2002 - Hymn To Life

2013-05-04 15:50
Timo Tolkki
Release date: 
January 28th, 2002
Line up
Michael Kiske
Timo Tolkki
Sharon Den Adel
Timo Tolkki
Timo Tolkki
Anssi Nykänen
Mika Ervaskari
Mika Ervaskari
Timo Tolkki
Track list

Information Timo Tolkki Hymn To Life

- The album was mastered, mixed and produced by Timo Tolkki. Mastered By Pauli Saastamoinen.
- The track 'Hymn to Life' includes a speech of Charlie Chaplin from the movie The Great Dictator.
- Album was released first in Japan on January 23rd and later in Europe by Nuclear Blast on January 28th.
- The re-edition with the album remastered and in digipack, limited to 2000 copies, was released by the label Metal Mind was released on 25.08.2008 Europe / 28.10.2008 USA. Here is a part of the official statement released:

This exclusive re-edition of Hymn To Life brings a truly memorable musical experience, inspired by such rock legends as Pink Floyd and OSI. With this release Timo Tolkki proves his skills as one of the best rock/power metal guitarists of all times. New digipak edition is limited to 2000 copies. Digitally remastered using 24-Bit process on golden disc. Metal Mind Productions will release it on 25th August 2008 in Europe and 28th October 2008 in USA (via MVD).

- Michael Kiske sings on 'Key To The Universe'. (Also in Japanese bonus track 'strings version')

Different editions Hymn To Life

Timo Tolkki Hymn To Life Japanese editionTimo Tolkki Hymn To Life Pre-listening promo editionTimo Tolkki Hymn To Life remaster digipack limited editonTimo Tolkki Hymn To Life Cassette edition Russian IronD label

01. CD Standard edition: Nuclear Blast release with 10 tracks.
02. CD Japanese edition: 10 tracks + 'Key To The Universe - Strings Version'. (Same than Korean edition).
03. CD Digipack edition: by Metal Mind, limited 2000 copies, re-mastered with 10 tracks in digipack. (2008/08/25)
04. CD Press Promo: 10 tracks.
05. CD Pre-listening Promo: 10 tracks.
06. Cassette edition: Russian edition in cassette by the label IronD.

Musicians in Tolkki's Hymn To Life

The main musician is Timo Tolkki who recorded the guitars, bass included, keyboards and also vocals.

Guests: Michael Kiske sings on 'Keys To The Universe' and Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation) is the guest vocalist on 'Are You The One'.

Timo Tolkki: "Anssi Nykänen, a top Finnish session drummer played the drums, Mika Ervaskari (original Stratovarius keyboarder from 85-87) played the keys, Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) sang 'Key to the Universe', Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation) sang 'Are You the One?' I sang the rest, played bass, guitar, some keys, recorded, produced and mixed the album."

Timo Tolkki about Kiske collaboration: "Well, he is my friend since a few years. We talk about things, about thoughts..., I wrote that song thinking in his voice. He told me he would sing if he will like the song. I sent to him the tape with a demo and he loved it. So he did it and I'm glad with the result. It was easy."

Promotional stuff - Artwork information

- The cover artwork and concept was done by Derek Riggs (Iron Maiden, Stratovarius...) The layout was done by Rade Puolakka and the photographies by Jouko Lehtola.

Timo Tolkki about the cover: "Derek Riggs had done the cover artworks of Infinite and Intermission in Stratovarius and this cover was his idea."


Timo Tolkki about Hymn To Life

It was recorded in a place called Hästholmen, not a studio, but a house by the sea near Helsinki where I brought my recording gear. I also wrote the songs there. I was there basically from February to June 2001, and then from August to September and then mixed the album at Finnvox studios.

This album is a trip into my childhood and into my life in general and also into life how I see it. I am writing about painful childhood experiences, about love, about life, about the world, about the universe, about god, religion, wars etc. The songs and lyrics are by far the most personal I have ever written. It was a perfect chance for me to forget all the frames of what a metal band many times tend to have. I didn’t set myself any limits musically or lyrically, and I think I succeeded pretty well. Many times it is very hard to categorize what style of song is playing.


Timo Tolkki about Kiske collaboration

"Kiske recorded the vocals at his studio by himself. That's the way he likes it. I sent him the demo that I sang and lyrics, and I told him that he can change the melody a bit, but asked him to stick to the lyrics. He didn't change anything. The finished song is very close to the original demo that I sang.... of course his is far more better than mine.

I was considering this song to be the title track of the album. It is one of the earliest songs that I wrote, and I had the basic melody in my mind from long time ago. Kiske said that it reminded him of Queen. The guitar part may sound a little like that. Queen is my recent favorite. The lyric of this song is about Love. This world can be far more better with love. When we look around, we don't really see love in this world anymore... there are a lot of people who force their idelogy on others arrogantly. That's not the way to get good results."

Press ratings Tolkki Hymn To Life

Webzine - Radio - Magazine Rating 0/10
Burrn! magazine 8,4
Metalobserver.com 8
Metal-archives.com 7,6
Spirit-of-metal.com 7,5
Progvisions.nl 6
Seaoftranquility.org 6
Blabbermouth.com 5
Xuz.me 5
Soulmetal blog Tip


Catalog numbers
CD edition27361 66142Nuclear Blast
CD Japanese editionVICP 61696Victor Entertainment
South Korean editionSRCD-2602Victor Entertainment
Digipack remastered editionMASS CDMetal Mind
Gold Disc edition1220 DGMetal Mind