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Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica
Sonata Arctica are:-
Tony Kakko - vocals, keyboards
Jani Liimatainen - guitars
Janne Kivilahti - bass guitar
Tommy Portimo - drums
Raisa Aine - flute on "Letter to Dana"
Ecliptica is the first full length studio album by the mighty Sonata Arctica. With this album they catapulted themselves into every self respecting man's CD collection. In the frozen homeland of power metal, Finland, Sonata Arctica was formed. Discovered by Spinefarm, Finland's premier metal label, for their demo, Full moon (which appears on this album), Sonata Arctica rocketed into stardom, where they now camp quite contently.
The album cover depicts a pendant that has been dropped and embedded in ice.
The first song, BLANK FILE, reminds me of the auditors from the Terry Pratchett novels. It is about how some beings created all lives and have a file on everyone, except the singer who is a "blank file in their memory". The song is fast paced and has a heavy beat. The melody makes this a haunting song, when matched with the lyrics. It places in your mind a feeling of loneliness due to him being the only one who is not in their control. Kind of like Neo and the gang from the Matrix.
MY LAND begins with an awesome intro. The melody is captivating and the drums are brilliant. The song in itself is about a guy who has been kicked out of his home land. He feels that this is unjust and so returns in the future to reclaim it as his own. The vocals are powerful and I feel that this is one of the best songs on the album with its amazing riffs. It is very touching and full of hurt. "You might find that you are not so brave"...
8TH COMMANDMENT begins with a powerful riff and some great drumming. The song is fast paced with a great melody. To me the song is based on someone who has died and gone to hell for the sins of their lives. It seems to have the message that this is the way we are all going, but we can still change. It is a warning song. Whilst the title and some of the lyrics reference the bible, I cannot see how the song is connected to the 8th commandment which is "you must not steal"
REPLICA comes next. A magnificent song with powerful lyrics (am I using powerful too much?). It is about how war changes all of us, especially those directly involved. The man the song is about has been completely destroyed by the war, being unable to even remember Christmas, something that I always remember. "I'm taller when I sit here still" shows he is full of guilt and it lays heavy on his shoulders causing him to slump in on himself when he stands. He can no longer hold his head up high. He thinks that everyone blames him for the atrocities he no doubt committed on the battle field. The melody is slightly haunting, kind of like the music you would expect at the end of a horror movie. It is a nice slow song that I have had on my mp3 player since I first heard it all those years ago. It seems to be begging for forgiveness, but how those people who are to proud to ask for it go about it.
KINGDOM FOR A HEART is the next track and has a fast melody and great drum use. It is about a man who feels that his life is falling apart. A girl is asking him to help her but he is so engrossed in his own self pity that he refuses. In the next verse he seems angry at himself for wanting this girl to love him and give him a 'heart' when he feels that no one could ever love him. Listening to the song it seems like the girl did love him but he realized too late and now she has moved on hence this last ditch attempt of wooing by verse. I find this song a little weak, I don't know why but it just doesn't sit well with me, although it might be like the singer seems so up himself.
FULL MOON comes next. One of the best songs they have ever done. It seems to be about a were-wolf and its human lover. The melody is deep and wonderful and the drums work just perfect with it. The girl who loves him doesn't know he is a were-wolf and won't leave I'm when the full moon is in the sky. This song is so touching. A Romeo and Juliette type story, but instead of the families tearing them apart it is his condition, and in the case of the girl, his claws. Sometimes love will just not work, especially when the girl has to play fetch with her lover once a month. I love it!
Now don't get me wrong, I love LETTER TO DANA. There is one very big problem in my opinion that will take a lot of getting used to. The opening is awful. The flute makes it seem like a folk song. Once it gets going though it is quite a good song but it still has the folksy feel about it. It's a pity because I just can not get over the opening; the flute just sets me into a terrible mood. The band released "Letter to Dana (Return to Sender)" in a later album. It removes the flute, but it also removes the first verse. I defiantly prefer the return to sender version.
UNOPENED is the next track. The beat and melody are instantly recognizable. The song is once more fast paced and wonderful. The sort of song you could listen to over and over. It is about a person who keeps getting letters from someone they had a relationship with at one point, but too much time has passed so they refuse to open it in case they missed out on something good. It could be the singer reading one of Dana's replies, if she had sent one, or more likely a 'directors commentary' of Dana's life as she receives his letters.
PICTURING THE PAST is another song you instantly recognize. It is once again a fast song with a catchy melody. It seems to be about an old man who is living in the past. It is about him focusing on a particular memory that is terrible. He eventually leaves his place of hiding and goes to accept his fate. Great song, it is a bittersweet song.
DESTRUCTION PREVENTOR is the final but one song on this album. It is by far the longest song on the album at 7.44 minutes long. From the second the song begins you can tell this song is going to be epic. The first note makes me salivate (metaphorically) and it is about a man who has control. He has the 'red button' and presses it in defense, before realizing it was a mistake. He has accidentally destroyed the world; at least this is my take on it. This is the reason that Sonata Arctica are so great, songs like this.
The final song is MARY LOU which has an epic intro. The beat and melody are classic as are the lyrics. The lyrics make me grin in the same way that some people find themselves laughing at funerals. It is about a girl who runs away from home with a boy, who tells her they can sleep together and she wont get pregnant (something to do with the moon, I have no idea). Obviously she does and as with all young romances, the bloke goes off with a new more attractive girl. One of the most romantic songs on the album I think. It seems to be a song warning parents that, though their baby's are sweet and innocent now, before long they will be young adults and making very big mistakes. It also shows how guys can be complete and utter jerks.
I don't think the lyrics work well with this beat. It's much too heavy for the story. Sonata Arctica later released an acoustic version which sounds a lot better and has the sad overtones to the melody that this version is missing but deserves.
