Saturday, November 13
Tolkki was "shocked and hurt" when his former bandmates from Stratovarius took the rights for the band's name and profits and went on running, but stubbornly put his nose to the grindstone and churned out the trio of RR albums. These aren't bad albums, but they're not spectacular either. The first, "New Era", is a relatively unimpressive piece of work, perhaps most comparable with Tolkki's last album with Stratovarius. "Age of Aquarius" was a step in a different direction, being darker, slower, and less metal, but again not a bad release. Many were expecting the final Revolution Renaissance album, "Trinity", to be weaker yet. Fear heightened when, before the album was even released, Tolkki declared the breakup of RR, claiming to be taking a hefty or permanent break from music.
However, Trinity turned out to be a pretty decent piece of work (I'll have my review of it up here very soon), and it left me hungry for some more of Tolkki's material. He finally made a comeback to some GOOD metal, and then looked like he was going to give up altogether!
Recently, however, there was an announcement that Tolkki, along with a number of other well-known metal musicians, would be forming a melodic metal supergroup entitled Symfonia (including such big names as Uli Kusch and Andre Matos). Symfonia is currently recording material for their first album, and will also begin live shows February of 2011. The first record is due out spring of the same year.
So, while perhaps not the driving creative force behind Symfonia, it seems we'll get to see Tolkki back in action after all. Despite his bumbling lately, his original work with Stratovarius established him as a veteran guitarist and songwriter. Despite all of his dishonesty and mental issues, I see Mr. Tolkki as a troubled but well-meaning individual. The Revolution Renaissance project, while not stellar, was a reasonably interesting piece of work, and his upcoming cooperation with Symfonia is promising. Timo is well on the road to redeeming himself for many people, and already has in the eyes of this fan (besides, it's not like Stratovarius needs him anymore anyways :P).