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   SONATA ARCTICA
Reckoning Night
2004
Nuclear Blast
http://www.sonataarctica.info


rating: 5/5

1. Misplaced
2. Blinded No More
3. Ain't Your Fairytale
4. Reckoning Day, Reckoning Night
5. Don't Say A Word
6. The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Real Puppet
7. My Selene
8. Wildfire
9. White Pearl, Black Oceans
10. Shamandalie

At first, I was a bit sceptical regarding the new Sonata Arctica CD "Reckoning Night", for I liked the 2003 record "Winterheart's Guild" better, at least after the first couple of times hearing it. But the media was more convinced by the actual album, and I still can't agree with that, but the more often you hear the CD the better it gets indeed! The disadvantage of "Reckoning Night" is the mentioned thing, that you need to hear it way more often...but once you have found the sympathy, you don't want to get rid of it!

The opener "Misplaced" is a keyboard-orientated fast song, where vocalist Tony Kakko shows the wide range of his voice. "Blinded No More" is quite similar to the single "Broken" from the previous album but the level is not quite as high. "Ain't Your Fairytale" could be familiar to you through the single "Don't Say A Word", a nice, fast and easy song. The keyboard-instrumental "Reckoning Day, Reckoning Night" can be seen as an introduction to the single's titletrack "Don't Say A Word", a song that reminds me a bit of Nightwish because that bombastic style isn't what Sonata Arctica can do best. But nevertheless, the catchy melodies crawl into your ear, I guarantee ;-) Next one is a strange song called "The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Real Puppet", a kind of slow song, dominated by progressive elements and unusual keyboard- and vocal-melodies. "My Selene" is another typical fast Sonata Arctica song, no absolute highlight (which is still to come), but a good song, mainly because of the catchy melody within the chorus. Remarkable is the fact that this is the first song not written by Tony Kakko but by guitarist Jani Liimatainen. The most crazy song on the CD is definitely "Wildfire". After a spoken introduction, the song starts with full speed. Very good is the second vocalist who is screaming only two lines but fits really well into the aggressively sung stanza; by the way, keyboarder Henrik Klingenberg (ex-Requiem) did this live, maybe he did it here as well. These are the songs, that are most fun when I listen to Sonata Arctica! But the real highlight is still to come: "White Pearl, Black Oceans", a stylistic mix of the mentioned "Broken" and "The Power Of One" (from the 2001-record "Silence"). The song has a great melody that is appearing over and over again throughout the whole song. Also the speed is variated a lot, sometimes slow and dreamy like a ballad, sometimes heavy with loads of double-bass. The last song is a ballad, "Shamandalie" (being the next single CD). It proves that songwriter Tony Kakko cannot only write fast stuff, but also slower songs and ballads, but anyway, he proved it in the past as well.

All in all, I must say that the Finnish quintett has finally arrived in the premiere league of the melodic power metal genre and don't have to hide behind "stars" like Stratovarius and Gamma Ray. And, the tour in october 2004 has been a great success, the best live concert for me in the whole year 2004!! Go on like that, guys - live and on CD! You rock!!!

submitted by Paddy 08.01.2005

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