This is all in all a magnificent album, and one which launched Sonata Arctica into my heart. FULL MOON, REPLICA and MY LAND are some of the best songs on the album, and I would go so far as to say that FULL MOON is one of their best songs ever. It's just a pity about the music going with the MARY-LOU lyrics.
This is a great album which I would definitely recommend.
An Evil Sam review.
Sonata Arctica - Silence
Sonata Arctica Are;-
Tony Kakko - Vocals, additional keyboards
Jani Liimatainen - Guitars
Tommy Portimo - Drums
Mikko Härkin - Keyboards
Marko Paasikoski - Bass
Sonata Arctica released this as their second studio album. The cover shows a split section with a scene from the beginning of spring on the left, snow on the ground with a small fire at sunset, and a scene of the fall on the right at night time.
The opening track is a haunting melody with just a passage being spoken over it. Entitled ...SILENCE it is a grand opening to an album and promises great things to follow.
WEBALLERGY follows and is a heavy and fast paced song with magnificent vocals and a wonderful melody. It is about the singers hatred of the internet and how males in particular have found themselves living in front of their machines instead of going out to find a girl. A rather epic song indeed.
FALSE NEWS TRAVELS FAST follows with another heavy and fast song. It appears to be about the singer's wife or girlfriend doubting his faithfulness due to false news travelling fast. There is an extreme solo about half way though. The lyrics seem to really effect the singer as he puts a lot of emotion into them.
THE END OF THIS CHAPTER is about a stalker. It begins with a rather disturbing phone call to a girl. The song that follows is slow at first, but you hear the menace and slight insanity as it moves onto the second chapter. Just like EVERY STEP YOU TAKE by the police, if you are not listening to intently to the lyrics it could be mistaken for a romantic love song. The chapters as the song are broken into get significantly more dark and frightening as they move on. "I have never wished you dead... Yet" makes you want to shiver. A great song although maybe not one to listen to if you are actually stalking someone as it could probably be used as character referencing material if you are arrested. At over seven minutes long this is epic and one of the highlights of the album.
BLACK SHEEP is a great, heavy and fast paced track. It appears to be about a were-wolf miller who loves a girl. The song is lost on me, but I love to hear it. I wouldn't have said it was one of their best though. Probably the closest thing to a filler track that sonata have ever done in my opinion.
LAND OF THE FREE is a great song with a very mellow and slow opening. It is about a vampire, as far as I can tell, who is trying to use his studies of humanity to take over the world. After the intro it turns into a very heavy song with another killer solo half way through. It is a great song with a cool melody.
LAST DROP FALLS is a truly awe-inspiring song. It is about a guy who is in love with a woman who is just using him for her own devises. The melody reaches into me and attempts a strangle hold. The lyrics bite into you and anchor the songs into your memories. "When I'm looking in your eyes,
Everything seems to fade away" show just how romantic Sonata Arctica can be.
SAN SEBASTIEN follows with a happy / sad melody. It is about a guy who has fallen for San Sebastian's daughter who was too hot to handle. He wishes he had not spent all his life pining after her. A great song.
SING IN SILENCE is slow and has a very quite melody. It is sad and you can feel the hurt in the Kakko's voice. The solo in the middle is once again magnificent and adds much to the song. The last 3 verses are him trying to give confession but being refused.
REVONTULET is a brilliant instrumental with a fast and jumpy beat and melody. Also it is not so long as you get bored. A great track
TALLULAH is one of my favorite tracks on the album. With its beautiful and sad melody it is one of the best love songs I have heard in a long time. Half way though the song the drums come in adding a heavy tinge to this regret filled song. Magnificent song.
WOLF AND RAVEN is a magnificently dark track with heavy drums. I love it completely. The lyrics are great, if a little hard to hear. It is about a guy who wants to be free from his master and so kills his king. The master won't free him and so he develops a deep hatred for him. This is definitely a great track, although Kakko said he hates singing it live as there is no space to breath.
RESPECT THE WILDERNESS is one of my least favorite songs on the album. It has a good melody and is fast but I just don't connect with it at all.
THE POWER OF ONE comes in at over eleven minutes long. The opening is long and is just 'rain' falling for a good thirty seconds. The melody comes in next and is absolutely awesome. It is then followed by just a spoken passage over the 'rain'. The song then begins with amazing vocals and lyrics. A truly epic song with some stupendous riffs. This is the very epitome of power metal.
I loved this album. It contains some of my favorite tracks including TALLULAH, THE POWER OF ONE and LAST DROP FALLS. There are tracks for any mood, and the vocals are right on key. I am very glad I bought this album as it is definitely as good as I was expecting from THE COLLECTION, my first Sonata CD.
I cannot recommend this enough.
An Evil Sam Review.
Nightwish - Wishmaster
A while ago my friend gave me this CD as I was so in love with Sonata Arctica. He said this was similar and would rock my world. Unfortunately I have to disagree.
The album is called Wishmaster and is the bands third album. Whilst it is indeed power metal and they come from the same country, Nightwish is very different from Sonata. For one thing the lead singer of night wish cannot sing. Ah well on with the review...
SHE IS MY SIN is a masterfully put together song. The melody and drums make you want to get up and dance. As the opening song on the album it makes you want to listen to the rest of the CD. The vocals are brilliant, she sounds really good in this song. At four minutes 46 seconds long it is pretty much perfect in length. I like 5 minutes songs in the metal category as it gives you enough time to get a good three verses out with a great chorus as is the case with this track.
9/10 for this song. Well worth a listen!
THE KINSLAYER has a really great name. Unfortunately I don't think the song lives up to the title. The song is fast paced with a pretty cool melody, but I don't like the style of singing in this song. It does build up a feeling of suspense and once the initial feeling of unease that the vocals give has dissipated, the song is a nice listen. The male vocals get rid of the suspense in my opinion. They make me want to giggle which is not the effect the band was hoping for I think. The ending is quite epic though.
