|Thunderstone was formed in early 2000 by guitarist Nino Laurenne. The band began as a project for Nino's new songs that he wanted to record. After the first demo, Nino felt like putting together a real band. Mirka Rantanen was playing drums on the first demo and was willing to go on. Bass player Titus Hjelm and Nino were old bandmates from their former band Antidote. With their past experience of fruitful teamwork, Titus was glad to join Thunderstone as a regular member. Next person to join the band was singer Pasi Rantanen who had sung backing vocals on the first demo (Nino sang the leads back then). In the late fall of 2000 newly formed Thunderstone hit the studio with great results: three extremely well played and mixed power metal gems to drive the metalheads around the world crazy! Next months the band composed and rehearsed new material which was ready for recording in the summer of 2001. By this time the band had evolved into a five-piece with the addition of Kari Tornack on keyboards. Three new metal anthems ended up in the new demo. Four of the songs recorded in these two sessions were available through mp3.com and earned enthusiastic praise from around the world.
A promo CD including songs from both demos caught Nuclear Blast's attention in the late fall of 2001. After negotiating a deal with the no. 1 Heavy Metal Record Company in the world, the band went back to the studio on January 2002 to record their self-titled debut album, which was released in June 2002. The album featured outstanding cover art by Thomas Ewerhard and Timo Tolkki guest starring on lead guitar in one of the tracks. The songs and the band's performance on the album showcased the individual members' talent and experience of over a decade in different line-ups put together in single dynamite package. Critics around the world commended the album for its energy, tight performance and accomplished compositions.
Rest of 2002 was spent promoting the material through interviews in the international press and gigging, mainly in Finland with a short but memorable excursion to France. Building up the performing experience, in the beginning of 2003 the band prepared for an European tour supporting Stratovarius, simultaneously rehearsing new material for the second album. As the spring went on, the Finnish Metal Machine embarked on a journey through Europe, no doubt returning with fond memories and a lot to tell about the rock'n'roll lifestyle, drinking and general mayhem. But more of that to come...