Featured Artist: Sonata Arctica

Ein Artikel von gargantouas vom 15.01.2003 (14515 mal gelesen)
I will explain why later. I first listened to Sonata Arctica, on a radio show. It was "Wolf And Raven" the song I heard and was quite impressed. So, I run off to check their official site in order to see what these guys are up to. And was realy impressed when I saw that the average of the group age was at 22 years old.

What followed were some requests on radio shows, just to be sure. And the band was really great. So I present you Sonata Arctica, maybe the brightest future on the European power metal, and why not on the whole metal scene.

The band consists of the following members:
Tonny Kakko: Vocals, some keyboards and main composer
Marko Paasikoski: Bass
Jani Liimatainen: Guitars
Henrik Klingenberg: Keyboards
Tomi Portimo: Drums

If you want to check how the band was formed and all of their releases, go to their official web site to check them out (http://www.sonataarctica.com/). Here I will just present the two main albums they have out, and why I respect them so much.

So, after the band's two demos, the first record "Ecliptica" was released in 1999 through the Finnish record label Spinefarm:
1.Blank File
2.My Land
3.8th Commandment
5.Kingdom For A Heart
7.Letter To Dana
9.Picturing The Past
10.Destruction Preventer
So, from the very first notes of Blank File, you know where you are going to. Speed and mid-tempo power metal with lots of influences from Stratovarius, but not to the point that becomes irritating. The album is quite straighforward, without giving you headaches to understand what they are playing. And the most amazing is that many songs are copied in your mind, making you singing them all the time even if you have heard them just once. Top moments of the album are "Replica", a song that talks about a veteran that returns from the war, "Kigdom For A Heart", with amazing lyrics again and an amazing verse, "Fullmoon", that again makes your head shaking and grooving in this thing and "Letter To Dana", a powerful ballad. What amazed me from the very first moment was the lyrics. Tonny Kakko, who is responsible for composing and writing the lyrics says that they are imaginary stories that he just makes up. I say good for him. I seldomly read lyrics so powerful and expressive.

So, I would rate the album a 9 out of 10. For the first try, for such a small average of ages - they were 20 then - it is simply amazing.

A tour with Stratovarius and Rhapsody on 2000, made them known to larger crowds and success was there for them. After some EP's and cd-singles the band rushed to the studio to record their second album called "Silence".
1....of Silence
3.False News Travel Fast
4.The End of This Chapter
5.Black Sheep
6.Land of the Free
7.Last Drop Falls
8.San Sebastian (revisited)
9.Sing In Silence
10.Revontulet (Instr.)
12.Wolf & Raven
13.Respect the Wilderness *(Japan Bonus Track)
14.The Power of One

This record is much more mature than "Ecliptica". From the start of it someone can tell the difference in the production and on the technique of the band members. The same recipe here as their first album. Fast, mid-tempo songs and great melodies. Maybe this is a more mature album but I would say I liked it as much as the first one. Again, Tony Kakko made an amazing work on the lyrics part. Top moments of the album are "Wolf And Raven" of course and "Last Drop Falls", again a powerful ballad. Now you will ask me. Why only two? The other suck? No way, this is not the case. The whole album is great, but these two songs are masterpieces. The creativity of the band and especially of Tony Kakko, is at the peak on those two songs. I hope you understand what I am talking about. I would rate this album 9 out of 10 again, and this is because I expect their third album like hell. I am expecting from them a big record that will take them to where they deserve to be. I really think that they haven't made their big move yet, and so I hope that soon they will provide us with a masterpiece.

I have not listened to their live release "Songs Of Silence", but as I have heard the guys are really powerful on stage.

As it concerns, why I like them so much, the answer is easy. When all the other bands have saturated their ideas, Sonata Arctica try to give good music and till now they have achieved it. When many bands are redoing what they allready have done, Sonata Arctica will be the following big name due to their creativity and great appetite for work. At least I hope so.


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