|Born on: 03.03.1966
Timo Tolkki (born March 3, 1966, in Nurmijärvi, Finland) is best known as the former guitarist, songwriter, and producer of the Finnish power metal band Stratovarius. He left Stratovarius in 2008 and formed a new band, Revolution Renaissance.
Tolkki joined Stratovarius in 1984. Prior to this, he had already played with the bands Antidote, Thunder and Road Block. At the beginning of his career with Stratovarius, he served as vocalist as well as handling all lead and rhythm guitars, and at times bass guitar (until long-term bassist Jari Kainulainen was hired). This led to an important decision after the band's third album, Dreamspace, which was to be the acquisition of singer and trained vocalist, Timo Kotipelto, in 1994. This was largely due to Tolkki's desire to evolve the 'sound' and overall musical direction of Stratovarius (which ultimately resulted in the remaining original members of the band, Tuomo Lassila and Antti Ikonen, being unceremoniously fired), as well as feeling the need to concentrate more exclusively on his own guitar work.
In that same year, Tolkki released his first solo album, Classical Variations And Themes, which had at the time been one of his longtime ambitions. The album turned out to be quite different from his work with Stratovarius; comprising influences of neo-classical metal and a focus on primarily instrumental compositions. In 2002 he released his second solo album, Hymn To Life, which showed a much more personal side; dealing with such emotional issues as his relationship with God and his late father.
At one point in 2004, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder following a nervous breakdown, which occurred some months after Stratovarius disbanded. After a period of rehabilitation, he went on to make a full recovery later that year and subsequently opened Goldenworks Mixing Suite, which was to be his own recording studio.
Tolkki then created a metal opera called Saana - Warrior of Light. Part One was released on March 14, 2008. It featured a number of guest vocalists, including soprano Jennifer Sowle in the lead role, as well as Aino Laos, Janette Sainio and Heikki Pöyhiä of Twilightning in other roles.