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Artension is a North American neo-classical progressive metal band, founded in 1993 by keyboardist Vitalij Kuprij. The band split up after recording seven albums from 1996 to 2004, but reformed in 2016 with the intention of releasing an eighth album.

It was sometime in 1992 / 1993, when Vitalij Kuprij, who was studying classical music in Switzerland at that time, met Roger Staffelbach, a Swiss guitarist who was also studying at the Jazz School in Lucerne.

They founded their band "Atlantis Rising", which played several instrumental gigs in Switzerland. After having recorded some demos, they got in touch with Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records, who showed great interest in the band but suggested to add some vocal lines to their songs.

Vitalij had already known stunning drummer Mike Terrana from one of Yngwie Malmsteen's tours. His friend, bassist Kevin Chown, also joined the band and enriched their sound with solid experience and great musicianship, and Artension was born.

Mike Varney introduced Vitalij and Roger to several musicians, one of them being John West, whose soaring vocals, along with Vitalij's and Roger's lightning-fast solos, became the trademark for Artension's neo-classical and aggressive music.


Artension is een Noord-Amerikaanse neo-klassieke progressieve metal band, opgericht in 1993 door toetsenist Vitalij Kuprij. De band ging uit elkaar na het opnemen van zeven albums 1996-2004, maar kwam weer bij elkaar in 2016 met de bedoeling hun achtste album uit te brengen.

Het was ergens in 1992 / 1993, toen Vitalij Kuprij, die klassieke muziek studeerde in Zwitserland, op dat moment Roger Staffelbach ontmoette, een Zwitserse gitarist die ook studeerde aan de Jazz School in Luzern.

Ze richtten hun band "Atlantis Rising" op, waarmee ze verschillende instrumentale optredens in Zwitserland speelden. Na enkele demo's te hebben opgenomen, kwamen ze in contact met Mike Varney van Shrapnel Records, die grote belangstelling voor de band toonde, maar stelde voor om enkele zanglijnen toe te voegen aan hun nummers.

Vitalij kon drummer Mike Terrana al van één van de tours van Yngwie Malmsteen. Zijn vriend, bassist Kevin Chown, was ook lid geworden van de band en verrijkte hun geluid met gedegen ervaring en grote muzikaliteit en Artension werd geboren.

Mike Varney had Vitalij en Roger aan verschillende muzikanten voorgesteld. Een van hen was John West, waarvan de zang, samen met razendsnelle solo´s van Vitalij en Roger, het handelsmerk werd voor Artension's neo-klassieke en agressieve muziek.

John West's official home page   


Into the Eye of the Storm (1996)

Phoenix Rising (1997)

Forces of Nature (1999)

Machine (2000)

Sacred Pathways (2001)

New Discovery (2002)

Future World (2004)



John West - Vocals (1996–2005, 2016-present) (Royal Hunt)

Roger Staffelbach - Guitar (1993–2005, 2016-present) (Yngwie Malmsteen)

Vitalij Kuprij - Keyboard (1993–2005, 2016-present)

Chris Caffery - Guitar (2016-present) (SavatageTrans-Siberian Orchestra)

Former members

Steve DiGiorgio - Bass (2004–2005) (DeathAutopsyControl DeniedEphel DuathObscura, Faust, Memorain, Painmuseum, Suicide Shift, SoenVintersorgDragonlordIced EarthSebastian BachObituarySadusDark HallFutures End, Synesis Absorption, Mythodea,  Charred Walls of the Damned,  Anatomy of I,  and Testament)

Mike Terrana - Drums (1996–1998, 2001–2005) ( Yngwie MalmsteenTony MacalpineSteve LukatherRageGamma RaySavage CircusAxel Rudi PellRoland GrapowMasterplanTarja Turunen,  and Vision Divine)

Kevin Chown - Bass (1996–1998, 2001–2004)

John Onder - Bass (1999–2000)

Shane Gaalaas - Drums (1999–2000) (Michael SchenkerYngwie MalmsteenUli Jon RothVinnie Moore, and Jeff Kollman)

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Ballads   Play all   

Heavy   Play all   

Tall ships   

The key   

Red´s discovery (Into the eye of the storm) 

Lost memory   

Forbidden love   

Phoenix rising   

Valley of the kings   


Endless days   

Future world   

Into the blue   

Symphonic expedition   

Hearts are broken   

Forces of nature   

Let it ride   

The emperor   

Your victory