Artension was the brainchild of Shrapnel Records head Mike Varney. He received a demo from wunderkind keyboardist Vitalij Kuprij and progressive axeman Roger Staffelbach of a project they called "Atlantis Rising". Varney began to look for other musicians to round out the lineup. After a lot of consideration, Varney presented Vitalij and Roger with vocalist John West, Bassist Kevin Chown, and drummer Mike Terrana. The result was a band called Artension (named by the band for a combination of the words "art" and "tension") and a CD called "Into the Eye of the Storm". The group followed that release with three other progressive rock masterpieces including their second album, "Phoenix Rising". Subsequently, after the demise of Artension, John West became the lead singer of Royal Hunt, Vatalij Kuprij became the keyboardist of the Transsiberian Orchestra, and pursued his career as a concert pianist, Roger Staffelbach formed his own band Angel of Eden. Drummer Mike Terrana moved to Europe and recorded and toured with Tony MacAlpine among many others and Kevin Chown continued his career as a songwriter, recording artist and producer, recording with the Bombastic Meatbats featuring Chad Smith of the " Red Hot Chili Peppers.