Posts tagged ‘sonata arctica’

February 22, 2014

Album 0431: Sonata Arctica – Stones Grow Her Name

Sonata-Arctica-Stones-Grow-Her-Name-Artwork

Release Date: 2012
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Only The Broken Hearts (Make You Beautiful) (03:24)
2. Shitload Of Money (04:52)
3. Losing My Insanity (04:03)
4. Somewhere Close To You (04:14)
5. I Have A Right (04:48)
6. Alone In Heaven (04:32)
7. The Day (04:15)
8. Cinderblox (04:04)
9. Don’t Be Mean (03:18)
10. Wildfire, Part II: One With The Mountain (07:54)
11. Wildfire, Part III: Wildfire Town, Population 0 (07:57)
12. Tonight I Dance Alone (03:27)

Total Length: 56:45

Only The Broken Hearts (Make You Beautiful) starts the album fairly well, with a cheesy and nearly-generic song. The vocals save it though, and it is pretty catchy. Shitload Of Money is just bland and boring. It’s just vulgar for no reason from a band that never does that, and is basically a straight up rock song that offers nothing interesting. Losing My Insanity on the other hand is fun and an interesting blend of this newer style with the fast pace from their older albums.

Somewhere Close To You has some weird tendencies in it, but the band’s style does shine through and I still really like it. I Have A Right is the same deal, the atmosphere and Tony Kakko’s voice make this song very cool. I just don’t like the guitars, oddly. Alone In Heaven is a really standard ballad, the band can output much better than this. The Day can qualify as that type of song as well, but it’s way better. It has a cheesy intro, but it’s so worth it later on in the song in the prechorus. There’s even a mini Queen bit, just fantastic.

Cinderblox is awesome, screw anyone that says otherwise. The banjo is great and the song is just fun as hell. Don’t Be Mean is a decent, slower track, but it just kind of kills the pace. Wildfire, Part II: One With The Mountain has a neat intro, but the bit with the modulated voice and solo drum set is always tough to listen to. The actual song following that is great, it’s kind of progressive and a good show for the band. Wildfire, Part III: Wildfire Town, Population 0 is heavier while still progressive, and outstanding as well, outside of the ending. Tonight I Dance Alone is completely boring, one of their worst bonus tracks. This album has some standout moments, but they don’t have the magic they used to.

Final Rating: 7/10

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February 19, 2013

Album 0251: Sonata Arctica – Ecliptica

Sonata_Arctica-Ecliptica-Frontal

Release Date: 1999
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Blank File (04:06)
2. My Land (04:37)
3. 8th Commandment (03:42)
4. Replica (04:55)
5. Kingdom For A Heart (03:52)
6. Fullmoon (05:08)
7. Letter To Dana (06:01)
8. UnOpened (03:43)
9. Picturing The Past (03:37)
10. Destruction Preventer (07:45)
11. Mary-Lou (04:33)
12. Letter To Dana (Returned To Sender) (04:39)

Total Length: 56:37

Blank File is a fantastic track to kick off the album. It’s fast, melodic, and catchy. Surprisingly the lyrics even still kind of hold up today. My Land takes a bit of a slower pace but is still fun. I really like some of the melodies in it and the chorus is fairly good. 8th Commandment is almost a little too hectic but the vocal melodies are pretty cool. Replica is a very good song that I don’t pay enough attention to. At times I feel it might be a touch too long, but it’s really not a big complaint.

Kingdom For A Heart has always been one of my favorites from the band. It gets stuck in my head easily, and I like how Tony Kakko will make fun of his own phrasing on this song during live performances. Fullmoon is fun to listen to, but I never really think of it as being one of the band’s better songs. That probably made no sense, but basically it just doesn’t do a whole ton for me. Letter To Dana is a nice ballad. The lyrics can get kind of strange, but I like this song pretty well.

UnOpened is a fun basic power metal track. I love the harpsichord patch used throughout and the chorus is great. Picturing The Past has some really neat rhythms in it, it kind of bounces around. Destruction Preventer is the band’s first attempt at a larger song, and I’ve never really been able to get into it. I like the first half, but the second slows down and isn’t interesting to keep my interest. After a tiny bit of silence at the end of the track there is a nice callback to Letter To Dana.