6/10 for this track due to the initial shock and the funny male lyrics. Still a good song though
COME COVER ME is a song of longing. The singer longs for the touch of a man as far as I can tell. The song gives off a dark aura (metaphorically of course). I enjoyed the song and it works well with the singer's screechy operatic voice. A medium paced song with a catchy beat. Nothing special but still worth a spin in the old CD player
WANDERLUST, a condition that affects the species called Kender (if you are familiar with Dragonlance). The vocals just don't seem to work for me. The lyrics are not the problem, the woman just can't sing very well. She seems so out of tune throughout the album but you can really hear it in this track. Opera is all good and well, but its place in the metal category is limited as far as i am concerned, also it would help if she even had a good operatic voice. I'm sorry to any fans of this band but I can't stand this song. It makes no sense to me.
4/10, and only that because it made me think of Tas
TWO FOR TRAGEDY starts off slow with a very sad melody and vocals. The song is about a mother who has lost her son to death as apposed to an ill fated shopping trip. The music is quiet for about half the song, followed by the drums that are played very tastefully. The guitar is magnificent. One of the better songs on the album
9/10, losing a point due to her voice
WISHMASTER is the title track on this album and has a very memorable opening. The vocals are very haunting and her voice actually makes this song work. The chorus is great although it is hard to understand and it may come across as a quite offensive song if you don't know what they are actually saying. This is by far the best song on the album and I would defiantly recommend listening to it. It is based on Raistlin and Dalimar's relationship from the Dragonlance series.
BARE GRACE MISERY is a slow to medium paced song. The melody and drums are well done, but for some reason she decided to see just how unbearable she could make her voice on this track. Awful from start to finish due to her minimalistic singing ability . It would be a decent instrumental though
I'm going to be honest. The rest of the CD gets no better. I cannot see how people can listen to this. You look ate the lyrics and listen to the parts where she is not singing and you think "wow, this is going to rock" then she opens her mouth and it's like when people scratch the chalk board.
If they got someone who could sing then I think this could be a great album. I am sorry but I cannot recommend this album at all.
An Evil Sam review.
I would first and foremost like to apologize for my poor previous attempt at this review.
There are 2 forms of vivisection in my opinion. Necessary and unnecessary. Necessary vivisection is on medical grounds and unnecessary is on cosmetically grounds.
In my opinion apposing medical vivisection is an extremely foolhardy position to take. It has saved many millions of lives and will continue to for a very long time, until it is replaced by a superior form of testing or we are made invulnerable to harm. I myself have diabetes and IBS and I would be dead if not for vivisection. Those who appose this form of vivisection are living in a dream world and would have a very rude awakening if in my, or many of the millions of people who are alive due to vivisection, shoes.
Cosmetic vivisection is on the other hand not at all funny. I truly disagree with this form, as do most people.
Still debating it is not going to do anything anyway I suppose.
Once again apologies to all I offended earlier. I will be good from now on.
An Evil Sam Opinion
Point Blanc - Anthony Horowitz
This book is set a few weeks after the Storm Breaker novel which introduced the world to Alex Rider, the 14 year old super spy. This story is based around a finishing school for troublesome boys from rich and influential families. After two of the most recent men to send their children there die in rather freak accidents, MI6 decide to call in Alex to investigate the school.
Whilst this is all happening Alex has taken it upon himself to break up the drug ring that has been poisoning his school. This leads to him being taken away by MI6 and given the job. Alex must now pose as the troubled son of the Friend family, owner of Friends supermarkets and ear of the president.
This book has no subtlety whatsoever. You can instantly tell it is written for youngsters as the plot relies heavily on the readers' naivety. There is much comedy in the story although I suspect a lot of it is unintentional. The characters are very bland and empty, with even Alex himself having little or no substance. I can see it appealing to 10 - 15 year old boys. It would have you believe that all adults are fools.
I don't mean to lead you to believe that it is an awful book. It is rather funny in places and, if you are just in it for a fun story and you don't care that there are huge plot holes and inconsistencies with real life, then yes, read it. It is a fun book but it just seems to be making a mockery of the readers' intelligence.
To read this book I had to put on my 'silly childish sense of humor "giggle at the word poo" hat'. Thus it was with a little shock I found myself in tears when Alex described his new family as 'frigid'
Once you get over the faults listed above the story gets going quite efficiently. There are a few plot twists, and a few moments where you will have your heart in your throat.
The main villain is cold and calculating, which is cool. I just get the feeling that Horowitz' own hatred of the upper class crept into this book a little to much which detracted from the overall feel of the book. If he had planned it out a little more and removed some of the overly done snobbery then the book would have glided over that much more smoothly.
I find that I had to be in the right frame of mind to read this book. After a hard days work I found it infuriating how hollow the plot actually was.
As a working class fellow my self I also find myself glaring at the pompous upper class, but there was some definite loathing coming though in this book. It's a pity that I found myself enjoying this book most when I switched off and just let the words flow over me. When that happened I felt happy in my soul. Also its only eight or nine years old and I'm sure that even then, $200,000 wasn't that much for hiring the best contract killer of the day, can not say for sure though as I could only afford Matthew from around the corner who would do it for a tenner and a box of Roses.
If you need a new book to read then it might be worth picking it up, but I cant give it a major recommendation I'm afraid.
An Evil Sam Review
Wilt On High - Tom Sharpe
Wilt on High is the third in the Wilt series of books by the satirist Tom Sharpe. The series follows the misadventures of Henry Wilt, the head of communication skills and expressive attainment, his wife and quadruplets. There are many returning minor characters such as Braintree, Wilts fellow lecturer and friend, and Inspector Flint, who blames wilt for all his problems.
