SONATA ARCTICA
Power Metal / Traditional heavy metal / Symphonic 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.

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The Ninth HourThe Ninth Hour
Nuclear Blast America 2016
Audio CD$7.49
$5.70 (used)
SilenceSilence
Import
Spinefarm 2008
Audio CD$4.99
$8.26 (used)
Reckoning Night/Unia limited edition double discReckoning Night/Unia limited edition double disc
Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast America 2013
Audio CD$11.68
$11.67 (used)
EclipticaEcliptica
Import
Spinefarm 2008
Audio CD$5.40
$15.73 (used)
Live In Finland (2CD/2DVD)Live In Finland (2CD/2DVD)
Box set
Nuclear Blast America 2012
Audio CD$13.05
$8.88 (used)
The Days Of GraysThe Days Of Grays
Nuclear Blast America 2012
Audio CD$7.92
$6.85 (used)
Ecliptica [2 LP]Ecliptica [2 LP]
Limited Edition
Spinefarm 2017
Vinyl$21.23
$31.63 (used)
Winterheart's GuildWinterheart's Guild
Import
Spinefarm 2006
Audio CD$6.44
$19.27 (used)
Winterheart's Guild [2 LP]Winterheart's Guild [2 LP]
Limited Edition
Spinefarm 2017
Vinyl$24.40
$29.70 (used)
Silence [2 LP]Silence [2 LP]
Limited Edition
Spinefarm 2017
Vinyl$24.40
$31.63 (used)
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SONATA ARCTICA (HEAVY METAL) - ECLIPTICA (NEW CD) SONATA ARCTICA (HEAVY METAL) - ECLIPTICA (NEW CD) USD $9.58 Buy It Now 3h
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Sonata Arctica - The Ninth Hour [Vinyl,LP,Album] Sonata Arctica - The Ninth Hour [Vinyl,LP,Album] USD $28.65 Buy It Now 6h
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SONATA ARCTICA Discography

SONATA ARCTICA albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.17 | 38 ratings
Ecliptica
Power Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 3.63 | 27 ratings
Silence
Power Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.88 | 23 ratings
Winterheart's Guild
Power Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.68 | 22 ratings
Reckoning Night
Power Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 2.53 | 16 ratings
Unia
Power Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.82 | 15 ratings
The Days Of Grays
Symphonic Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.56 | 13 ratings
Stones Grow Her Name
Traditional heavy metal 2012
.. Album Cover 3.97 | 8 ratings
Pariah's Child
Power Metal 2014
.. Album Cover 4.13 | 6 ratings
Ecliptica - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition
Power Metal 2014
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
The Ninth Hour
Power Metal 2016

SONATA ARCTICA EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Successor
Power Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Orientation
Power Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Takatalvi
Power Metal 2003

SONATA ARCTICA live albums

.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Songs Of Silence: Live In Tokyo
Power Metal 2002
.. 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

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The End Of This Chapter
Power Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collection 1999-2006
Power Metal 2006
.. 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
Traditional 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
Traditional 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

Album · 1999 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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.

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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)

SONATA ARCTICA Pariah's Child

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
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RuneWalsh2112
I've been enjoying Sonata Arctica ever since I've heard their music back in 2003. The band added their own spin to the Power Metal genre that felt much more in line with traditional Finnish folk music than anything that I've previously experienced. The raw energy of the performances and the strong melodic hooks really made them stand out compared with the completion.

Sonata Arctica managed to maintain their momentum for the course of four albums, peaking with 2004 release "Reckoning Night", but it was clear from interviews given by the front man Tony Kakko that he was not content with maintaining the same style all throughout his career. The long wait and ultimate disappointment of "Unia", in 2007, showed the band moving away from their Power Metal formula. This was quite a disappointment for me but I continued to hope for Sonata Arctica to return to their roots.

The release of "The Days Of Grays" showed the band going into progressive metal territory and even though it was a solid attempt at a change, I was still not too impressed by the album. "Stones Grow Her Name", from 2012, did spark some hope due to the inclusion of "Wildfire II" and "Wildfire III" on the track-list but I lost interest after hearing the two singles "I Have A Right" and "Shitload Of Money". Eventually I've listened to the album and was dissatisfied with what I've heard.

