Timo Tolkki

Timo Tolkki

Infobox musical artist

Name = Timo Tolkki

Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Born = birth date and age|1966|3|3
Klaukkala, Finland
Alias =
Genre = Power metal Neo-classical metal
Instrument = Guitar, Keyboards, Bass, Vocals
Occupation = Musician, Songwriter
Associated_acts = Stratovarius, Revolution Renaissance
Label = Nuclear Blast, Sanctuary
Years_active =
URL = [http://www.timotolkki.com www.timotolkki.com]
Notable_instruments =

Timo Tolkki (born March 3 1966, in Nurmijärvi, Finland) is best known as the former guitarist, songwriter, and producer of the Finnish power metal band Stratovarius. He left Stratovarius in 2008 and formed a new band, Revolution Renaissance.


Tolkki joined Stratovarius in 1984. Prior to this, he had already played with the bands Antidote, Thunder and Road Block. At the beginning of his career with Stratovarius, he served as vocalist as well as handling all lead and rhythm guitars, and at times bass guitar (until long-term bassist Jari Kainulainen was hired). This led to an important decision after the band's third album, "Dreamspace", which was to be the acquisition of singer and trained vocalist, Timo Kotipelto, in 1994. This was largely due to Tolkki's desire to evolve the 'sound' and overall musical direction of StratovariusFact|date=February 2007 (which ultimately resulted in the remaining original members of the band, Tuomo Lassila and Antti Ikonen, being unceremoniously fired), as well as feeling the need to concentrate more exclusively on his own guitar work.

In that same year, 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 neo-classical 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; dealing with such emotional issues as his relationship with God and his late father.

At one point in 2004, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder following a nervous breakdown, which occurred some months after Stratovarius disbanded. After a period of rehabilitation, he went on to make a full recovery later that year and subsequently opened Goldenworks Mixing Suite, which was to be his own recording studio.

Tolkki then created a metal opera called "Saana - Warrior of Light". Part One was released on March 14, 2008. [http://www.saana-warrioroflight.com/ Official Saana site] ] It featured a number of guest vocalists, including soprano Jennifer Sowle in the lead role, as well as Aino Laos, Janette Sainio and Heikki Pöyhiä of Twilightning [ [http://www.twilightning.net/ Official Twilightning site] ] in other roles.

Playing style

From the periods spanning Stratovarius' first three albums, Tolkki's guitar playing was noticeably more progressive and hard-edged than at present; particularly making use of lower-register power chords — often in Eb tuning — and sometimes heavy palm muting, thus giving earlier Stratovarius songs a rather dark and unnerving tonal/atmospheric quality (particularly evident in the "Dreamspace" album). However, following Kotipelto's arrival as lead singer, Tolkki's style has since shifted gradually more towards the traditionally speedy and melodic format of power metal; adopting such elements as neo-classical phrasing (in a style somewhat reminiscent of other established virtuosos such as Yngwie Malmsteen), and various fast shredding techniques.


Throughout his whole career, Tolkki has played ESP Guitars. His primary models are custom made M series models, most notably a solid black one and one with the "Visions" album artwork on the body. He has also been seen playing an ESP EX series guitar in a few of their videos. He was also an endorser of Laney Amplification up until 2001, at which he switched to using Marshall Amplification, which he uses to this day.



* "Fright Night" (1989)
* "Stratovarius II" (1991)
* "Twilight Time" (1992)
* "Dreamspace" (1994)
* "Fourth Dimension" (1995)
* "Episode" (1996)
* "Visions" (1997)
* "The Past And Now" (1997)
* "Destiny" (1998)
* "Visions of Europe" (1998)
* "The Chosen Ones" (1999)
* "Infinite" (2000)
* "14 Diamonds" (2000)
* "Intermission" (2001)
* "Elements, Pt. 1" (2003)
* "Elements, Pt. 2" (2003)
* "Stratovarius" (2005)

Revolution Renaissance

* "New Era" (2008)

Solo albums

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

Guest appearances

* Avantasia: "The Metal Opera" — vocals on "The Tower"
* Avantasia: "The Metal Opera Part II" — guitar solo on "The Seven Angels" and "Into the Unknown"
* Edguy: "Vain Glory Opera" — guitar solo on "Out of Control"
* Gimmel: "Kaksi kertaa enemmän" — guitar
* Thunderstone: "Thunderstone" — guitar solo on "Like Father, Like Son"Guitar Heroes


External links

* [http://www.stratovarius.com Stratovarius official site]

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