***‘Darkest Hours’ Mini-Album Released November 29th, Live @ Hard Rock Hell December 4th / Special Guests Of Helloween @ London Forum December 5th***

Seminal Symphonic Power Metal band Stratovarius have confirmed the release of ‘Darkest Hours’, a 5 track mini- album, on Edel’s earMUSIC label on November 29th, immediately prior to flying in to the UK from Scandinavia to play live at Hard Rock Hell in Wales on December 4th and at the Forum in London as special guests of Helloween on December 5th.

‘Darkest Hours’ is an appetiser for Stratovarius’ upcoming 13th full length studio album, ‘Elysium’, set for release on January 31st 2011. Two brand new studio tracks, ‘Darkest Hours’ and ‘Infernal Maze’, taken from the upcoming album, are included, plus a demo of ‘Darkest Hours’ and two unreleased live songs, ‘Against The Wind’ and ‘Black Diamond’, recorded on the band’s wildly successful ‘Polaris’ 2009/2010 world tour.

‘Darkest Hours’ an uplifting song about keeping the will to face difficult times in life and ending up being stronger, recalls the tumultuous period preceding the recording of Stratovarius’ hugely successful ‘Polaris’ album, released on Edel’s earMUSIC label in 2009.

Formed in Finland in 1984, Stratovarius, (whose moniker is a combination of Stratocaster and Stradivarius), parted company with their increasingly erratic band leader / chief songwriter / guitarist Timo Tolkki after the turbulent times following the release of their 11th self-titled studio album on Sanctuary Records in 2005.

Rather than throw the towel in, vocalist Timo Kotipelto, keyboard player Jens Johansson, bassist Lauri Porra and drummer Jorg Michael found themselves galvanised by a burst of creative energy and recruited the young and very talented lead guitarist Matias Kupiainen in the summer of 2008. Re-enervated, Stratovarius found the freedom to go into seclusion for almost a month in a cottage by the sea in a Finnish forest to relax, laugh, write songs, be creative together, and record. And they found themselves reborn.

‘Polaris’, released on Edel’s earMUSIC label in May 2009, was as hugely acclaimed by hardcore Stratovarius fans as the worldwide media, and charted higher than previous releases around the globe. Classic Rock’s Dave Ling proclaimed in the Magazine’s June 2009 issue; “‘Polaris’ stands head and shoulders above 2005’s Tolkki-era swansong, ‘Stratovarius’… The clarity and optimism, not to mention the return to a signature commercial sound, of Stratovarius’ 12th studio release, amounts to a virtual exclamation of relief.”

Totally rejuvenated after their triumphant return to the live stage on their extended ‘Polaris’ 2009/2010 world tour, Stratovarius began working on ‘Elysium’ in the summer of 2010. A wholly democratic creative process evolved, integrating the best of the diverse talents of all five band members in songwriting and recording, while the band’s talented new guitarist Matias Kupiainen additionally proved to be a natural, gifted producer.

‘Elysium’ recorded in 5-by-5 Studios in Helsinki, Finland, in Autumn 2010, a fresh, exuberant masterpiece, packed with nine technically excellent, elaborate melodic power metal hits, is all set to blast Stratovarius even further into rock’s heady stratosphere.

In Heaven – Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466

November 25th 2010.

© Work Hard PR 2010