The "Dreamspace" lineup of STRATOVARIUS has reformed, returning under the moniker TIMO TOLKKI'S STRATO. Featuring Timo Tolkki (vocals and guitar),Tuomo Lassila (drums) and Antti Ikonen (keyboards),these members recorded the classic "Fright Night", "Twilight Time", "Dreamspace" and "Fourth Dimension" albums. Released in 1994, "Dreamspace" was the last STRATOVARIUS album to have Tolkki on lead vocals and includes such fan favorites as "Chasing Shadows", "Hold On To Your Dream", "We Are The Future" and "Wings Of Tomorrow". Tolkki recorded his vocals for the "Fourth Dimension" album demos before deciding to focus on guitar only and recruited Timo Kotipelto as vocalist. "Fourth Dimension" featured a number of standout tracks, including "Against The Wind", "Distant Skies", "Galaxies" and "Twilight Symphony".
In the summer 2022, Tolkki, Lassila and Ikonen met to discuss ideas to reform the original lineup, deciding to call themselves TIMO TOLKKI'S STRATO. In secrecy, they have been rehearsing in Tuomo's garage (real back to the roots!) since January 2023.This reconstituted lineup has signed a deal with Warner Music Japan and is currently recording its debut album, titled "Return To Dreamspace", to be released on October 27, preceded by the single "(Is This The) Brave New World?" A Japanese tour is planned for spring 2024, and Tolkki will visit Japan in November 2023 to promote the album — his first time there since 2007. Tours of Latin America and Europe are also in the works. In concert the band will be performing songs from "Return To Dreamspace" as well as from the STRATOVARIUS albums "Fright Night", "Twilight Time" and "Dreamspace".
Eric Cerda, the manager of Timo Tolkki, describes the music as "sounding like the classic 'Dreamspace' era but updated for the 2020s. Fans of melodic power metal — a genre that these guys pretty much defined — will love the new songs of TIMO TOLKKI'S STRATO, with fans of early STRATOVARIUS being especially pleased."
Lassila formed STRATOVARIUS in Helsinki 1984 and is responsible together with the original guitar player Staffan Stråhlman for the band's name STRATOVARIUS. One year later, Tolkki joined the band. STRATOVARIUS released its debut album, "Fright Night" (1989),through CBS Finland. From that started one of the biggest success stories in the history of melodic metal. They defined what is currently known as "power metal" with albums like "Fright Night", "Twilight Time" (1993),"Dreamspace" (1994) and "Fourth Dimension" (1995).
Tolkki wrote more than 100 songs for the band before leaving the group to embark on a successful solo career back in 2008, and is responsible for writing such power metal anthems like "Black Diamond", "Hunting High And Low", "Speed Of Light", "Paradise", "Forever" and "Destiny". More than four million copies of Tolkki-era STRATOVARIUS albums have been sold.