSTIC PROPHECY; is a studio and touring musician for the symphonic metal band EXIT EDEN; and has his own band, the up & coming ENEMY INSIDE.

DISCOGRAPHY
Evan K – Blue Lightning (2016)
Exit Eden – Rhapsodies In Black (2017)
Enemy Inside – Phoenix (2018)

Kill Procedure

Featuring guitarist/vocalist Lou St. Paul (Winters Bane, Fires Of Babylon), KILL PROCEDURE is a band for any heavy metal fan who loves killer guitar riffs, memorable solos, and great songwriting. On such songs as “Trioxynon”, “Spells Death”, “All The Pain” and the crushing title track, KILL PROCEDURE’s sound brings to mind classic Megadeth (Rust In Peace/Countdown To Extinction), Testament, and Cacophony.

Recorded in1995, KILL PROCEDURE’s Brink Of Destruction album is finally seeing the light of day. Originally slated to be the follow up album to Winters Bane’s Heart Of A Killer (1993), the album was shelved as their label at the time thought that the material was too much of a departure musically and vocally from Heart Of A Killer. 

The recording lineup for the Brink Of Destruction album was: Lou St. Paul (vocals/lead & rhythm guitars),Kenny Stadelman (bass), John Stevens (rhythm guitars), and Todd Bertollette (drums).

KILL PROCEDURE’s current lineup is Lou St. Paul (vocals/guitars), Kelly Conlon (bass; ex-Death/ex-Monstrosity), and Jeff Curenton (drums; Winters Bane, ex-Seven Witches).

DISCOGRAPHY
Brink Of Destruction (2017)

Winters Bane

Since their formation in 1990, WINTERS BANE have consistently created truly memorable heavy metal songs. In their first incarnation with vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-JUDAS PRIEST), they released the classic Heart Of A Killer album in 1993. A concept piece based on the murderous exploits of one Judge Cohagen, Heart Of A Killer is a power metal tour de force, combining the amazing vocals of Owens, with the fret board pyrotechnics of Lou St. Paul. On such instant favorites as “The Silhouette” and “Reflections Within”, St. Paul showed that he was a talented songwriter, playing great riffs over intelligent, well thought out lyrical essays. In 2000, Century Media Records re-issued Heart Of A Killer as a 2-CD set, winning over many new fans who heard the classic WINTERS BANE sound for the first time.

After the departure of Owens, St. Paul took over the vocal duties, resulting in WINTERS BANE’s heaviest work to date, Girth. Released in 1997, Girth was an amalgamation of all the elements that make great heavy metal music: killer riffs, scorching solos, memorable vocals, poignant lyrics, and a tight, imaginative rhythm section. On such soon to be classics “C-4”, “Kill Procedure”, and “Alexandria”, WINTERS BANE proved that they were still a band to be reckoned with.

After many years of searching for a singer with the vocal prowess to equal the talents of the departed Owens, Alexander Koch (ex-SPIRAL TOWER, POWERGOD) was recruited as the new voice of WINTERS BANE, far surpassing the bands expectations of what a vocalist could accomplish. In 2006 WINTERS BANE unleashed their next album, Redivivus, a return to the power metal style of Heart Of A Killer. With the addition of powerhouse drummer Mark Cross (ex-METALIUM, HELLOWEEN), WINTERS BANE’s most potent line-up was now in place, and the band delivered a monster of an album. On such standout songs as “The World”, “Spark To Flame”, and “Dead Faith”, WINTERS BANE displayed their superior musicianship and song writing abilities. 

Just listen and you will discover one of heavy metal’s best kept secrets…

DISCOGRAPHY
Heart Of A Killer (1993)
Girth (1997)
Redivivus (2006)