Sonata Arctica - Reckoning night 3/5

Reviewed: 3-18-05


1. Misplaced
2. Blinded no more
3. Aint your fairytale
4. Reckoning day, reckoning night...
5. Don't say a word
6. The boy who wanted to be a real puppet
7. My Selene
8. Wildfire
9. White pearl black oceans...
10. Shamandalie

The 4th full-length offering from these Finnish power metallers, who combine hyper speed with lush melodies, some frequently strange lyrics, and an overall feeling that is much of the sweet, speedy power metal that is the hallmark of Helloween's Kiske days, but with its own unique flavorings and blend. Of course, sometimes I don't particularly prefer those additional seasonings, but overall, the band does well. In this case, the band delivers exactly what you'd expect from their prior outings, and to my ears, more or less a similar level of quality and style, and I wouldn't think anyone will be disappointed, surprised, or alternatively, won over by this outing.

"Misplaced" opens the CD with the requisite blaze of speeding drums and keyboards (with their higher, bell ringing quasi-harpsichord sound) and is reminiscent, if not quite as awesome, as the lupine "The cage" from 'Winterheart guild'. "Blinded no more" slows and mellows thing downs a bit, and also gets back to the Sonata Arctica trait of relationshippy songs, which are all poetic and very good, but to me, just aren't what I want to hear in metal. "Ain't your fairytale" then gets back into my good favor with more speed, but speed that is uniquely Sonata Arctica in its melody and style, but is also just flat out good. In "Don't say a word" we get back to ambling poetry of anti-romance, but at least with a slightly more uptempo musical backdrop. Overall, the CD is the embodiment of this band, high points, unusual points, low points, mixed together in an end result which is clearly their own, but is definitely not standard issue anything.




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