When Niko Rauhala and Janne Juutinen decided to form a band in the spring of 2002, they had to think of a good name for a band that would have surprising and clever songs. After some brainstorming, they came up with a name that seemed to fit them perfectly: MASTERSTROKE. Of course.
After a few line-up changes and well-received demos, in 2005 the band went to the studio, but this time to record a ... [More]full-length album. Arto Tissari played the bass on the album, but after the recordings he chose to concentrate on the other bands he plays in. The band wished him all the best and welcomed a new bass player, Marko Kolehmainen. The Masterstroke debut album Apocalypse was ready in the spring of 2005 and the band was stronger than ever.
Masterstroke also found a record company which was supposed to release Apocalypse worldwide. Unfortunately the company was unable to carry out these intentions, and in the end the album was only released in Japan and Russia (which makes it rather like a collector's item).
If anything, the setback gave the band even more determination. In 2006 Masterstroke played some gigs and wrote new songs, this time in a slightly more aggressive vein. The band started to prepare for a new album in MSTR-studio, even though they didn't know who would release it and when. The pre-production began in the autumn, and in early 2007 Masterstroke sent the pre-production CD to some record companies. A couple of them were seriously interested in the band, but after some negotiations, one of them turned out better than the rest. After some messages, phone calls and meetings, Masterstroke signed a deal with the Finnish record company Dynamic Arts Records.
Late 2007 saw the release of Sleep, along with a single of the track Turn Away. After what happened to Apocalypse (or didn't, as it were), the band saw this as a new beginning. And a great new start it was. Lots of gigs in support of the album all over Finland and then in the spring of 2008, Masterstroke was invited to support Jon Oliva's Pain along with Manticora on their European tour. Highlights in this 3,5 weeks of touring include opening for Primal Fear and Scorpions. More shows followed during the summer of '08, including an appearance in Sauna Open Air metal festival.
Then it was time once more to hit the studio. As with the previous album, drums were recorded in Fantom Studio by Samu Oittinen. This time, everything else (except mastering) was done "in-house" in MSTR-studio. Mastering was once again done by Svante Forsbäck of Chartmakers.
The result? A relentless barrage of ass-kicking, powerful and emotional songs delivered in world-class quality as only Masterstroke can! Be prepared As Days Grow Darker!!