In this book, Henry Wilt has another period in his life he would probably wish had never happened. His wife Eva is convinced his children are geniuses and so is sending them to a private school. To fund this Wilt has to teach a very dangerous convict in the afternoons, which leads to one plot line, and secretly lecture an army base, which leads to another. If this isn't bad enough, his dozy assistant sends him to the wrong bathroom when a girl is having an overdose, which leads to him being attacked by a female PE teacher, and we all know what they are like.
Then Eva decides to give wilt some animal Viagra to spice up their sex life. And spice it up it does.
Then when Wilt goes to lecture at the army base everything goes horribly wrong, leading to one of the funniest and cringe worthy stories I have read in a long time.
Eva is such a wonderfully crafted character. Someone with no intelligence whom is easily swayed by anything and anyone, but has beliefs so strong you could make a bank vault out of them. To read this you may think she is a truly unbelievable character, but not so. A well made up person that you can fully believe in.
Wilt is just as solid a character, with his amazingly sardonic view of the world. He is intelligent and knows it, feeling he can 'hold his own in a confrontation' albeit a verbal one. The way he runs rings around those in a position of power over him is so hilarious that you will fin it hard to read for the tears in your eyes.
The Quads, as wilt so affectionately calls them, are the children of Wilt and Eva. Four twin girls with an almost professor like knowledge on certain subjects. They have inherited Wilts way with words, and Eva's ability to run rings around Wilt. Wilt especially dislikes how they mix their knowledge with an air of innocence.
Tom Sharpe is back once more with some of the most comical dialogs I have ever read. The way in which Wilt is always one step ahead of everyone, whilst simultaneously being almost one lap behind is amazingly funny. From page one the gags and witty Cynicisms are non-stop.
The plot is well thought out with many interweaving stories and sub plots. it never gets boring reading this book, it is literally a laugh a minute, if not more often.
At times it does get silly, but it is a believable silly. I can actually imagine the General of the base interrogating in the manor of which he does.
Every thing that happens should not, and whilst in your heart of hearts you know it is all a very big and, in wilts opinion, terrible group of coincidences, it does not appear to be set to far outside the walls of reality.
The police force features in this novel once more and the blundering way they are all trying to use each other for their own motives is almost imposable to read due to the page shaking with your laughter.
While I can find no reason for saying so, I find this book, and its prequels and sequel, reminiscent of the Adrian Mole books, if you took ignore the fact that Adrian Mole is a diary and it is no where near as funny.
I would defiantly recommend picking up a copy of this book. Reading the others in the series before this in not necessary to enjoy this book, but they are all equally funny. Do yourself a favor and giggle till you can't breathe with this great book.
An Evil Sam Review
Sonata Arctica - The Collection.
The Collection is a greatest hits collection from Sonata Arctica. All the songs on this album are top notch and I can find little to complain about. It was released at the end of 2006 and came with a DVD, which I have not reviewed, sorry, but I'm not good at reviewing music videos. The DVD comes with the WOLF AND RAVEN music video and two live performances - THE CAGE and KINGDOM FOR A HEART.
THE RUINS OF MY LIFE is fast paced with powerful melody and drums. The song is about a man who fights for his master in order to keep the girl who he loves alive. Unfortunately the master betrays him. A great start to the album with a meaningful song, but what do you expect from a greatest hits CD. A definite hit originally off the Winterhearts Guild Album.
8TH COMMANDMENT begins with a great riff and some nice drumming. The song is fast paced with a powerful melody. To me the song seems to be about someone who has died and gone to hell for the sins of their lives. This is a great song that really follows on from THE RUINS OF MY LIFE masterfully. A great song from the Ecliptica Album.
Next up is the fifth track from the Reckoning Night album. DON'T SAY A WORD. A rather tastefully done track about wanting to kill a girl, so as to be free form loving her when he knows he shouldn't. This definitely deserves to be on the album with its dark melody and powerful beat.
VICTORIA'S SECRET follows on with a much more up beat sound to it. Seemingly about a girl (Victoria no doubt) who has just escaped the shackles of depression, never to return. A feel good track with a great melody. Another track that defiantly deserves to be here.
TALLULAH is the next track, a sad song about losing the girl he loves and begging for another chance. I love this song although I have seen others say they hate it. The melody is just so powerful and you can feel the emotion being put into the song.
WOLF AND RAVEN is a magnificently dark track with heavy drums. I love it completely. The lyrics are great, if a little hard to hear. It is about a guy who wants to be free from his master and so kills his king. The master won't free him and so he develops a deep hatred for him. This is definitely deserving of its place on the greatest hits album.
BLACK SHEEP is a great, heavy and fast paced track. It appears to be about a were-wolf miller who loves a girl. The song is lost on me, but I love to hear it. I wouldn't have said it was one of their best though...
BROKEN is an epic song "I might be a god" are class lyrics. The entire chorus is amazing. It is a pretty dark song but should be on all MP3 players in my opinion.
KINGDOM FOR A HEART is the next track and has a fast melody and great drum use. It is about a man who is about to die, but the people around him keep asking him to help. He would give anything, even a kingdom if he had one, for one more day, or a heart. This makes me think he is dying from a heart condition. Actually due to some of the later verses suggest he is not dying, but just wants to have a heart so he can fall in love. I find this song a little weak, I don't know why but it just doesn't sit well with me. I really think it should have been left off the album
"Running away from it all" some amazing lyrics are used in this song. You can tell that the band really 'feel' this track. FULL MOON is defiantly belonging here. I mean who doesn't want to hear the story of a were-wolfs relationship with a woman he ends up killing? Epic to the max!!!
