SONATA ARCTICA

Power Metal / Symphonic Metal / Heavy Metal • Finland
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Sonata Arctica was formed in 1996 on the edge of the world, in the northern Finnish town of Kemi.

Originally was formed as Tricky Beans, they released few demos and as they got the contract they had to change their name. In 1999 the band recorded a new demo "FullMoon" in Tico Tico Studios located in their hometown, Kemi. At the time of recording the line-up consisted of: Tony (vocals/keys), Jani (guitars), Tommy (drums), and Janne (bass). This new demo was the first exploration for the band in heavy metal waters. The band's trademark sound of fast, melodic and keyboard oriented heavy metal with clear, high vocals was born. As fate would have it, and with help from Ahti Kortelainen of Tico Tico Studios, the "FullMoon" demo found its way to the premier metal label of Finland, Spinefarm. At the same time Tricky Beans became Sonata Arctica.

Summer of
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EclipticaEcliptica
Spinefarm 2008
$5.63
$3.64 (used)
SilenceSilence
Spinefarm 2008
$5.63
$3.93 (used)
Winterheart's GuildWinterheart's Guild
Spinefarm 2006
$6.06
$6.76 (used)
The Ninth HourThe Ninth Hour
Nuclear Blast America 2016
$7.49
$5.48 (used)
The Days Of GraysThe Days Of Grays
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$8.96
$7.54 (used)
Pariah's ChildPariah's Child
Nuclear Blast America 2014
$8.00
$6.70 (used)
Stones Grow Her Name (Deluxe Digipak)Stones Grow Her Name (Deluxe Digipak)
Deluxe Edition · Extra tracks
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$9.21
$4.23 (used)
Ecliptica RevisitedEcliptica Revisited
Metalville 2014
$7.89
$5.98 (used)
Reckoning Night/Unia limited edition double discReckoning Night/Unia limited edition double disc
Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast America 2013
$12.99
Silence [2 LP]Silence [2 LP]
Limited Edition
Spinefarm 2017
$19.97
$28.69 (used)
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SONATA ARCTICA The Ninth Hour CD SONATA ARCTICA The Ninth Hour CD USD $8.08 Buy It Now 2h 35m
Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica [CD] Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica [CD] USD $8.89 Buy It Now 6h
Sonata Arctica - Silence [CD] Sonata Arctica - Silence [CD] USD $9.67 Buy It Now 6h
SONATA ARCTICA - STONES GROW HER NAME+1 Japan 1st PRINT w/OBI (MICP-11060) *NEW* SONATA ARCTICA - STONES GROW HER NAME+1 Japan 1st PRINT w/OBI (MICP-11060) *NEW* USD $23.92 Buy It Now 7h
SONATA ARCTICA - WINTERHEART'S GUILD+1 Japan w/Box & Photo (MICP-10351) *NEW* SONATA ARCTICA - WINTERHEART'S GUILD+1 Japan w/Box & Photo (MICP-10351) *NEW* USD $29.90 Buy It Now 7h
Sonata Arctica 2002 Songs Of Silence Live In Tokyo Taiwan OBI 13 Track CD Album Sonata Arctica 2002 Songs Of Silence Live In Tokyo Taiwan OBI 13 Track CD Album USD $99.99 Buy It Now 8h
Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica~Revisited (15th Anniversary Edition) New Sealed CD Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica~Revisited (15th Anniversary Edition) New Sealed CD USD $18.99 Buy It Now 9h
Sonata Arctica - The Ninth Hour 2016 Korea Edition New Sealed CD Sonata Arctica - The Ninth Hour 2016 Korea Edition New Sealed CD USD $17.99 Buy It Now 9h
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SONATA ARCTICA-SILENCE (2LP/LIMITED)  (UK IMPORT)  VINYL LP NEW SONATA ARCTICA-SILENCE (2LP/LIMITED) (UK IMPORT) VINYL LP NEW USD $29.79 Buy It Now 13h