Mary-Lou is a neat song. Again the lyrics may be odd but they are charming and the chorus stands out here. Letter To Dana (Returned To Sender) is a re-recording of the song from 2008. It mostly sticks to the slower pace of the opening instead of revving up, and I like the keyboards in this but I think I prefer the original version more. This is kind of a classic power metal album. There are a couple small hiccups in my view, but the energy on this album kind of overcomes that.

Final Rating: 8/10

May 23, 2012

Album 0038: Sonata Arctica – The Days Of Grays

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

DISC ONE

1. Everything Fades To Gray (03:07)
2. Deathaura

    I. The Premonition
    II. The Witch-Hunt
    III. Exposing The Heathen
    IV. Envy
    V. The Fear
    VI. The Grudge
    VII. The Curse
    VIII. The Flames
    IX. Endless Inquisition
    X. …Together Today, For All Eternity (07:59)

3. The Last Amazing Grays (05:40)
4. Flag In The Ground (04:09)
5. Breathing (03:55)
6. Zeroes (04:24)
7. The Dead Skin (06:15)
8. Juliet (05:59)
9. No Dream Can Heal A Broken Heart (04:43)
10. As If The World Wasn’t Ending (03:49)
11. The Truth Is Out There (05:04)
12. Everything Fades To Gray (04:32)
13. In The Dark (05:22)
14. Nothing More (03:58)
15. In My Eyes You’re A Giant (04:42)

DISC TWO (ORCHESTRAL)

1. Deathaura

    I. The Premonition
    II. The Witch-Hunt
    III. Exposing The Heathen
    IV. Envy
    V. The Fear
    VI. The Grudge
    VII. The Curse
    VIII. The Flames
    IX. Endless Inquisition
    X. …Together Today, For All Eternity (07:57)

2. The Last Amazing Grays (05:10)
3. Flag In The Ground (03:55)
4. Juliet (06:02)
5. As If The World Wasn’t Ending (03:56)
6. The Truth Is Out There (05:07)
7. In The Dark (05:22)

Total Length: 01:50:56

Everything Fades To Gray is just an instrumental version the first time around, and it’s a great intro to the album. Deathaura is one of the bigger songs the band has done, with a lot of different bits and parts coming together, and in my opinion at points being one of their heaviest songs. It’s just fantastic. The Last Amazing Grays is a very cool track, I especially love the chorus and it really highlights how cool Sonata Arctica’s newer material is. Flag In The Ground is actually a reworking of a song from one of their first demos, which is cool to hear. It’s still a classic power metal track, but recorded in their newer style which puts a twist in it.

Breathing is a pretty good softer song. It doesn’t compare to some of their other works, in that it doesn’t get stuck in my head but it’s pleasant to listen to. Zeroes is one of the more chaotic songs on the album, I love the odd vocal effects and keyboard sounds filtering in and out. The Dead Skin is a very cool track. I think it might go on just a tad too long, but it’s not a big deal. Juliet is an awesome song, I love it.

No Dream Can Heal A Broken Heart is fairly good, I especially like the female vocals. As If The World Wasn’t Ending is alright, it really doesn’t catch me like it should. The Truth Is Out There has a freaking awesome intro, but the rest of the song doesn’t quite live up to it. Everything Fades To Gray this time has vocals and is a bit longer. Fairly neat, but I like the backing music more than the lyrics.

In The Dark has a cool chorus, but doesn’t snag me in otherwise. Nothing More is fairly neat, again I can’t get hooked onto it. In My Eyes You’re A Giant has some pretty neat riffs. The orchestral CD kicks off with Deathaura, which I think loses a bit without the guitars. Some of the section changes simply don’t hit as hard and have as much meaning. It’s still a great song though. The Last Amazing Grays is honestly not that interesting in this form.

Flag In The Ground works very well like this, the orchestral elements work with the lyrics and theme. Juliet is still a pretty great song. As If The World Wasn’t Ending doesn’t seem too much different and I’m still not into it. The Truth Is Out There actually works a lot better here. In The Dark is kind of boring here, honestly. Overall the orchestral songs are neat but don’t add much. When taking everything together, I don’t mind listening to this album. Even the song that don’t catch me are still good songs.

Final Rating: 8/10