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Kotipelto is the brainchild of a vocalist/songwriter Timo Kotipelto, best known as the frontman for the popular Finnish metal outfit Stratovarius. Kotipelto specializes in majestic/melodic Euro-power metal in the Iron Maiden tradition, with lyrics often centering on ancient Egyptian themes. Kotipelto's first release, Waiting for the Dawn, came out in 2002 via Century Media in the United States during a hiatus in activity for Stratovarius. The album featured an all-star lineup of progressive/power metal musicians, including bassist Jari Kainulainen (Stratovarius); guitarists Michael Romeo (Symphony X), Roland Grapow (formerly of Helloween), and Sami Virtanen (Warmen); keyboardists Janne Warman (Children of Bodom, Warmen) and Mikko Harkin (Sonata Arctica); and drummers Mirka Rantanen (Tunnel Vision) and Gas (HIM). While the band's style of music is still largely out of fashion in the U.S. (even if it does have its share of die-hard followers), Kotipelto has been commercially well-received in their native Finland, landing themselves in the Finnish Top Ten singles chart with songs such as Waiting for the Dawn's "Beginning." ~ William York

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