SONATA ARCTICA-WINTERHEART`S GUILD (LP)  (UK IMPORT)  VINYL LP NEW SONATA ARCTICA-WINTERHEART`S GUILD (LP) (UK IMPORT) VINYL LP NEW USD $29.79 Buy It Now 13h
CAIN'S OFFERING CAIN'S OFFERING "Stormcrow" NEW CD 2015 Power Metal, Stratovarius Sonata Arctica USD $9.99 Buy It Now 14h
Pariah's Child Sonata Arctica German CD album (CDLP) NB32160 NUCLEAR BLAST Pariah's Child Sonata Arctica German CD album (CDLP) NB32160 NUCLEAR BLAST USD $23.24 Buy It Now 16h
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Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name [New CD] Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name [New CD] USD $11.82 Buy It Now 18h
PLATITUDE Secrets Of Life (Digipak) ~NEW~ Tommy Hansen, SONATA ARCTICA, DGM PLATITUDE Secrets Of Life (Digipak) ~NEW~ Tommy Hansen, SONATA ARCTICA, DGM USD $4.99 Buy It Now 23h
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Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name [New CD] Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name [New CD] USD $11.00 Buy It Now 1 day
SONATA ARCTICA-WINTERHEART`S GUILD (LP)  VINYL LP NEW SONATA ARCTICA-WINTERHEART`S GUILD (LP) VINYL LP NEW USD $32.32 Buy It Now 1 day
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The Ninth Hour by Sonata Arctica The Ninth Hour by Sonata Arctica USD $15.40 Buy It Now 1 day
WINTERBORN Cold Reality + 1 JAPAN CD Sonata Arctica Requiem Silent Voices Crib45 WINTERBORN Cold Reality + 1 JAPAN CD Sonata Arctica Requiem Silent Voices Crib45 USD $32.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SONATA ARCTICA-SILENCE  CD NEW SONATA ARCTICA-SILENCE CD NEW USD $34.58 Buy It Now 1 day
Sonata Arctica ‎– Stones Grow Her Name - Limited Digi Book Edition CD Sonata Arctica ‎– Stones Grow Her Name - Limited Digi Book Edition CD USD $44.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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SONATA ARCTICA - Unia - CD (Nuclear Blast 2007) SONATA ARCTICA - Unia - CD (Nuclear Blast 2007) USD $14.24 Buy It Now 1 day
SONATA ARCTICA - The Ninth Hour - DIGI CD (Nuclear Blast 2016) SONATA ARCTICA - The Ninth Hour - DIGI CD (Nuclear Blast 2016) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Sonata Arctica : Unia CD (2007) Sonata Arctica : Unia CD (2007) USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Reckoning Night by Sonata Arctica (Heavy Metal) (CD, Feb-2005, Nuclear Blast) Reckoning Night by Sonata Arctica (Heavy Metal) (CD, Feb-2005, Nuclear Blast) USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
CRYSTAL EYES Chained JAPAN CD Stratovarius Sonata Arctica Nocturnal Rites Insani CRYSTAL EYES Chained JAPAN CD Stratovarius Sonata Arctica Nocturnal Rites Insani USD $27.50 Buy It Now 2 days
SONATA ARCTICA SONATA ARCTICA " THE NINTH HOUR " 2016 CD ! USD $3.10 (1 bids)
2 days
Sonata Arctica Pariahs Child (Ger) vinyl LP NEW sealed Sonata Arctica Pariahs Child (Ger) vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $53.70 Buy It Now 2 days
Sonata Arctica,Unia, Sonata Arctica,Unia, USD $8.06 Buy It Now 2 days
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Sonata Arctica ‎– Songs Of Silence Live In Tokyo 2001 - CD - Good Condition Sonata Arctica ‎– Songs Of Silence Live In Tokyo 2001 - CD - Good Condition USD $19.92 Buy It Now 2 days
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Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name (2012) CD Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name (2012) CD USD $6.64 (0 bids)
2 days
Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica Revisited 15th Anniversary Edition [CD] Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica Revisited 15th Anniversary Edition [CD] USD $15.03 Buy It Now 2 days
CD SONATA ARCTICA CD SONATA ARCTICA "PARIAH`S CHILD -LTD-". New and sealed USD $18.54 Buy It Now 2 days
Sonata Arctica - Songs Of Silence : Live In Tokyo 2001 Japanese 2CD / MICP-10290 Sonata Arctica - Songs Of Silence : Live In Tokyo 2001 Japanese 2CD / MICP-10290 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2 days
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2 days
Infernal SILENT VOICES CD ( SONATA ARCTICA ) Infernal SILENT VOICES CD ( SONATA ARCTICA ) USD $7.57 Buy It Now 2 days
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Sonata Arctica - Takatalvi (2010) Brand New, Sealed, Rare Sonata Arctica - Takatalvi (2010) Brand New, Sealed, Rare USD $15.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Ecliptica [Revisited:15th Anniversary Edition] SONATA ARCTICA CD Ecliptica [Revisited:15th Anniversary Edition] SONATA ARCTICA CD USD $9.85 Buy It Now 3 days
ALTARIA Invitation + 1 Japan CD Sonata Arctica Nightwish Requiem Super Group ! ALTARIA Invitation + 1 Japan CD Sonata Arctica Nightwish Requiem Super Group ! USD $22.50 Buy It Now 3 days
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Sonata Arctica - Silence +2BonusTrack KOREA CD *SEALED* REMASTER Sonata Arctica - Silence +2BonusTrack KOREA CD *SEALED* REMASTER USD $15.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name +1 BonusTrack KOREA CD *SEALED* Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name +1 BonusTrack KOREA CD *SEALED* USD $15.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica - For The Sake Of Revenge +1BonusTrack KOREA CD+DVD *SEALED* Sonata Arctica - For The Sake Of Revenge +1BonusTrack KOREA CD+DVD *SEALED* USD $21.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica - Unia +3 BonusTrack KOREA CD *SEALED* Sonata Arctica - Unia +3 BonusTrack KOREA CD *SEALED* USD $15.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Auri - Auri 2x Vinyl LP IN STOCK NEW/SEALED Sonata Arctica Nightwish Auri - Auri 2x Vinyl LP IN STOCK NEW/SEALED Sonata Arctica Nightwish USD $34.48 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica-The Ninth Hour -Digi-  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW Sonata Arctica-The Ninth Hour -Digi- (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $14.43 Buy It Now 3 days
silent voices, SONATA ARCTICA /JAPAN LTD CD OBI silent voices, SONATA ARCTICA /JAPAN LTD CD OBI USD $9.25 Buy It Now 3 days
@ CD CAIN'S OFFERING - STORMCROW STRATOVARIUS SONATA ARCTICA / FRONTIERS 2015 SS @ CD CAIN'S OFFERING - STORMCROW STRATOVARIUS SONATA ARCTICA / FRONTIERS 2015 SS USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica / Out Of Time And Place - Live Japan 2005 ORG 2CD C8 Sonata Arctica / Out Of Time And Place - Live Japan 2005 ORG 2CD C8 USD $75.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Thunderstone / The Burning JAPAN+6 Sonata Arctica *N Thunderstone / The Burning JAPAN+6 Sonata Arctica *N USD $23.74 Buy It Now 3 days
