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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



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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