The release of "Pariah's Child", in 2014, went by completely unnoticed by me. It was only when the band released a re-recorded version of their debut album, "Ecliptica" that I finally decided to include it to my Spotify playlist. My initial reaction to the material was a mixed one since I didn't really enjoy the album's first single and opening track "The Wolves Die Young" but found some of the mid-section tracks like "Take One Breath" and "Blood" to be much more impressive.

After a few more spins, it finally dawned on me that I was really beginning to enjoy the new material. Despite the fact that the album loses momentum with horrible narration on "X Marks The Spot", the disposable ballad "Love" and the disappointing opus "Larger Than Life", the good parts are almost on par with anything from the band's first four releases.

The song streak, that begins with "Running Lights" and ends with "Half A Marathon Man" (six tracks in total), is one of the most enjoyable Power Metal streaks that I've heard since "Empire Of The Undead" by Gamma Ray. The standout tracks are the album's second single "Cloud Factory", which brings back the classic Sonata Arctica melodies, and the emotional "What Did You Do In The War, Dad?".

"Pariah's Child" is good record that I'll probably continue listening to while skipping some of the filler tracks. If this is an indication of the future that Sonata Arctica intends to pursue then I'm definitely all ears.

***** star songs: Cloud Factory (4:17)

**** star songs: Running Lights (4:26) Take One Breath (4:19) Blood (5:54) What Did You Do In The War, Dad? (5:13) Half A Marathon Man (5:43)

*** star songs: The Wolves Die Young (4:11) X Marks The Spot (5:20) Larger Than Life (9:57)

** star songs: Love (3:50)

SONATA ARCTICA Pariah's Child

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
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arcane-beautiful
Sonata Arctica have a been a band I have admired for a very long time. During a period of power metal popularity, these guys where very much in the background doing their own thing. The band have very much gained a cult following over these past few years with no real mass popularity.

The band's consistency in material has been all over the place in the past few years. Since 2007s very dark “Unia”, the band have had a rather confusing string of albums. While their past few albums have been interesting listens, it does almost sound like the band have had an identity crisis (could be due to the bands ever changing line up).

Apparently according to the band, this album is supposed to be the follow up to “Reckoning Night” (my personal favourite Sonata album) and it is noticeable. Now this statement is a bit of a stretch, with obvious sounds from “The Days Of Greys” and “Stones Grow Her Name”, but it is one of the most recent Sonata albums which bode well to their original sound.

One of the bands biggest attractions has to be Tony Kakko's fun word play in his lyrics. Edging on great storytelling, interesting humour and beautiful poetry. Musically the album jumps between hard rock based power metal along with more progressive and darker moments. But, the album is a lot more joyous than previous albums, going back to a more carefree moment in Sonata's career.

The opening track and first single “The Wolves Die Young” is pretty much a return to form for the band. Catchy chorus, nice melodies and a cheesy music video.

One of my personal favourite songs is “Take One Breath.” Slightly mad in it's arrangement, Tony shows off a wide versatile range to his vocals, going from the harshest of shrieks to the calmest of tones in the drop of a heartbeat. The sci fi inspired lyrics and fun wordplay are also enjoyable.

One of the bands most interesting songs on the album has to be “Blood.” With a rather sporadic arrangement harkening back to the material heard on “Unia.” With a lot of musical twists and turns, it's a very interesting moment on the album. This song also teaches you the exact definition of blood....cause metal isn't just for fun. You can learn stuff too.

The rather cheesy but fun power ballad “Love” is a rather interesting moment on the album. Even though it does have some rather cheesy moments, the statement and song is still very pretty. It's good to see these guys showing a more sensitive side.

The albums closer and longest track “Larger Than Life” is a mad explosive rollercoaster. Being mixed with a power ballad and an almost musical and operatic feel, the song is a very interesting piece, with great over layered vocals by Tony. Great ending to the album.

In conclusion, after a few confusing years of weird experimentation, Sonata Arctica seemed to have finally put their feet more firmly on the ground with a rather 'return to form.' A mixed blend of all of the bands strongest sounds, the album is definitely on par with their more classically renowned releases.

8.2/10

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