SONATA ARCTICA-THE NINTH HOUR-JAPAN CD F83 SONATA ARCTICA-THE NINTH HOUR-JAPAN CD F83 USD $24.50 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica - Takatalvi  Brand New, Sealed, Rare, 2003 Japanese Import. Sonata Arctica - Takatalvi Brand New, Sealed, Rare, 2003 Japanese Import. USD $11.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica-The Days of Grays  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW Sonata Arctica-The Days of Grays (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $14.85 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica-Unia  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW Sonata Arctica-Unia (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $14.85 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica-Reckoning Night  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW Sonata Arctica-Reckoning Night (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $14.85 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica (REMASTER) +2 BonusTrack KOREA CD *SEALED* Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica (REMASTER) +2 BonusTrack KOREA CD *SEALED* USD $17.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica - End of This Chapter Best of Japan CD & DVD Limited Edition NEW Sonata Arctica - End of This Chapter Best of Japan CD & DVD Limited Edition NEW USD $29.95 Buy It Now 3 days
SONATA ARCTICA (HEAVY METAL) - SILENCE [BONUS TRACKS] USED - VERY GOOD CD SONATA ARCTICA (HEAVY METAL) - SILENCE [BONUS TRACKS] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $8.79 Buy It Now 3 days
Sonata Arctica-The Ninth Hour  (UK IMPORT)  VINYL NEW Sonata Arctica-The Ninth Hour (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $22.72 Buy It Now 3 days
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Sonata Arctica - Pariah’s Child +1 BonusTrack KOREA CD *SEALED* Sonata Arctica - Pariah’s Child +1 BonusTrack KOREA CD *SEALED* USD $17.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Stones Grow Her Name [Bonus] [Ltd Ed] by Sonata Arctica (CD, 2012 Nuclear Blast) Stones Grow Her Name [Bonus] [Ltd Ed] by Sonata Arctica (CD, 2012 Nuclear Blast) USD $12.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Pariah's Chil by Sonata Arctica CD Pariah's Chil by Sonata Arctica CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Sonata Arctica: The days of Grays (2009) CD OBI TAIWAN + BONUS TRACK Sonata Arctica: The days of Grays (2009) CD OBI TAIWAN + BONUS TRACK USD $17.98 Buy It Now 4 days
Sonata Arctica: Stones grow her name (2012) CD OBI + BONUS TRACK TAIWAN Sonata Arctica: Stones grow her name (2012) CD OBI + BONUS TRACK TAIWAN USD $17.98 Buy It Now 4 days
Sonata Arctica - The Ninth Hour (NEW CD) Sonata Arctica - The Ninth Hour (NEW CD) USD $15.93 Buy It Now 4 days
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The Ninth Hour [VINYL - BRAND NEW] by Sonata Arctica The Ninth Hour [VINYL - BRAND NEW] by Sonata Arctica USD $25.76 Buy It Now 4 days
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Sonata Arctica - Orientation MICP-10256 JAPAN CD K-12652 Sonata Arctica - Orientation MICP-10256 JAPAN CD K-12652 USD $6.50 Buy It Now 4 days
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SONATA ARCTICA (HEAVY METAL) - SILENCE [BONUS TRACKS] NEW CD SONATA ARCTICA (HEAVY METAL) - SILENCE [BONUS TRACKS] NEW CD USD $13.94 Buy It Now 5 days
Sonata Arctica - Silence JAPAN CD 2001 (MICP-10247) +1 B/T OBI Sonata Arctica - Silence JAPAN CD 2001 (MICP-10247) +1 B/T OBI USD $7.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Winterborn - Cold Reality (PROMO CD) SONATA ARCTICA SILENT VOICES REQUIEM CRIB45 Winterborn - Cold Reality (PROMO CD) SONATA ARCTICA SILENT VOICES REQUIEM CRIB45 USD $1.32 (0 bids)
5 days
Sonata Arctica - The Ninth Hour [CD] Sonata Arctica - The Ninth Hour [CD] USD $13.80 Buy It Now 5 days
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SONATA ARCTICA Discography

