STRATOVARIUS Singer Performs Classic Heavy Metal Covers With Finnish Orchestra

August 30, 2004

According to a posting at the BLACK SABBATH fan site Black Sabbath Live Project, STRATOVARIUS singer Timo Kotipelto performed several classic heavy metal covers with Finland's HEAVY LILJA ORCHESTRA last Thursday (Aug. 26) at the Manala bar in Helsinki. "In the orchestra there were one cello, one violin, one alto violin and one flute," the posting reads. "They had three Finnish singers singing on most of the songs. The most known singer out side Finland is Timo Kotipelto of STRATOVARIUS. The other two are also very talented singers but only known in Finland — Maija Vilkkumaa (female) and Kirka."

The orchestra played the following 80-minute set:

01. Iron Man (instrumental)
02. Powerslave (instrumental)
03. Highway Star (vocals by Kotipelto)
04. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (vocals by Vilkkumaa)
05. Gates Of Babylon (instrumental)
06. War Pigs/Kashmir (medley) (vocals by Vilkkumaa)
07. Stairway To Heaven (instrumental)
08. Born To Be Wild (vocals by Kirka)
09. Heaven And Hell (vocals by Kotipelto)
10. I Surrender (vocals by Kirka)
11. The Sentinel
12. Paranoid/Smoke On The Water (vocals by all three singers)

The posting continues, "The arrangements were amazingly good. The songs were really in new form. The new maker must have been a real nero. The orchestra was not just playing exactly the same as on the original versions. The best example I might say was the 'Paranoid'/'Smoke On the Water' medley. The song went through mostly with the 'Paranoid' riffs but has 'Smoke On The Water' lyrics (except on chorus they played the 'S.O.T.W.' riff).

"In my opinion the flute player was the show itself. That old gray-haired man played the both guitar and Hammond parts with his flute so good and especially on 'Highway Star'. That was a really big one. All the other players were professional ones too and they did their job with great respect for the classic tracks. And the singers did their job excellent as well. I know Kotipelto has a great voice and attitude but Vilkkumaa surprised me even more singing old SABBATH stuff. She sounded very much like Ozzy. Very, very beautiful singing with the attitude.

"I'm still quite wordless how excellent the show was."

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