Stratovarius is a Finnish power metal band that formed in 1984. Since their formation, they have released 15 studio albums, 4 DVDs and 5 live albums. Along with German bands Helloween, Blind Guardian, and Gamma Ray, Stratovarius is considered one of the leading and most influential groups of the power metal genre. In its history, the band has gone through many chaotic lineup changes and since 1995 there are no founding members of the band that remain. Currently, the longest standing member is singer Timo Kotipelto, who joined in 1994.
Stratovarius was founded under the name Black Water in August 1984 by singer and drummer Tuomo Lassila, guitarist Staffan Stråhlman, and bassist John Vihervä. Line-up changes soon started to occur, including Timo Tolkki replacing Stråhlman two months later and taking over singing duties as well, and the band expanding to a quartet with the arrival of keyboardist Antti Ikonen the following year. Under this line-up, the band released its first album Fright Night in 1989, with Tolkki as the only songwriter. While the band went through many bassists, the band released the albums Twilight Time in 1992 and Dreamspace in 1994.
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