SONATA ARCTICA albums / top albums

SONATA ARCTICA Ecliptica album cover 4.10 | 38 ratings
Ecliptica
Power Metal 1999
SONATA ARCTICA Silence album cover 3.71 | 27 ratings
Silence
Power Metal 2001
SONATA ARCTICA Winterheart's Guild album cover 3.91 | 23 ratings
Winterheart's Guild
Power Metal 2003
SONATA ARCTICA Reckoning Night album cover 3.51 | 22 ratings
Reckoning Night
Power Metal 2004
SONATA ARCTICA Unia album cover 2.75 | 16 ratings
Unia
Power Metal 2007
SONATA ARCTICA The Days Of Grays album cover 3.63 | 15 ratings
The Days Of Grays
Symphonic Metal 2009
SONATA ARCTICA Stones Grow Her Name album cover 3.50 | 13 ratings
Stones Grow Her Name
Heavy Metal 2012
SONATA ARCTICA Pariah's Child album cover 3.67 | 8 ratings
Pariah's Child
Power Metal 2014
SONATA ARCTICA Ecliptica - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition album cover 3.75 | 8 ratings
Ecliptica - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition
Power Metal 2014
SONATA ARCTICA The Ninth Hour album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
The Ninth Hour
Power Metal 2016

SONATA ARCTICA EPs & splits

SONATA ARCTICA Successor album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Successor
Power Metal 2000
SONATA ARCTICA Orientation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Orientation
Power Metal 2001
SONATA ARCTICA Takatalvi album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Takatalvi
Power Metal 2003

SONATA ARCTICA live albums

SONATA ARCTICA Songs Of Silence: Live In Tokyo album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Songs Of Silence: Live In Tokyo
Power Metal 2002
SONATA ARCTICA For The Sake Of Revenge album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
For The Sake Of Revenge
Power Metal 2006

SONATA ARCTICA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SONATA ARCTICA re-issues & compilations

SONATA ARCTICA The End Of This Chapter album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The End Of This Chapter
Power Metal 2005
SONATA ARCTICA The Collection 1999-2006 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collection 1999-2006
Power Metal 2006
SONATA ARCTICA Reckoning Night + Unia album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Reckoning Night + Unia
Power Metal 2013

SONATA ARCTICA singles (22)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
UnOpened
Power Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Provinssirock Festival
Power Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wolf & Raven
Power Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Last Drop Falls
Power Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Broken
Power Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Victoria's Secret
Power Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Shamandalie
Power Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Don't Say A Word
Power Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
My Selene
Power Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Replica
Power Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Paid In Full
Power Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Last Amazing Grays
Symphonic Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Flag In The Ground
Power Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Gun / Still Loving You
Power Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Flag in the Ground (live)
Power Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Shitload of Money
Heavy Metal 2012
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Have A Right
Symphonic Metal 2012
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Alone in Heaven
Heavy Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wolves Die Young
Power Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cloud Factory
Power Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Love
Power Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kingdom for a Heart
Power Metal 2014

SONATA ARCTICA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 2 ratings
For The Sake Of Revenge
Power Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Finland
Power Metal 2011

SONATA ARCTICA Reviews

SONATA ARCTICA Ecliptica - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
Sonata Arctica's debut, 'Ecliptica', was originally released in 1999, and came at just the right time to establish them as one of the top names amongst a new generation of power metal bands that implemented both progressive and symphonic elements. With its energetic guitar riffs, majestic keyboard melodies and impressive vocal performances, it was an incredible album that still holds up to this day.

So why did they decide to re-record it fifteen years later?

2014's 'Ecliptica - Revisited' hasn't really added anything new, and really doesn't serve any purpose. Other than some very slight alterations to the arrangements, the only real difference is that the songs have been detuned or the vocals have been changed to suit vocalist Tony Kakko's aging voice.

The songs are still good, don't get me wrong, but the original 'Ecliptica' had a youthful enthusiasm that this updated version lacks, and this also heralds the third studio recording of the track 'Replica', which we really didn't need. The original version remains not only one of my favourite Sonata Arctica songs, but one of my favourite songs period, and after a 2006 re-recording, we could have done without a 2014 update.

Still, I'll give this release credit for one thing, and that's an absolutely banging cover of the Genesis classic, 'I Can't Dance', which, in my probably controversial opinion, far surpasses the original. And I love Genesis! But this cover of it is just fantastic and is done with such zest and gusto that it's impossible not to enjoy it.

In conclusion, all things considered, 'Ecliptica - Revisited' isn't an awful release, it just isn't necessary and does nothing to improve upon the 1999 original, so stick with that instead.

SONATA ARCTICA Ecliptica - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kev Rowland
1999 was quite a year for Sonata Arctica: they recorded the ‘Full Moon’ demo that brought them to the attention of Spinefarm, changed the band name from Tricky Beans, and having signed a deal also released their debut album, ‘Ecliptica’. The line-up back then was Tony Kakko (vocals and keyboards), Jani Liimatainen (guitars), Janne Kivilahti (bass) and Tommy Portimo (drums), and not only were they raw and new in the studio, the production wasn’t all that it might have been. Over the years since then the band have morphed, and have become quite a force in the power and symphonic metal scenes, and as they approached the fifteenth anniversary they started wondering about re-recording the debut, with the current line-up.