MY LAND begins with an awesome intro. The melody is captivating and the drums are brilliant. The song in itself is about a guy who has been kicked out of his home land. He feels that this is unjust and so returns in the future to reclaim it. The vocals are powerful and I feel that this is one of the best songs on the album. Woop!!!
THE CAGE is a song based around wolves. I love this song and it is defiantly one of my favorites and makes me want to throw off my own shackles, which would actually be quite a bad idea so I don't. The melody is uplifting and fast paced. Told from the wolf's point of view, it tells of its wishes to escape its cage. The last verse is a threat to the humans who have trapped the wolf. A magnificent song that is very happy here.
LAST DROP FALLS is a truly awe-inspiring song. It is about a guy who is in love with a woman who is just using him for her own devises. The melody reaches into me and attempts a strangle hold. The lyrics bite into you and anchor the songs place in this best of album. Magical.
UNOPENED is the next track. The beat and melody are instantly recognizable. The song is once more fast paced and wonderful. The sort of song you could listen to over and over. It is about a person who keeps getting letters from someone they had a relationship with at one point, but too much time has passed so they refuse to open it in case they missed out on something good.
SAN SABASTIAN is a speedy little number that really lifts your spirits. It is about a guy who has fallen for San Sebastian's daughter who was too hot to handle. He wishes he had not spent all his life pining after her. A great song and truly deserves to be here.
AIN'T YOUR FAIRY TALE is a magical song. It describes the war between the humans and wolves from the wolves' perspective. It is sung in the style of an old wolf telling young wolves the history of the pack. It is a fast paced song with wonderful lyrics that go right through me. Extremely powerful power metal.
REPLICA comes next. A magnificent song with powerful lyrics. It is about how war changes all of us, especially those directly involved. The man the song is about has been completely destroyed by the war, being unable to even remember Christmas, something that I always remember. The melody is slightly haunting, kind of like the music you would expect at the end of a horror movie. It is a nice slow song that I have kept on my MP3 player since first hearing it on Ecliptica.
This is defiantly the best of Sonata Arctica. The songs on this album are not necessarily what I would have chosen, but you can see that it is a well rounded album of tracks that different people would all consider to be the best. There are songs from each of their albums that they had released at that time. I personally think that they should have included WHITE PEARL BLACK OCEAN, but that is a minor fault, if one at all.
A definite recommend.
An Evil Sam review.
SONATA ARCTICA - UNIA
The band consists of :-
Tony Kakko - vocals, keyboard
Jani Liimatainen - guitar
Henrik Klingenberg - keyboards, Hammond (I have no idea what this is)
Marko Paasikoski - bass
Tommy Portimo - drums
This is another great album by the band Sonata Arctica. This album contains some great tracks including CALEB, UNDER YOUR TREE and GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH.
There are many story telling songs such as CALEB and FLY WITH THE BLACK SWAN.
IN BLACK AND WHITE is the first track on the album. It is heavy and relatively fast paced. There is some near screaming metal in this track. The songs story is about revenge and makes the singer out to be monstrous. A great and powerful song
PAID IN FULL is the next track. It is about a relationship that has just ended and the man is blaming him self for being too weak. The melody is light and bouncy with a great beat. The vocals on this I find particularly powerfully. A sad song with an amazing chorus, "it's hard for me to love myself right now". Stunning and beautiful.
FOR THE SAKE OF REVENGE is a nice follow up to the previous song. The intro is epic, the beat and melody are haunting and quiet. The vocals are stunning once again. The singer is trying to leave a woman but "for the sake of revenge" she won't let him and he compares the escape attempt to swimming forever. Heavy stuff, indeed.
This is followed by IT WON'T FADE which starts with a soft melody then the drums enter and it takes on a heavy tone. The song seems to be that people on a ship are dealing with people who are wallowing in their own sorrow. A very nice song.
UNDER YOUR TREE has a melody that bites right to my soul. Slow, sad and instantly recognizable. You can feel the hurt in the singer's voice. It is about a man who is in bed guarding over his lover, who has the signs that she is dying, and then flows though to when he buries her "under your tree", then goes on to describe how they fell in love.
CALEB starts with a voice over. It's a pretty heavy song about a boy, Caleb, who was abused by his parents, always held back and how it messed with his head. Great beat in the background.
THE VICE is an amazing song. Fast paced and funky. I don't know why but I always laugh when I hear this song. "Don't love me, don't you dare, I lie and cheat and I don't care" always makes me smile. I think it's because this song reminds me of the sort of stuff I used to say when I sulked. I think that even if you don't buy the album, you should listen to this song.
Another song that makes me think the singer is wallowing in self pity is this next song MY DREAM'S BUT A DROP OF FUEL FOR A NIGHTMARE. That's not to say it a bad song, quite the opposite in fact, its I song I have often listened to when feeling a bit down. I don't really get the song, except that the guy is depressed and feeling like he has no control over his life.
THE HARVEST is another very fast song suitable for head banging to. At first I thought it was a song from a scarecrows point of view, but now I am not so sure.
THE WORLDS FORGOTTEN, THE WORLDS FORBIDDEN is a slow sad song. I found it funny but that's just me. I laugh at the strangest things sometimes. The melody is interesting and the beat is fun.
FLY WITH THE BLACK SWAN is a fun song describing how the singer goes into a pub and offers to tell his story for a pint. The song is the sort of song I really enjoy dancing to. This is defiantly a candidate for the "chicken" dance move.
GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH is a slow and quite sad song about how a girl broke his "heart when it was weak". It has a quirky melody and the vocals are lovely.
This is another wonderful album by the great Sonata Arctica. THE VICE and GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH are two stunning songs. Some grate story telling comes into play in CALEB and there is a good mix of styles and song speeds in this album for any mood.
