Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for the 7th album from Finnish Symphonic Power Metal heroes Sonata Artica, two years in the making and the result is an excellent , if not somewhat eclectic mix of foot stomping tracks with more riffs than a raff and with buckets of prog tinged keyboards thrown in for good measure.
The wonderfully titled ‘Shitload O‘ Money’ for example with it’s hard edged metal sound, put against the 90’s esque ’Losing My Insanity’ and the power filled ‘Alone In Heaven’ ,make for a mix of styles that show the bands natural progression well but still keeps firm hold of the past rich musical history that Sonata possess.
The album is possibly closer in style to 2007’s ’Unia’ than the previous release, 2009’s ’The Days Of Grays.’ as there are without doubt more experimental passages on show here, maybe due to the fact that much of the tracks were written during the last tour and consequently recorded at various studios across their native Finland.
The album is ‘traditional’ enough to retain and please the hardcore Sonata fan whilst being different and adventurous enough to welcome newcomers into the fold. Tony Kakko’s voice is still as strong and full of presence as ever and Elias Viljanen’s guitar work really is second to none, especially on the beautifully insane track ’Cinderblox’.
If you’ve not really paid much attention to Sonata before this is a well recommended release to use as a starting point, and I for one am really looking forward to seeing how this new material comes across live on stage.
1. Only The Broken Hearts (Make You Beautiful).
2. Shitload O’ Money.
3. Losing My Insanity.
4. Somewhere Close To You.
5. I Have A Right.
6. Alone In Heaven.
7. The Day.
9. Don’t Be Mean.
10. Wildfire, Part: II – One With The Mountain.
11. Wildfire, Part III – Wildfire Town, Population 0.
Bonus Track Available On Deluxe Digipak Only.
12. Tonight I Dance Alone.