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A Finland-based metal band that found success after spending years toiling and winning over fans as one of the leading unsigned groups in that country, Stam1na released their first album -- a self-titled affair -- in 2005. While the band was earning kudos and plaudits for its demos -- at the same time lighting up stages all over the country -- the record companies just weren't paying attention, until Sakara Records finally stepped in and signed the band to a deal. Once the debut was released, the band exploded onto the national metal scene, topping the genre charts and spending a couple of months on the mainstream album charts in Finland. Album number two, Uudet Kymmenen Käskyä, managed a Top Three placing, and the band then won the Best Metal Album of the Year prize at Finland's Emma Awards -- which could be best described as that nation's Grammy Awards. Stam1na spent the transition from 2007 to 2008 touring with Apocalyptica, as well as putting the final touches on their third release, Raja. The album, released in early 2008, would go on to occupy the top spot on their nation's album charts. ~ Chris True