If you are depressed because a girl just left you, play GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH, or if you are bitter play IN BLACK AND WHITE. If you want to dance with a hot babe up close and personal then play IT WONT FADE, and of course UNDER YOUR TREE if someone has just passed away. THE VICE, I find, is good for a giggle.
An Evil Sam Review
Sonata Arctica - Reckoning Night.
Another great album by the amazing Sonata Arctica. This album contains some awe inspiring tracks such as "Ain't Your Fairytale", "Wildfire" and "White Pearl, Black Oceans..."
As with all Sonata Arctica albums, the songs tell a story, and each song is like a chapter in a book, albeit a strange book written by a mad man lol.
The front cover depicts a ship going through rough waters with the waves personified as wolves, a strong symbol that is Sonata Arctica's symbol. There is also a lighthouse in the background with no light. This is a reference to the 9th track on the album "White Pearl, Black Ocean". The back cover and inside depict a puppet, referring to the epic "The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Real Puppet".
The first track is "misplaced", which is fast paced and makes you want to dance. The vocals make you think it is a dark song even if you are not listening to the lyrics. The song is about a man who feels 'misplaced'. He doesn't fit in and wishes he could go back in time and realizes he is in a dream land. He ends up thinking something is really wrong with him.
The second track is called "Blinded No More". This is another love song about being used by a woman. I can't help thinking that the singer may have had some bad relationships in the past as this is a recurring theme in Sonata Arctica songs. It is slower and not as dark, with a sad melody.
"Ain't Your Fairy tale" is a great song. It describes the war between the humans and wolves from the wolves' perspective. It is sung in the style of an old wolf telling young wolves the history of the pack. A fast paced song with wonderful lyrics that, for some reason, make me feel proud. I have literally no idea why as it has nothing to do with me in subject, or my way of life but whatever. Extremely powerful power metal.
"Reckoning Day, Reckoning Night" is a slow song which is an instrumental. It puts to mind the feeling of creeping though an enemy forest. The end gathers ticking which is then continued in "Don't Say A Word"
"Don't Say A Word" is another dark fast paced song. This is the first Sonata Arctica song that I heard containing a swear word. Well, not really a swear, more a rather nasty insult. It is about a woman who has a 'strangle hold' on his heart, and so he decides to kill her. Well that is my take on it any way. It is done very tastefully and no murder actually takes place in the song.
"The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Real Puppet" is an incredibly dark song about a boy who becomes fascinated with a puppeteers doll. He wishes to buy it, but the puppeteer refuses. The boy threatens to kill the man and then the boy becomes a puppet. He realizes his mistake, but the puppeteer refuses to turn him back. It is a sad slow song that truly tells a great if creepy story. The melody is enchanting.
"My Selene" has a lighter melody and is relatively fast paced. Another love song but once again, if you listen to the lyrics, it is a sad love song about a man who has fallen for a girl in his dreams. Its got a happy melody with the feel of hope.
"Wildfire" was the first Sonata song I ever heard. The beginning is a very cheesy talk followed by the heaviest melody in a song they have ever done. It's about a man who gets blamed for everything so decides to set his town on fire and run away. He comes across as a crazy person with a dual personality. A funny song if you like dark humor and the closest to a screamer song that Sonata Arctica have done.
"White Pearl Black Ocean" is about a lonely lighthouse worker who decides to go into town one day and meets a girl, sleeps with her and forgets to turn on the lighthouse. It turns out the White Pearl crashed and all aboard died due to his night of passion. The song is slow and filled with guilt. A large section is dedicated to whether or not he should jump off the top of his tower. So another dark song then.
"Shamandelie" is a slow sad song. I have no idea what they are going on about in this song. Im sorry. Its a nice song to listen to but when I try to understand the story behind it I get a bad headache.
I loved this album. "White Pearl Black Oceans..." and "The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Real Puppet" are two of the best story songs I have ever heard, and I love "This Ain't Your Fairy Tale".
Another great album by a band that rocks my socks. Love all the tracks on it and I definitely recommend it to all lovers of music.
An Evil Sam Review
Sonata Arctica - Winterhearts Guild
This is a great album by the brilliant Sonata Arctica.
The cover depicts a dungeons and dragons type scene of four hero and the booklet contains all the lyrics and the pictures inside depict the band members as characters from the dungeons and dragons realm. There is also the quote "i can change one note and make you cry..." behind the CD
The CD in its self contains some of my favorite tracks including "Broken", "Victoria's secret" and "The Cage"
The first track is "abandoned, pleased, Brainwashed, exploited". This track as you can probably tellm is a sad song, as are most songs on this album. The song is fast paced with heavy, jumpy drums. As close as Sonata Arctica come to being screamy on this album. Heavy lyrics as with most of the bands work which i feel tells us how we are ruining things for the next generation.
"Gravenimage" is the next track with great melody and powerful lyrics. The song makes you think it may be about the singer. It tells the story of how he seems to have lost the love of music he had when he was younger to fall in love with a girl, and when he tries to go back to it he can not. A Sad song which starts off slow, but speeds up towards the end. The sort of song you want to hear when you have just broken up with a girl.
"The Cage" is a song based around wolves. I love this song and it is defiantly one of my favorites. The melody is uplifting and fast. Told from the wolf's point of view, it tells of its wishes to escape it cage. I really relate to this song due to feeling trapped at certain points of my life. The last verse is a threat to the humans who have trapped the wolf. A magnificent song.
"The Misery" is another wonderful song. Very slow powerful melody to an incredibly bleak and sad song. About love that is not returned, but a very desperate love from an almost emo person it seems at places. The chorus is so deep and almost makes you want to cry for the singer, who will do anything if only she would return his love.
As soon as the first note comes out of the speaker you can tell this is going to be a great song, "Victoria's Secret" is one of Sonata's best songs. To me it seems to be about a girl who has just surfaced from a depression. This ties in with the other songs in the album. The lyrics ate truly inspirational, if you are in a bad mood they will help you get over it.
