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: ''For the violins known by a similar name, see Stradivarius.''

"Stratovarius" is a Finnish power metal band, known for its melodic approach to the genre.

Stratovarius was founded in 1984 in Finland under the name Black Water. They went through a number of personnel changes and changes in style before the band found its own voice. The founding members were Tuomo Lassila, Staffan Stråhlman, and John Vihervä. By 1985, Timo Tolkki entered the band, replacing Stråhlman on guitar, changed the name to Stratovarius (a combination of Stratocaster and Stradivarius) and taking up vocal duties as well. Tolkki became the driving force and mastermind of the band, assuming relatively complete control of the song-writing. He brought along not only strong rock influences, but also a neo-classical tinge. The band released a demo to various record companies by 1987, finally being picked up by CBS Finland. In 1989, their debut album ''Fright Night'' was released, following two singles.

After being dropped by CBS, the band went through several member changes, but they managed to release an on another label and they also toured a bit. In 1994 they released their third album, ''...

years active 1984 – present
origin Helsinki, Finland
music genre Power Metal
current members Timo Tolkki - Guitarist
Jens Johansson - Keyboards
Lauri Porra - Bass
Timo Kotipelto - Vocalist
Jörg Michael - Drums
license: GNU FDL
source: Wikipedia