Sonata Arctica - The Days Of Grays review
|Album:||The Days Of Grays|
|Release date:||September 2009|
01. Everything Fades To Gray
03. The Last Amazing Grays
04. Flag In The Ground
07. The Dead Skin
09. No Dream Can Heal A Broken Heart
10. As If The World Wasn't Ending
11. The Truth Is Out There
12. Everything Fades To Gray [full version]
13. In The Dark [limited edition bonus]
14. In My Eyes You're A Giant [Japanese and US bonus]
15. Nothing More [Japanese bonus]
Disc II [limited edition bonus]
01. Deathaura [orchestral version]
02. The Last Amazing Grays [orchestral version]
03. Flag In The Ground [orchestral version]
04. Juliet [orchestral version]
05. As If The World Wasn't Ending [orchestral version]
06. The Truth Is Out There [orchestral version]
07. In The Dark [orchestral version]
The last five years have been testing ones for Sonata Arctica having run the wave of hype and enthusiasm raised by the first couple of albums dry. Critics have had a blast with the band in recent years, with none more victimised than the band's last output Unia. A couple of years ago Sonata Arctica looked like a shadow of its former self, but right now with the release of album number six, The Days Of Grays has shone a ray of light.
By no means is The Days Of Grays a return to the sound, style and form of the first four records. If you expect an hour of frantic double bass pedalling then look elsewhere, but what The Days Of Grays is, is Sonata Arctica at their most mature and adventurous yet. The Days Of Grays is not a grey album, it is in fact quite black and white, an album of two halves in a sense.
On one side we have some energetic, up-tempo and frankly refreshing numbers such as the opening trio of songs "Deathaura", "The Last Amazing Grays" and "Flag In The Ground". "Deathaura" is Sonata Arctica like never before; bombastic symphonies, unusual song structure and a helping hand of some female vocals kick the album off in quite a Nightwish fashion. The album does have some pace outside of these three songs, but the second half of the album presents us with the other side to the album.
On the other side Sonata Arctica draw slightly from their Unia influence in providing slower songs with less conviction than the first part of the album. The Days Of Grays is a reasonably long album, and some of these songs do drag the album down such as the slightly morbid "Breathing".
The good news is that unlike Unia, the band have provided top quality songs that are a little more modest in pace. The Days Of Grays is probably the first time the band have consistently done this, with the help of songs like the closing trio "As If The World Wasn't Ending", "The Truth Is Out There" and "Everything Fades To Gray", not forgetting the fantastically dark "Juliet".
Again Tony Kakko is the shining star of the album delivering possibly his most diverse performance yet. The Days Of Grays is the darkest album Sonata Arctica has ever put out, touching grey subject areas such as death and relationships gone wrong, subjects that no one likes to take time to think about. It may however take time to appreciate The Days Of Grays and its full potential, it is after all the most ambitious project the band have undertaken. Give it the chance though and you won't be disappointed, Sonata Arctica have found new life.
Heavy metal / Power metal
||Written on 17.09.2009 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
|The Days of Grays is an album that was eagerly anticipated by the public, mostly due to the fact that some reviewers, who got to listen to it beforehand, labeled it as an album halfway between Unia and Reckoning Night. But I'd disagree with that-it's between the two albums only in terms of complexity. Musically, it's again a whole new Sonata Arctica. Don't worry though, the elements that make the very soul of the band are still more or less present and I shall discuss them below.
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| Baz Anderson
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