"Broken" was at one point my overall favorite song. It has great lyrics and i love the chorus.
The Winterhearts Guild album is one of Sonata Arctica's best. I would defiantly recommend it to all fans of power metal. It is so good in fact that there is to be a computer game based around it, how many albums can say that.
A Great and inspirational album by an amazing band!!!
An Evil Sam review
##### TITLE #####
Artemis Fowl and the Eternity code
##### MAIN CHARACTERS #####
Artemis Fowl - the Hero
Butler - The Bodyguard
Holly - main Pixie
Foaly - Super smart Centaur
Spiro - the enemy
Blunt - Spiro's Bodyguard
##### PLOT #####
Artemis fowl has developed a brand new computing devise - the C-cube - that will render all other forms of technology useless. It is created from Fairy technology that Butler Confiscated when they broke into Fowl manor last year (the original Artemis Fowl book). He arranges a meeting with Spiro in which he offers to keep his new c-cube off the market for a year in return for a metric ton of gold.
The plan goes horribly wrong when Spiro steals the C-Cube and Butler gets shot saving Artemis.
Artemis makes a phone call and puts Butler into a Cryogenic state until Holly arrives to save him.
Unfortunately Holly has not got enough magic in her so the healing spell uses some of Butlers own life force, around 15 years worth.
After getting back to his estate Spiro finds out that the C-Cube is useless without Artemis, due to the eternity code he used to encrypt it.
Thus the story continues with Artemis trying to get the C-Cube back, and Spiro trying to capture Artemis to crack the Eternity code.
Will Artemis save the day, with help from holly, Foaly and Root, or will Spiro break the code and discover Haven, home of The People.
##### MY FEELINGS #####
I loved the book. It is in keeping with the previous Artemis Fowl books, but also with new and lasting consequences. I was almost in shock when Butler was took the bullet for Artemis. My heart was in my mouth for the rest of the chapter. The way that Artemis was so out maneuvered by Spiro was shocking.
It was extremely funny from the start and i was giggling on the second page.
As Butler thinks he is dying in the restaurant, he tells Artemis his name, as they are now friends. This leads to a very sad chapter in which Juliet, butlers little sister is told.
When she arrives at Fowl Manor the humor is reintroduced into the story thankfully.
Artemis' Plan is once again extremely intelligent, and also quite funny. Artemis the character is filled out even more in this book and we see him as the smartest boy in the world, but also as the loneliest kid who has no friends his own age.
Also in the last book Artemis rescued his father. In this book there are lots of diary extracts showing conversations with his father. They make us feel as though Artemis has always just needed the love of his father, and because he has never had it, turned to sin.
This along with his further contact with the fairies is slowly turning Artemis into a good natured and kind teenager.
##### SUMMARY #####
The story is fun to read and easy to get into. The plot is strong and well structured. Once translated, the secret code at the bottom of each page is also quite funny. The characters in the book are varied and full. The characters from previous books are made more full.
A funny book with sad moments.
Title - war of the twins
The story starts second or so arter the events of the Time of the Twins novel. Crisinthia wakes up in a dark room to hear Caramon crying out in fear. Using her Clerical powers she creates light to find that the spell she cast at the end of the last book has blinded Caramon. It appears as though Raistlin is dead but Caramon reassures her that he is just exhausted from the spell.
After moments they realize they have been transported to the Tower of High Sorcery in Palenthas, before Raistlin reclaimed it as his own.
Tas wakes up is the abyss, where he meets a Gnome who's inventions actually work .
Raistlin, Caramon and Crysania leave the tower and eventually meet up with others and form the army of Fistandatilus. Raistlin now realises he is stuck in a time loop where he has taken the place of Fistandantilus, or maybe he is Fistandantilus.
Thus the story commences with Raistlin and party trying to find the portal to the abyss, and Tas trying to get to them to 'save the day'.
After finishing the last book, 'Time of the twins' i was not sure i wanted to read this book. It seemed as though not only Caramon, but also the hilarious Taslehoff Burfoot was dead.
Needless to say i persevered and read the first few chapters with a heavy heart. On finding, as i should have guessed really, that they were both alive, in some way or another, i was overjoyed. The story then escalated into a fast paced and wonderful tale. Caramon reunited with his brother in adventure like in the olden days, when Raistlin still wore the red robes of Neutrality.
Raistlin finally shows some human emotion, and though he blames it on the 'weakness of flesh' we see it for what it really is, love. We see that love has truly blinded Crysania, and that she has taken on Caramon's role from the olden days, as Raistlin's carer.
The fear that Raistlin is subject to, not only from his feeling of impending doom, but also from his sudden feelings of lust, make him a very likable character, even though deep down you want to hate him.
Raistlin is a wonderful character in this book. You are never sure whether he is on the side of good or bad. At times it seems as though he loves his brother deeply, but is trying to hide it, and at others he seems to despise him.
Caramon's character is also delved into with him seeming very mature and dependable at times, and almost child like at others. The hurt he feels at Raistlin's constant betrayals is a dominant feature of this book and makes you really feel for him.
The book is so well written with an amazingly deep feeling plot, that had to read it slow, to savor the reading of this masterpiece. The way we find out about Raistlins fight with Fistandantalis is extremely clever, and the magic battle they have is truly exciting.
The Dwarven hero Kharas is another great character. A true hero who abhors fighting, he does everything he can to stop the Drarfgate wars.
The last few chapters had me in tears, or would have done i was capable of crying. It also shows us just how powerful Raistlin has become.
Though written by two authors, you can barely tell where one stops and one starts.
There are so many twists in this book it is surprising that it does not turn in on itself. The characters are developed to completion.