Tommy and Tony are the only ones who have stayed the course, and they have been joined now by Elias Viljanen (guitars), Pasi Kauppinen (bass) and Henrik Klingenberg (keyboards). They have approached this recording with the confidence that only comes from years on the road: this certainly doesn’t sound as if it has its roots in an album from 1999, but instead is fresh and bright, powerful and restrained, in the way that only they and possibly Stratovarius at their peak really know how to achieve. When it is time to shred then they can do that quite happily, putting together blistering runs on all instruments, tied together as one, but they can also be reflective and gentle. Tony’s voice is even better now than it was in his youth, and he has the experience of knowing now exactly what works for him and what doesn’t, so if he wants to sing in a different key from the original then that is just fine and dandy. Sonata Arctica continue to be one of the finest bands in this field.

SONATA ARCTICA Ecliptica

Album · 1999 · Power Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Sonata Arctica are a Finnish Power Metal band, starting their career in the late ’90s, and Ecliptica is their now-classic self-produced debut album from 1999. This is back before they started getting orchestras and turning progressive, before their concept albums. This is the band dealing purely with the basic, glistening, unaltered, raw and pure perfect formula without experimentation.

In terms of musical direction the material is very much in the style of their fellow countrymen Stratovarius. Very melodic, speedy European-style Power Metal with plenty of doublekicks, keyboards and sweet falsetto vocals. The band have toured with Stratovarius and covered their material so its very much influences on sleeves here. However, just like Airbourne and AC/DC’s sonic relationship, just because they are very similar to someone else’s style doesn’t mean they aren’t doing a damn good job at it. On this album they do that pounding speed metal with keyboard solos and gorgeous melodies thing as well as any of the originators of the scene. The band have such joy, enthusiasm and energy that just sparks off every chorus and solo. Its very pleasant listening. Its like somebody captured smiles and sunshine in audio form. There’s a reason cynics call Power Metal ‘Happy Metal’ and bands like Sonata Arctica play a big part in that.

The songs here are some of the finest examples of the formula in the history of the genre. ‘Blank File,’ ‘Destruction Preventer,’ ‘Kingdom For A Heart’ and the lead single ‘UnOpened’ are all particularly strong. The bouncy powerballd ‘Letter To Dana’ is memorable. (Also the bonus track ‘Mary-Lou’ if you get that version, is very enjoyable). The album is really strong and consistent without much filler and nothing you would want to skip immediately. It is succinct, memorable, flows well and works well as a whole. You can play it from start to end and stay entertained the whole time.

If you scoff at ‘Flower Metal’ and all its cheese, then maybe this will confirm all your worst fears (apart from maybe songs about wizards and dragons and fairies). But if you are a fan of Freedom Call and Stratovarius its hard to see how you wouldn’t love this band and this album.

Tony Kakko has such a strong voice and his contributions on keys add great colour to the material. He conveys such emotion. If you don’t usually like this type of music you may find him a bit too flowery but if you are into this music there are only a handful of singers on the planet who do it as well.

Its almost amazing that the band started off with such a strong debut right away. A lot of bands took a while to get their style down, especially in Power Metal where a lot of bands started off as Thrash or Heavy Metal bands and took a few albums to get where they were going. I guess having other bands already blaze the trial beforehand helped. But much like Hammerfall; even though they didn’t start off in the ’80s like Blind Guardian or Helloween or Running Wild, they just arrived seemingly out of nowhere and dropped a rock-solid gem of a debut, coming out of the gate already formed. The band would go on to very different things with complex concept albums and musical exploration, but this debut finds them focused into the absolute perfect basic speedy melodic Power Metal formula and doing it as well as any of their peers or indeed any of their idols.

Overall; this is an absolute banger of an album. The speed, the melody, the sentimental ballads are all exactly what you want from a Power Metal group and Sonata Arctica have absolutely mastered the form. If anyone were to sling any criticism at the album it could only be that it sounds a lot like Stratovarius, but that can equally be praise because its a difficult thing to achieve, and they do it so well, so consistently and very memorably indeed.

SONATA ARCTICA Ecliptica

Album · 1999 · Power Metal
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martindavey87
Power metal has always been the ginger-haired stepchild of heavy metal. It's cheesy. It's repetitive. And sometimes it's Sonata Arctica, in which case, it kicks ass!

