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Sonata Arctica - Pariah's Child

Published April 09 2014

=Staff's pick

The Wolves Die Young
Running Lights
Take One Breath
Cloud Factory*
What Did You Do In The War, Dad?
Half A Marathon Man
X Marks The Spot*
Larger Than Life

Genre Progressive Power Metal
Tony Kakko
Tracks 10
Elias Viljanen
Running time 53 Min.
Label Nuclear Blast
Pasi Kauppinen
Release 28 March 2014
Tommy Portimo
Country Finland
Henrik Klingenberg
Producer Pasi Kauppinen
Similar artists ---

To finally be able to write something great about Sonata Arctica is something I've waited for a long time. Even though the progressive stuff naturally still exists and absolutely haven't vanished into thin air, the worst and annoying share of it is gone, since I think that it has drowned the latest releases. Greater focus is again put on the actual melodies of the songs instead, which definitely is a huge step in the right direction. According to me, they have rarely succeeded to convince me of newfound greatness since they abandoned their traditional style partly with the Reckoning Night album.

There are actually rather many songs that I feel are able to provide needed injections to this record. For the first time in many years, Tony Kakko and his Finnish crew deliver a creation that makes me a little interested again. This is absolutely no totally redefining moment and also no large-scale return to classic albums like Ecliptica and Winterheart's Guild, but still something that can get the band back on its feet.

Of course I realize that there are two sides of a coin, in terms of the band's fanbase and as you may have figured out, I put myself in the department whose wishes hasn't really come to life during the second half of Sonata Arctica's fifteen year long career. Wrong or right? As far as I'm concerned, a massive section of their older fans left this building and looked at it as a ship with a leaking hull and have ever since looked forward to this episode that includes both slight and crucial adjustments.

Songs like Cloud Factory, Blood and X Marks The Spot definitely get the "all clear" in my book, although the last one mentioned probably would have reached greater magnitudes, the way I consider it, if the guest vocals were performed with a more sensible approach. Half A Marathon Man proceeds in up-tempo and marks rejuvenation and even if the song perhaps isn't the band's most outstanding work to date, it shows that Sonata Arctica still has the tools for a devotion to older stuff and I truly hope that a plan is in place to slowly face reality and see what's most rewarding.

I'm a little astonished that I'm still able to continue to follow this band's releases, since the three latest albums were decent at best and mostly just terrible. Pariah's Child is however much more valid and even old fans may find things that affect the metal veins and this is positively Sonata Arctica's best record since Reckoning Night.

See also review of: The Ninth Hour , Stones Grow Her Name , Unia , Reckoning Night , Winterheart's Guild , Silence , Don't Say A Word , Orientation








6 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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