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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SONATA ARCTICA Discography

SONATA ARCTICA albums / top albums

SONATA ARCTICA Ecliptica album cover 4.07 | 38 ratings
Ecliptica
Power Metal 1999
SONATA ARCTICA Silence album cover 3.67 | 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 3.50 | 23 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 3.48 | 13 ratings
Stones Grow Her Name
Heavy Metal 2012
SONATA ARCTICA Pariah's Child album cover 3.69 | 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 Talviyö album cover 2.92 | 2 ratings
Talviyö
Power Metal 2019

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)

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

Album · 2019 · Power Metal
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Kev Rowland
Here is the tenth studio album by Finnish Power Metal act Sonata Arctica, and by now we all know what to expect and they yet again deliver that with loads of harmonies and hooks. Apparently, they wanted a more live approach to this album, so bass and drums were recorded together as opposed to independently so there was a strong rhythm section sound. Also, all the songs had been written and discussed by the band before going into the studio, so they knew what they needed to achieve. The result is an album where the band shifts between different musical styles – sometimes very heavy indeed and others far lighter and keyboard oriented – yet somehow fails to ultimately inspire.

When I realised there was a new album from Sonata Arctica I was excited, and was looking forward to playing it, but by the time I had been all the way through a few times I realised nothing was sticking with me, and although it was okay while it was playing there was nothing there which was really compelling me to go back and listen to it again, apart from knowing I had to write about it. The production from Mikko Tegelman is top rate, while the musicianship and singing is all of the quality one expects from this band who have had a consistent line-up for some time. Indeed, this is the third album with the same guys, and apart from new boy Pasi Kauppinen (bass) they have been together since 2007, so they know what they are doing. But while it would be unfair and incorrect to say they are going through the motions, the best I can say about this is that it is a Sonata Arctica album. If you enjoy melodic rock then you already know who they are, and if you are a fan you may well get a great deal from this, but as for me it’s solid but rarely more than that.

SONATA ARCTICA Ecliptica - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
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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
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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

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