Polaris (Stratovarius album)

Polaris is the twelfth studio album by power metal band Stratovarius, released on 15 May 2009. It is the first Stratovarius album to feature bassist Lauri Porra and guitarist Matias Kupiainen, following former bassist Jari Kainulainen's departure from the band in 2005 and former guitarist Timo Tolkki's departure in 2008.

Stratovarius-Polaris cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released15 May 2009 (2009-05-15)[1]
RecordedSeptember–December 2008 at Finnvox Studios, Hästfittan Studios and 5 by 5 Audio in Pitäjänmäki; Musicworks; Timo Kotipelto's home; Der Bunker
Stratovarius chronology
Alternative cover
Stratovarius - 2009 - Polaris (vinyl).jpg
Vinyl edition
Singles from Polaris
  1. "Deep Unknown" / "Higher We Go"
    Released: 29 April 2009[3]
Professional ratings
Review scores

Timo Kotipelto, who at the time of Polaris' release had been a member of Stratovarius the longest (since 1994) among the current members, considered Polaris to be "the album that saved the band" and said that "without it there would not be any Stratovarius."[5] More time passed between the release of Stratovarius' eponymous album Stratovarius in 2005 and the release of Polaris than between any other two consecutive albums released by the band. Stratovarius in 2006[6] had recorded a demo album called Revolution Renaissance, performed one Revolution Renaissance song live in August 2007 ("Last Night on Earth") and according to Kotipelto had intended to release a completed version of the album in 2008.[7] However, the songs of that album were re-recorded and released in 2008 as New Era, the first album of Tolkki's new band, Revolution Renaissance, which acquired the album's prior name.

Polaris reached No. 2 on the Finnish albums chart, as well as reaching the top 70 in five other countries.[1][8] "Deep Unknown" was released as a single, reaching No. 20 on the Finnish singles chart.[9] In its first week of release, the album sold around 800 copies in the U.S.[10]

Track listingEdit

1."Deep Unknown"Timo KotipeltoMatias Kupiainen4:28
2."Falling Star"Lauri PorraPorra4:33
3."King of Nothing"Jens JohanssonJohansson6:43
5."Winter Skies"JohanssonJohansson5:50
6."Forever Is Today"PorraPorra4:40
7."Higher We Go"KotipeltoKotipelto, Kupiainen3:47
8."Somehow Precious"KotipeltoKotipelto, Kupiainen5:37
9."Emancipation Suite Part I: Dusk"PorraPorra6:57
10."Emancipation Suite Part II: Dawn"PorraPorra3:40
11."When Mountains Fall"PorraPorra3:12
Total length:54:55
Digipak edition bonus track
12."Deep Unknown (Mikko Raita Vinyl Mix)"KotipeltoKupiainen4:46
Japanese edition
1."Deep Unknown"Kotipelto, Kupiainen4:28
2."Falling Star"Porra4:33
3."King of Nothing"Johansson6:43
4."Second Sight"Kotipelto, Kupiainen4:25
6."Winter Skies"Johansson5:50
7."Forever Is Today"Porra4:40
8."Higher We Go"Kotipelto, Kupiainen3:47
9."Somehow Precious"Kotipelto, Kupiainen5:37
10."Emancipation Suite Part I: Dusk"Porra6:57
11."Emancipation Suite Part II: Dawn"Porra3:40
12."When Mountains Fall"Porra3:12
7" vinyl collector's edition
1."Second Sight (Mikko Karmilla Polycarbonate Mix)"Kotipelto, Kupiainen 
2."King Of Nothing (Matias Kupiainen Death Star Mix)"Johansson 
Digipak edition reissue live bonus disc
1."Destiny"Timo TolkkiTolkki10:12
2."Hunting High and Low"KotipeltoTolkki5:07
3."Speed of Light"KotipeltoTolkki3:14
4."The Kiss of Judas"KotipeltoTolkki6:54
5."Deep Unknown"KotipeltoKupiainen5:08
6."A Million Light Years Away"TolkkiTolkki5:33
7."Bach: Air Suite"(instrumental)Johann Sebastian Bach2:17
8."Winter Skies"JohanssonJohansson5:19
10."SOS"Tolkki, KotipeltoTolkki3:55
11."Forever is Today"PorraPorra5:15
12."King of Nothing"JohanssonJohansson6:39
13."Father Time"Kotipelto, Richard JohnsonTolkki5:19
14."Higher We Go"KotipeltoKotipelto, Kupiainen4:07
Total length:75:07



Additional creditsEdit

  • Seppo Rautasuo – strings (track 11)
  • Heikki Hämäläinen – strings (track 11)
  • Heikki Vehmanen – strings (track 11)
  • Kari Lindstedt – strings (track 11)
  • Perttu Vänskä – strings arrangement (tracks 1, 8), strings programming (tracks 1, 8), engineering (acoustic guitar; track 11), additional Pro Tools editing
  • Pessi Levanto – strings arrangement (track 11)
  • Alexi Parviainen – background vocals
  • Marko Waara – background vocals
  • Tipe Johnson – background vocals
  • Tony Kakko – background vocals
  • Tommi Vainikainen – engineering (strings; track 11)
  • Mikko Karmila – mixing
  • Mikko Raita – mixing (track 11)
  • Svante Forsbäck – mastering

Release historyEdit

Following Polaris' original release, a Digipak edition was reissued on 21 May 2010, containing a bonus disc of live recordings from the 2009–10 Polaris world tour.[11]

Region Date Label
Europe 15 May 2009 Edel[1]
Japan Victor[12]
United States Armoury[11]
Europe (reissue) 21 May 2010 Edel[11]

Chart performanceEdit


Year Chart Position
2009 Finnish albums chart 2[1]
Italian albums chart 47[8]
German albums chart 55[10]
Swiss albums chart 57[1]
Billboard Heatseekers 57[10]
French albums chart 62[1]


Year Title Chart Position
2009 "Deep Unknown" Finnish singles chart 20[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Stratovarius - Polaris (album)". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  2. ^ Polaris (CD release "0196732ERE").
  3. ^ "Stratovarius: 'Deep Unknown' Video Available". Blabbermouth. 2009-04-21. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  4. ^ Prato, Greg. "Polaris - Stratovarius". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  5. ^ Timo Kotipelto photocard released with Digipak edition CD of Stratovarius' Elysium.
  6. ^ "TIMO TOLKKI: 'STRATOVARIUS Is No More'". Blabbermouth. 2008-04-02. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
  7. ^ "Stratovarius - Last Night on Earth (WOA 2007)". YouTube post of a 2007 Wacken Open Air (WOA) concert. 2007-08-04. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
  8. ^ a b "Classifica settimanale dal 15/05/2009 al 21/05/2009 (Negozi specializzati)" at the Wayback Machine (archived April 4, 2012). (in Italian). FIMI. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  9. ^ a b "Stratovarius - Deep Unknown (song)". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  10. ^ a b c "Stratovarius: 'Polaris' First-Week Sales Revealed". Blabbermouth. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  11. ^ a b c "Stratovarius: 'Polaris' To Be Reissued With Live CD". Blabbermouth. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  12. ^ "Stratovarius: 'Polaris' Artwork Unveiled". Blabbermouth. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2014-01-09.

External linksEdit