Stratovarius is a Finnish power metal band from Helsinki. Formed in 1984, the band plays a music characterized by a cross between the melodic speed of Helloween and the neoclassical metal of Yngwie Malmsteen, with a touch of hard FM to a lesser extent. The name is a contraction between Strato caster and Stradi varius .
The group was formed in 1984 by bassist John Vihervä, drummer and singer Tuomo Lassila, and guitarist Staffan Stråhlman. The first name of the group was Black Water. At that time, the group was primarily influenced by Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica. John Vihervä left the group at the end of 1984 and was replaced by Jyrki Lentonen who previously played with Timo Tolkki in a band called Road Block. In 1985, it was Staffan Stråhlman's turn to leave the group, one week before a scheduled concert in Aalborg, Denmark. Tuomo Lassila uses Tolkki to replace him. The latter soon took charge of the vocal part, brought influences such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Blackmore, Rainbow or Baroque music, and quickly became the main author / composer of the band until his departure in 2008.
In 1989 released the first album of the band Stratovarius. Composed by Timo Tolkki, the album is called Fright Night . In 1990, the bassist Jyrki Lentonen left the group to give way to Jari Behm. The latter appears in photo in the second album entitled Twilight Time , although the bass scores are not of him. He left the group shortly thereafter.
In 1992, the second album, called "Stratovarius II" , is published in Finland. Some time later, in October 1992, the album came out with a new cover and a new name, in "> Twilight Time throughout Europe. It was with this album that the group began to conquer Japan where it became very popular. For this album, drummer Sami Kuoppamäki, of progressive rock band Kingston Wall, replaces Tuomo Lassila on four tracks. In 1993, bassist Jari Kainulainen joined the group to record the majority of their third album entitled Dreamspace . This album was released worldwide in 1994. In June 1994, the band made their first tour in Japan and played in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.