Tag Archives: jani liimatainen

“Unia” by Sonata Arctica

Artist: Sonata Arctica
Title: “Unia”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 5/22/2007
Genre: Melodic Power Metal
Rating: 4/5

We last heard from Sonata Arctica with their stellar performance CD/DVD combo “For The Sake Of Revenge” – this blistering concert piece came courtesy of the tour supporting “Reckoning Night” and it showed the world just how incredible the guys were on the stage and in general. Now the Finnish masters of Melodic Power Metal have returned to continue the valiant quest for world dominance over the genre with the presentation of “Unia”. It’s an album that takes time to remind us a little about where Sonata has come from musically and one that also helps us chart the course of where they are headed in the future. As one might expect from the guys there is a heaping dose of energetic musical forays to enjoy along with some rousing sing-along anthems. Yet this time around instead of being a full throttle pounding there seems to be a little bit more subtlety and experimentation into slower numbers that hold quite an impact. It starts off strong with “In Black And White”, a tune that has a lot of that old school Sonata Arctica feel to it. Yet the second tune slows it down just a little bit with “Paid In Full” but that picks up during the chorus parts. I’m confident that the main tune that will bring people a smile is “It Won’t Fade”. The track possesses the effective Sonata trait of blending several different melodic styles to success. Lead singer Tony Kakko is as on point as ever across the recording but when it hits “Caleb” you see just how much so. As one of the richest tunes on the record, we get incredible keyboard displays and then a page out of the Queen songbook is used as they deliver the multi-layered harmony chorus that makes this track a winner.
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“For The Sake Of Revenge” by Sonata Arctica

Artist: Sonata Arctica
Title: “For The Sake Of Revenge” CD/DVD
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 4/4/2006
Genre: Melodic Power Metal
Rating: 8/10

Are you still wondering what Sonata Arctica is all about? If this is the case then let me quickly bring you up to speed. Originating in Finland (gee what a surprise), the band that was formed in 1999 quickly became a fan favorite and were often paired with the Finnish juggernaut Nightwish. In 2003 they released “Winterheart’s Guild” a Melodic Power Metal heads dream album. The record was full of blistering riffs and rousing vocals and so good that it is considered some of their best material. When the band joined the ranks of Nuclear Blast Records and released “Reckoning Night” in 2004, the ground work began for the groups US invasion. Performances with legendary thrashers Overkill found the group surprised at their overall response for it seemed as while they were new to the United States shores, it would be in personnel only; their music had already arrived and the fans were waiting hungrily. Recorded in 2005 in Japan as the band continued to support “Reckoning Night”, this live CD with bonus DVD is your perfect chance to jump on board and find out what you have been missing so far. Yes, not only do you get a 15 song concert performance in audio but you have the full show that runs over an hour in length on the DVD. The film brings you 20 of the bands best songs and is a great treat for the fans for even if you don’t own “Reckoning Night” or “Winterheart’s Guild” you are not going to be lost. The group made sure to bring to life a number of songs from their back catalog during the show and this alone makes this product a must-have. Start to finish this is a great scope of material and allows you to press forward with the band in preparation for their new studio album which is being planned.
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“Reckoning Night” by Sonata Arctica

Artist: Sonata Arctica
Title: “Reckoning Night”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 11/2004
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 7.5/10

Sonata Arctica is one of those Finnish bands that have been causing quite the stir in the metal scene. When one thinks of the best performers of Power Metal, they are among the first to come up in the same sentence as Nightwish and EdGuy. Now distributed in the USA by Nuclear Blast, they have returned with the CD “Reckoning Night”. For this release I admit that I expected a little more. I had found their previous release “Winterheart’s Guild” to be a work of metal genius. It is very good, but does not seem to possess the intensity that I found on the other release. The 10 tracks I found go between very heavy and fast to your almost sing along-able type of track. Sonata often has the variety in their CD’s. The lineup is Tony Kakko (vocals), Jani Liimatainen (guitars), Tommy Portimo (drums), Marko Paasikoski (bass), and Henrik Klingenberg (keyboards). Fans of the technical side will enjoy how the members of Sonata play off of one another during the songs.
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