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Reckoning Night

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Album Review

As much as they qualify for all of the negative (read: repetitive) stereotypes of melodic European power metal, Finland's Sonata Arctica somehow manage to suppress the cheese factor to a point where fans of more challenging and aggressive heavy metal can actually stomach their albums. 2005's Reckoning Night is one such triumph, and although the precise reasons behind this remain as unexplainable as ever (possibly vocalist Tony Kakko's more-honest-than-operatic delivery?), the fact is, not only does it prove surprisingly likeable for power metal haters, it naturally qualifies as potentially genre-topping stuff for power metal lovers. "Blinded No More" and "Shamandalie" are picture-perfect melodic metal singles, no doubt destined to climb chars across Scandinavia, Germany and Japan, while similarly mid-paced heritage metal anthems such as "Don't Say a Word" and "White Pearl, Black Oceans" manner their authenticity with just enough progressive rock touches (Kansas, big-time) to keep listeners interested. Even the mockery-begging "The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Real Puppet" manages to pull the rug out from under cynics' feet with its irresistible hooks, leaving it up to the thrash-intensive "Wildfire" to hog such honors instead with its silly spoken fantasy intro. Along the same lines, as usual it's the all-out speed-fests like "Misplaced" and "Fairytale" that curiously proffer the least compelling results, their maddeningly mechanical percussion base and seemingly identically building refrains blurring into oblivion with annoying reliability. But Sonata Arctica manage to sweeten the pot a little here, too, thanks to their creative and original solos — on guitar as well as on keyboards. In the end, Reckoning Night's greatest achievement is simultaneously representing the best of what power metal has to offer, while qualifying as a very guilty pleasure for metal fans who swear they hate the style. [Note: Certain versions of Reckoning Night contain an acoustic jam entitled "Wrecking the Sphere" as a bonus track.]

Customer Reviews

Amazing

Wow. No reviews, how depressing. Let me say that it took me a while to "get" this album. I was obsessed with Winterheart's Guild at the time, and was hoping for a direct follow up. However, Sonata Arctica is too good of a band to do the same thing twice. This album has a different feel, but I've come to appreciate it for what it is, and nowadays I don't think I could choose my favorite Sonata Arctica album. From Ecliptica to this one, they are all essential. While its true the drum beats are recycled, it's just the nature of the music, I don't consider it a weak point at all. Tony Kakko has an amazing ability to keep writing melody after melody, each one more beautiful than the next. His songwriting along with the colorful solos by Jani and Henrik are what make each song special. As of now Shamandalie and White Pearl, Black Oceans are my favorite tracks on this album. That being said, there is not a song on this album that I do not like. Needless to say, the performances are flawless as usual. The traditional Sonata Arctica sound is here, but it is also growing. Like any great band, they are evolving, not treading water. So here it is, the fourth masterpiece from Tony and his crew, the kind of quality that makes Sonata Arctica one of my favorite bands.

Excellent

Sonata Arctica is a good band, they know how to play in unison, and all of their songs are very melodic. If your anything like me, you'll find yourself humming these songs in class... best songs - Dont say a word, Wildfire, and Misplaced.

I didn't know music could get this good

What's up with all the Taylor Swift shirts people?!? Don't encourage the radio to keep on playing all this garbage that sounds all girly and not actually giving them different styles like power metal to let people actually choose their favorite style! Honestly Sonata Arctica is just incredible. They're popular in Finland and they probably could be here if people knew about them or any other power metal band for that matter. Don't Say a Word is one of the best songs ever, if not the best. Everything else is awesome too, besides the somewhat pathetic instrumentals but you can't really count Jam against them because it originally was a hidden track and they were just having fun. That's right iTunes it's called Jam, not Wrecking the Sphere, and the 's' in Selene should be capitalized. That's not the first time you've made mistakes like that. Well anyway a few songs on here have to grow on you after a few listens, most notably The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Real Puppet and Shamandalie, so please don't write any reviews right away and give amazing songs a bad reputation.

Misplaced 10/10
Blinded No More 10/10
Ain't Your Fairytale 10/10
Reckoning Day, Reckoning Night 6/10
Don't Say a Word 10/10
The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Real Puppet 10/10
My Selene 9/10
Wildfire 10/10
White Pearl, Black Oceans... 10/10
Shamandalie 10/10
Jam- can I really give a rating?

Biography

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Finnish prog metal quartet Sonata Arctica specializes in a soaring, orchestral variation on European heavy metal, fusing the sweeping, romantic bombast of bands like Europe with the over-the-top instrumental chops of Dream Theater. Born in 1996, the band, which included vocalist Tony Kakko, guitarist Jani Liimatainen, drummer Tommy Portimo, keyboardist Mikko Harkin, and bassist Janne Kivilahti, recorded a handful of demos before releasing their first single, "UnOpened," on Spinefarm Records in July...
Full Bio
Reckoning Night, Sonata Arctica
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Jan 25, 2005

Customer Ratings

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