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.

Summer of
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Nuclear Blast America 2014
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$6.99 (used)
Winterheart's GuildWinterheart's Guild
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Spinefarm 2006
Audio CD$6.29
$4.12 (used)
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Deluxe Edition · Extra tracks
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Audio CD$5.69
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SONATA ARCTICA Discography

SONATA ARCTICA albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.26 | 32 ratings
Ecliptica
Power Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 3.52 | 23 ratings
Silence
Power Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.86 | 20 ratings
Winterheart's Guild
Power Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.60 | 18 ratings
Reckoning Night
Power Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 2.70 | 13 ratings
Unia
Power Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.93 | 12 ratings
The Days Of Grays
Symphonic Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.61 | 10 ratings
Stones Grow Her Name
Traditional heavy metal 2012
.. Album Cover 3.97 | 5 ratings
Pariah's Child
Power Metal 2014
.. Album Cover 4.67 | 2 ratings
Ecliptica - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition
Power Metal 2014

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 | 1 ratings
For The Sake Of Revenge
Power Metal 2006

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

SONATA ARCTICA boxset & 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 - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition

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

SONATA ARCTICA Reckoning Night

Album · 2004 · Power Metal
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Diogenes
Reckoning Night is considered by many fans to be Sonata Arctica’s swansong, as if the band mysteriously disappeared in 2005 and has been missing ever since. It’s a silly idea, but what those people are right on is that this is, by far, the band’s most mature effort to this point. The production is rich and powerful, bringing forth tight musicianship from all angles (although they’ve never been the most technical group around) and sounding every bit as wintry as their previous works while packing a punch that a lot of metal records like it lack. It’s also noticeably darker, as this is where the Finns really started to explore territory beyond their Stratoesque roots, writing longer songs and easing up a bit on the tiring double-kick drum patterns; the use of keyboards can still be considered “flowery,” except they’re accompanied by a great dose of melancholy this time around. When the band’s discography is listened to chronologically, it’s quite easy to tell that this is where they exchanged their light, fun atmosphere for something much heavier and intimate, though not yet to the point of Unia or The Days of Grays.

Lyrically, Tony Kakko has never been better, painting somber tales of sadness (“Misplaced”) and angst (“Blinded No More”), along with the traditional Sonata Arctica wolf anthem, “Ain’t Your Fairytale”. His vocals, despite being somewhat lower-pitched than they were in the band’s earlier years, convey the songs’ messages perfectly while being intertwined with complex choir arrangements; the best example of this would probably be in the classic “Don’t Say a Word,” although the vocal arrangements are consistently strong throughout the album as a whole and really show Kakko’s growth as a composer rather than a singer.

The mood change and musical evolution on Reckoning Night acts both as a boon and a hindrance; while it may appeal to those who were wishing Sonata Arctica would find their own sound (which, in my opinion, they already did on Winterheart’s Guild), it just seems plodding in areas where I’m used to the band soaring. Yes, there are more midtempo tracks here, but that’s not necessarily it; “My Selene,” while being one of the album’s faster songs, is simply not up to the usual Sonata Arctica standard of power metal. The same goes for “The Boy Who Wanted to Be A Real Puppet” and “Blinded No More,” which are basically just there-not bad enough to be filler, but not really memorable in any way either.

Sonata Arctica hits a grand slam, however, on the epic “While Pearl, Black Oceans”. A fascinating yet woeful tale of a lighthouse keeper and a tragic shipwreck he indirectly causes, the song stands both as the end of the straightforward power metal era of the band and perhaps their biggest triumph as an overall composition. A lyrical masterpiece, the song builds as the story goes on, Kakko adding more and more choirs before it reaches its sorrowful climax. It’s just so beautifully sad and gripping, making it the perfect album closer (unfortunately, this is not the case). Definitely the best song on the album, and maybe in Sonata Arctica’s career.

So while I find myself missing the energy and enthusiasm of the band’s earlier works, the fourth Sonata Arctica album certainly has its fair share to offer. Reckoning Night is certainly worth a listen, even if it’s just for its standout tracks; inconsistent, but enjoyable nonetheless.

SONATA ARCTICA Unia

Album · 2007 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
RuneWalsh2112
After being highly enthusiastic for the material that I've heard on "Reckoning Night" it really felt that Sonata Arctica have finally come into their own as a Power Metal powerhouse! It really seemed to me that they could do no wrong with the release of "Unia", which is why I got the album without a single hesitation. The results of my quick reaction were so disastrous that I now almost never purchase/listen to a record before doing at least minimum amount of research!

"Unia" was the album where Tony Kakko pretty much decided that he's had enough of the straightforward power metal sound of the past and wanted to make sure that his songwriting would be taken seriously by the metal community. The description of the style that he goes for on "Unia" should have been more pleasing to my ears since this prog metalesque sound does remind me of "White Pearl, Black Oceans...", which is probably my favorite track by Sonata Arctica. But when hearing the actual album it's clear that the results are pretty disastrous to say the least!

By pretty much removing all traces of straightforward Power Metal melodies, Sonata Arctica lost the only quality that made them unique in the growing world of metal. There is nothing really wrong with mixing symphonic metal with lite hints of prog metal but there are at least 10 other bands who already completely dominate this genre and Sonata Arctica is really not the act that can pull off convincing progressive sound due to their obvious lack in the instrumental department. They are far from a technical band to begin with, except for a few excellent keyboard players they employed in the past.

Overall, "Unia" is literally a dream that just was not meant to be and the more I listen to it the more convinced I become of this conclusion. My interest for Sonata Arctica faded after this release and I haven't even bothered listening to "The Days Of Grays". Having said that, I will probably give "Stones Grow Her Name" a go even though the first single "I Have A Right" is easily the worst track they've ever released. I'm really curious about the two "Wildfire" tracks that are a continuation of the original track from "Reckoning Night", but my expectation are pretty low.

**** star songs: It Won't Fade (5:58) Caleb (6:16) The Harvest (4:18)

*** star songs: In Black And White (5:03) Paid In Full (4:24) Under Your Tree (5:14) The Vice (4:08) My Dream's But A Drop Of Fuel For A Nightmare (6:13) Fly With The Black Swan (5:08) Good Enough Is Good Enough (5:31)

** star songs: For The Sake Of Revenge (3:23) The Worlds Forgotten, The Words Forbidden (2:57)

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