I found my heart in my throat more than once and my eyes blurred with the promise of tears towards the end. There are very few books where an evil Mage can be made to appear so good you want him to survive it all.
Lady Crysania is no longer the 'ice maiden' and you find you want her to survive more and more throughout the book.
The plot is very strong and will keep you at the book for many a long hour.
A very great novel i would Definitely recommend!
An Evil.Sam review.
Title - Stone of Tears
Lu Tze - the Sweeper
Lobsang Ludd - Apprentice monk
Death - Himself
Suzane - Deaths Granddaughter
Ronnie - The Fifth Horseman
Lady Myria - A Lady Who Wants A Perfect Clock
Jeremy - An obsessive Clock maker
"Time is a resource. Everyone knows it has to be managed"
This, the 26th novel by Terry Pratchett in the Discworld series, is a novel containing three stories. The first is based around Jeremy. Jeremy is a clockmaker with a very obsessive nature. He wants to make the perfect clock. He is by far the best clock worker, but he was kicked out of the clock maker's guild as he is so obsessive, even by their standards. The auditors, who audit the world, want him to make a perfect clock as well, so they send Lady Myria to help him out.
The second story focuses on Suzan, whom Death sends in his stead to appose the auditors, as he is not supposed to work against them. There are other reasons as well which are mentioned in the novel.
The final story is based around Lobsang Ludd and Lu Tze, otherwise known as the sweeper.
Ludd is a thief in Ankh-Morpork until he is discovered by the Monks of History. He is given over to the Sweeper after he is found to be a difficult pupil, due to him knowing everything the teachers are trying to teach.
The stories interweave towards the end of the novel where they must fight against the auditors and save Time herself, aided by the five horsemen of the apocalypse.
The sweeper is a great character and has appeared in other Discworld novels before this one.
The book is funny and charming with loads of memorable characters and quotes. The plot is well thought out and there are some interesting, and often hilarious theorems discussed in the book, always relating to time. Nanny Ogg also makes an appearance which i loved. A cheeky old lady makes any book a fun read.
The three sub stories join seamlessly and the split between them is well done.
This is a masterfully written book with a twist or two at the end. The characters are full and believable and the Pratchett wit is in abundance. It took me two sittings to read and i didn't want to put it down. There is also a couple of moments where you come quite close to shedding a tear or two. Especially at the end.
A definite recommend!!!
An Evil.Sam review.
Title - Stone of Tears
Richard - the hero
Kahlan - the girlfriend and mother confessor
Zedd - the Grandfather and wizard of the first order
Verna - A sister of the light
'The Wizards First Rule' ended when Richard found a loophole in the Confessors magic. Zedd found a tear shaped stone that seemed to be causing him to worry.
In this book Zedd sheds a tear onto The stone, which then changes color, and gives it to a girl to keep safe.
Richard and Kahlen are trying hard to consummate their relationship but, since the events in the previous book, Richard has been getting severe headaches. So bad, in fact, he can barely stand sometimes, let alone make sweet sweet love. The only thing that helps is shooting arrows or so it seems.
Three ladies known as the sisters of light then appear and demand that Richard go with them to train to be a wizard, which Richard vehemently denies he is, or the headaches will kill him.
On the third attempt the sister Verna speaks to Kahlen and tells her of the painful way in which Richard will die unless she helps them force him to go.
This brings to a start one of the greatest novels Goodkind has ever written. Will the veil be torn completely or will Richard be able to save the day once again. Will he be able to put his hatred of Darken Rahl, behind him or will he doom the world forevermore.
I loved this book once it got going. I found the beginning a bit hard to stomach as the supposedly steamy scenes are a little bit excessive in my eyes. Once Richard leaves with Verna then the story really kicks off and you end up wishing the days were longer so as to read more. Richard is built upon more as a character in this book, and it shows us how he reacts to being pushed from one emotional peak to another with little rest in between.
Nathan is introduced which adds a little comedy to the book, as well as waking you wonder, not necessarily about anything in particular, but to wonder never the less.
There are times when you want to know when the fighting is going to begin, because this book gives us some really believable characters you end up hating with all you're soul.
There is also more than their fair share of infuriatingly stuck in their ways people who think they are right. Richard is a bigger man than i to put up with it without resorting to at least some voodoo or muttering.
I loved this book from the second it got underway. The plot in itself is a masterpiece, and the characters are well thought out and truly believable. The sisters of the light are a great new people, and the challenges Richard has to go through, not only to get there, but to survive once he arrives, are awesome. Not only is this an extremely well written and thought out book, but it has Gar, whom is something that i have always wanted of my own.
This is one of the few books that i have truly wished to fall through the pages.
An Evil.Sam review.
Title - Mort
Mort - the hero
Ysabell - the pretty lady
Death - the Father
Albert - the stuck in his ways help at the Death Mansion
Mort doesn't fit in at all on the farm. He is as Adrian mole would describe as an intellectual, constantly thinking weird thoughts. His father decides that farm work isn't for his son, and so takes him to the locale town for the apprenticeship fair.
Despite his best efforts Mort does not get an apprenticeship, until a skeleton on a white horse appears.
Death has decided to take a holiday so he trains Mort up and disappears. Hilarity, love and the questioning of ones self ensue with many a question that will delve deep into ones morals.
As the first of the death books this makes a great impression, stating that although death has no glands, and thus is incapable of emotion, he still loves his daughter Ysabell, and will do anything to make her happy. This book instills death as a favorite to Discworld readers, and contains some of the funniest dialogs of all the Discworld novels. 'be gone thou black and midnight hag'.
Death invites a different sort of humor. His dry wit is made even funnier by the lack of understanding of human subtleties.
I loved this book from start to end
This is an amazingly funny Discworld novel with twists turns, love and Death at every corner.
An Evil.Sam review.