Sonata Arctica's debut album burst onto the scene with such gusto and youthful enthusiasm, it's hard not to like it. There's fast-paced neoclassical speed metal guitar shredding, and lots of cheesy 90's keyboard harpsichord sounds. The lyrics focus on the usual themes of fantasy, love, kingdoms and over nonsensical topics we're not really bothered about, because it comes with the territory, and above all else though, it really is 100% cheese, and that's what we love about the genre!

I first came across this band when I heard 'Replica' on a compilation CD. I loved it! I was completely blown away by how awesome this band sounded and to this day, that is still one of my favourite songs (and I still have no idea what it's about, either). I rushed out to get 'Ecliptica' and was not disappointed. 'Kingdom for a Heart', 'Full Moon', 'Letter to Dana', 'Mary Lou' and 'Picturing the Past' are all fine examples of why power metal should never be so easily dismissed. Oh, and 'Replica' too!!!. This album is worth it for that song alone.

I've been stuck for ages writing this review, struggling to think of anything clever or witty to say. The truth is, this is a typical power metal album, and if you're not a fan of the genre, you won't notice any difference here between Sonata Arctica and any other band. But there's just some sort of charm about this record that makes it fresh and exciting, and definitely worth trying out.

Please check out my Facebook page @ facebook.com/martindavey87

SONATA ARCTICA Ecliptica - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
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RuneWalsh2112
2014 was the year that I've rediscovered Sonata Arctica. I've been enjoying Sonata Arctica ever since I've heard their music back in 2003 with their debut album "Ecliptica" and fourth album "Reckoning Night" being my favorites. Unfortunately their work between 2007 and 2012 wasn't as enjoyable for me as their first four albums. 2014 saw the band releasing two albums, one with new material and the second one being the re-recording of their debut album "Ecliptica".

As I mentioned in my review of the original recording, ""Ecliptica" is, production-wise, a very raw record with both the drums and Kakko's vocals sounding very dated in comparison to the rest of the sound. This is especially interesting considering that the drummer Tommy Portimo and vocalist/front man/composer Tony Kakko have been the only two consistent members of the band!" So you might understand that I wasn't too surprised when the two consistent members decided that they needed to give the recording a second chance and thus re-record it with the band's current lineup.

I must say that the first few spins of this new version of "Ecliptica" were some of the most enjoyable Power Metal moments that I can honestly recall. Even though I haven't listened to some of these tracks in years, every song was a happy reunion filled with memories from my past. The great production quality that enhanced both the vocals and the drums really managed to bring out new qualities in the material that I've never noticed before. Songs like the opening track "Blank File", "My Land" and "Kingdom For A Heart" sounded even better than I've remembered them. The only real disappointment was "Fullmoon" which doesn't hold a candle to the original version nor the version from the live album "For The Sake Of Revenge". I also thought that "Letter To Dana" hasn't aged that well. Having said that, I've never really enjoyed this ballad to being with but the new version hasn't really made it any better.

My biggest rediscovery was that of the album's closing track "Destruction Preventer". I've never actually considered it to be anything special until I've heard this re-recorded version that made it into a Power Metal masterpiece. Both the energy and the melodic strength of this composition have been updated with grace.

I've been reading some critical reviews of this recording where people criticize Kakko's lower key arrangements but I actually found the new arrangement much more in line with my own voice, thus making these songs easier for me to sing along to. Whether or not this is a selfish reason, I'll leave for you to decide!

Overall, "Ecliptica 2014" is an album that made me rediscover Sonata Arctica in an even brighter new light. The classic tracks from 1999 still manage to stand out and the new arrangement actually make them even more enjoyable to my ears. Highly recommended release for fans of Power Metal!

***** star songs: Blank File (4:09) Destruction Preventer (7:45)

**** star songs: Blank File (4:09) My Land (4:48) 8th Commandment (3:46) Replica (5:04) Kingdom For A Heart (3:47) Fullmoon (5:12) UnOpened (3:13) Picturing The Past (3:35)

*** star songs: Letter To Dana (6:23)

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