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metal talk
24th September 2012

paul gray

earMUSIC has announced the release of 'Blackoustic', the first ever acoustic album by Stratovarius frontman and solo artist, Timo Kotipelto, joining forces with Jani Liimatainen (formerly of Sonata Arctica). Check out the official album trailer below.

The duo has been working together and playing acoustic shows for a while, the idea of recording an acoustic album together came from the fans, and so Blackoustic will see the light of day on October 19th, as Kotipelto explains:

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"The fans were recording our shows with their cell phones and they've been telling us that we should make an album, so they could have better quality recordings of the songs to listen at home. At first we were just joking about it, but after a while we thought 'Why not?'

"As far as we know, not many people have done it before, at least not within the heavier music genre. Our initial idea was to make a self-financed album with a relatively small pressing and then just maybe sell them at our shows."

But instead of making it a 'fan-club release' the duo has opted to work with the label earMUSIC/Edel, which also releases Stratovarius' work since the album 'Polaris'.

Most of the songs were chosen from the duo's live set-list, including familiar Stratovarius covers like 'Black Diamond' and 'Hunting High And Low', but also songs like 'Serenity' and 'Sleep Well' from Kotipelto's solo albums have been given the new acoustic treatment; proving that behind great Heavy Metal songs, there's very often a stunning melody screaming to come out.

Furthermore, the album includes beautiful cover versions of Pete Townsend's 'Behind Blue Eyes' and Deep Purple's classic 'Perfect Strangers'.

'Blackoustic' also features a brand new composition, 'Where My Rainbow Ends', written by Jani Liimatainen, who says: "I remembered a song I wrote last winter. Originally it was an instrumental track, but after listening back to it I thought that the melody would work very well with vocals. We re-arranged the song into our acoustic format and – as a slave of habit – I wrote the lyrics for it the night before our last day of recording. It turned out surprisingly beautiful and delicate."

"Jani's new song is a beautiful ballad", adds Kotipelto. "We have quite a few ballads on this album, as even the more rock oriented songs tend to sound more ballad-esque when performed by a duo."

'Blackoustic' was recorded at Kotipelto's cottage at Lappajärvi and mixed and mastered by the Stratovarius guitarist/studio wizard Matias Kupiainen.

The duo will also hit the road in Finland in support of the album, although the first show has been on the sea, performing at the Radio Rock-cruise on the Baltic Princess on September 8th.

'Sleep Well'
'Out In The Fields'
'Black Diamond'
'My Selene'
'Behind Blue Eyes'
'Hunting High And Low'
'Where My Rainbow Ends'
'Speed Of Light'
'Perfect Strangers'
'Coming Home'
'Rainbow Eyes'
'Karjalan Kunnailla'


19 – Nokia, Finland – Bar Pinta
20 – Helsinki, Finland – On The Rocks

10 – Kaarina, Finland – Old Texas
17 – Parikka, Finland – Parikkalan Asema
23 – Tampere, Finland – Amarillo-Tampere Sokos Hotel Ilves


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