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Stratovarius is a Finnish power metal/progressive metal band that was formed in 1984 under the name of Black Water and in 1985 their guitarist Staffan Strahlman, left the band and Timo Tolkki replaced him. Tolkki sang alongside playing the guitar. They released their first album in 1989.

Tolkki continued to sing and play the guitar until a concert in Japan he decided that his singing days were over and searched for a new vocalist. In 1995 they contacted Timo Kotipelto a person who had approached the band before. Tolkki scheduled an audition and everybody liked Kotipelto's singing right from the start.

Stratovarius has had a lot of success in Japan, Europe and South America.