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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 known for their arctic seeming power metal take a slightly different turn with 5th studio album Unia, with what can only be described as a much warmer sound. The fast-paced nature has slowed down somewhat though not quite to the extent some would have you believe, yes the album is not filled with as many fast songs as Ecliptica or Silence, but when you consider the gradual transition made between each studio album, it's really not as great a jump as it could have been. The texture of the album is also much thicker and the overall sound has a much warmer tone.
Opening with 'In Black and White' you can immediately spot the warmer tone, the thick guitars with the almost sparkly sounding keyboards playing above it. The angry sounding vocals of Tony Kakko contrasting with the more remorseful sound he alternates with in the opening verse, before reaching a much smoother tone as the song progresses. This particular song has all the usual Sonata Arctica stylings, the guitar/keyboard solo and the pounding rhythm sections and is without doubt an excellent opening track.
Following on we reach 'Paid In Full', probably the catchiest song on the album, with its piano opening and synth filled accompaniment, gradually building up. Although not originally written to be Sonata Arctica song, it still works incredibly well. 'For The Sake of Revenge' has a somewhat darker and more ominous tone and I adore the way the lyrics flow in this song, it's almost as if the words are falling out of Kakko's mouth. It Won't Fade maintains this darker yet still rather rich and warm tone, with long slurred keyboard undertones matched with harsh staccato vocals.
The fifth track on this album 'Caleb' is part of an ongoing story that has appeared in other Sonata Arctica songs over some of their albums, a creepy tale which is likely to be further expanded on future albums and does somewhat musically resemble in points the song 'Don't Say A Word' another part of the story on the previous album, 'Reckoning Night'.
'The Vice' whilst starting off somewhat mid-paced, does pick up a faster pace as the song progresses, with quite an exciting pace as if you're hearing an adventure unfold. 'My Dream's but a drop of Fuel for a Nightmare' takes the pace right down, followed by 'The Harvest' which brings back our faster moving keys and guitar work, which then leads to the altogether more atmospheric 'The Worlds Forgotten the World'.
'Fly with the Black Swan' is probably my favourite track on this album, a somewhat ominous and dark tone, but still with a slightly different sound to the rest of the album and is another of the albums storytelling songs.
Bringing up the rear of this album is 'Good Enough is Good Enough for Me' a calmer, lighter and more emotional song, with more emphasis on the strings and piano than the guitars and bass, a quiet and more relaxed summation of what is really quite a powerful album, that I at least, find a pleasure to listen to and I hope you will too!
1. In Black And White - Nice opening track. Heavy riffing with some random choir backing vocals. Typical high pitched vocals work really well with the melodies.
2. Paid In Full - My favourite track on the album, Simple guitaring that works really well.
3. For The Sake Of Revenge - Very bassy beginning, simple drumming with a softer start
4. It Wont Fade - Opera-ish beginning. Thought it gets very good towards the end but not soon enough
5. Under Your Tree - Title sounds like a euphamism but a very good song nonetheless.
6. Caleb - Didnt really get this song, but for a general speed metal fan, itll be bareable
7. The Vice - Not Miami, Finland. Love the beginning, weird high pitched chorus however.
8. My Dream's But A Drop Of Fuel For A Nightmare - Long title, thats about it
9. The Harvest - Exactly what it says on the tin. Takes things from other songs and uses it for itself.
10. To Create A Warlike Feel - they sure did
11. The Words Forgotten, The Words Forbidden - i liked this song, a lot more melody and good old fashioned Arctica
12. Fly With The Black Swan - What is this track, honestly?
13. Good Enough Is Good Enough - It is, unfortunate about the song however
14. Abandoned Pleased Brainwashed Exploited - Listening to these 5 hours straight will leave you this.
For Sonata Arctica this album is... unusual. Not they're the most normal band in the world to begin with, but this.... is plain wierd!
I bought the album thinking it was going to be more of their trademark high speed power metal, but its really not... its more geared towards the technical side of things - changes from 4/4 to 3/4 and back again, lots of - as tony once put it - vocal masturbation, and suprisingly catchy lyrics.
Most sonata albums in the past have simply grabbed your eardrums by the scruff of the neck and shaken them into submission while the pretty colours went off in your synapses. This one, on the other hand, takes a while to get settled in, and takes some getting used to. Give it a few listens before you make your mind up and you'll find yourself walkign along humming the tunes without realising it!
So, their most unusual offering to date, but probably the most successful in my eyes - Brilliant vocals, catchy rhythms and fantastic technical ability from one of the best european metal bands out there!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 In Black And White
2 Paid In Full
3 For The Sake Of Revenge
4 It Won't Fade
5 Under Your Tree
8 My Dreams
10 Worlds Forgotten The Worlds Forbidden
11 Fly With The Black Swan
12 Good Enough Is Good Enough