Sonata Arctica - Reckoning Night review
|Release date:||October 2004|
02. Blinded No More
03. Ain't Your Fairytale
04. Reckoning Day, Reckoning Night...
05. Don't Say A Word
06. The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Real Puppet
07. My Selene
09. White Pearl, Black Oceans...
11. Jam [hidden track]
12. Wrecking The Sphere [Japanese bonus]
There's always something special when one of your favorite band releases a new album, don't you think?
Well, now that special moment has come for me again, for the third time this year, and this time it's Sonata Arctica's turn.
And I was really excited before putting this into my player, because once again I was stunned by the beautiful cover, damn, the covers are getting better and better, and I didn't think they could do a better one than "Winterheart's Guild", but damn, how wrong could a man be?
Anyway, let's focus on the music now, after we have been staring at the cover for an hour or so.
The music is very Sonata like, and believe it or not, the biggest surprise here is that the album is missing one of Sonata's trademarks, a clean, emotional ballad, "White Pearls, Black Oceans" & "Shamandalie" are the closest you'll find, they're both good songs, but the real emotional touch is missing.
Otherwise it sounds very much Sonata, Tony sings as good as always and both the music and the lyrics are good. The only difference I can hear is that the keyboards, once again, play a larger part. I have not heard as much keyboards in Sonata's music since"Ecliptica", even if it's used in a different way, mostly because the music has evolved since "Ecliptica" and that a new member is onboard, Henrik Klingenberg, so I guess we should have expected this (I'm not complaining, just telling facts).
The lack of a true ballad is sad, it truly is, because Sonata is one of the, if not the, best band when it comes to emotional ballads, I mean who hasn't been touched by songs like "Letter to Dana", "Shy", "Mary-Lou (Acoustic)", "Last Drop Falls", "Tallulah", "The Misery" & "Draw Me"? Every one of them is almost legendary in the Metal ballad society.
But this time Sonata is just giving us some mid-tempo songs (Blinded No More" & "The Boy…" and some half ballads and half mid-tempo songs (White Pearls, Black Oceans" & "Shamandalie") but that's not bad either, but a regular Sonata ballad wouldn't be wrong, it surely wouldn't.
Otherwise the songs are quite good, even if I think that some of the songs feels more like fillers the first times you hear them, and that's very unusual when it comes to Sonata, but maybe that's a result of the short time between "Winterheart's" and "Reckoning Night", I don't know, but that's the case.
And the album missing a true killer, a super-song, when "Winterheart's" got more than one, but "Reckoning" is missing that one. But it surely don't miss good songs, I'll personally give "Blinded No More" my vote for no.1.
Otherwise I hold "Ain't Your Fairytale", "Don't Say a Word" and "My Selene" (That's the fourth girl Tony is singing about, who are they all?) very high, but they still have a hard time when it comes to beat the tops from the last album.
So overall this album is a bit more difficult to fall for, but I think that's a result of two things, one has beenalready mentioned, the time between the last album and this is short (for Sonata) and then that Sonata is growing, they're evolving, they are not a Stratovarius clone anymore, their music has evolved and it's a bit harder to take it to the heart, but is still so damn good, I love it.
"Reckoning Night" is the natural successor to "Winterheart's Guild", it's a natural evolvement from the same album, the music is getting more complex and advance, the keyboards is once again growing, the ballads loosing ground and Sonata is about to get rid of the Strato-clone stamp, or better said, they have lost it and are now only Sonata Arctica, go guys.
Btw, just to inform you; the excellent narrator from "Silence" is once again giving his tremendous voice for a Sonata album, that's what I call "a lovely reunion".
Check Out: "Blinded No More" the best mid-tempo song since "Gravenimage", "Don't Say a Word", "The Boy Who Wanted to be a Real Puppet", "My Selene" and the silly "Bonus", that will appear after the last song.
|When you see this CD standing on a shelf in your favourite CD-store, don't let the wonderful cover art fool you, yes it is beautiful, yes it is creative, yes it has the Sonata Arctica logo on it, but this album certainly isn't beautiful or creative, and in fact doesn't even really sound like Sonata Arctica either.
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