SONATA ARCTICA – Reckoning Night

SONATA ARCTICA - Reckoning Night


Nuclear Blast
Release date: September 22, 2004

User Review
10/10 (1 vote)

“And from the sea came the wolves….” What the heck?? Not being familiar with sailing terms or legends, better to just let that cover picture slide and get on with the music being offered! Sonata Arctica is growing fast in every sense. They are on the verge of making it to the big league and public interest is definitely there. So is Reckoning Night the album that makes Sonata Arctica a household name? Sadly no, but that doesn’t in anyway mean that this isn’t a good album.

There have been some changes in the Sonata camp, and not all of them positive. Their new keyboard player gets his vinyl introduction here, and there seems to be keyboards everywhere, and the occasional Hammond sound is definitely a nice touch. Check out that opening intro to “Misplaced” to get a feel for the sound. The thing that is missing here is the boyish charm and playfulness that could be found on their previous releases. This is the work of a matured band that has found their confidence. The trademarks of Sonata, Kakko’s distinguished voice and the fast guitars, are still all there, but “the twinkle in the eyes” is not there in the sound anymore. Where did it go?

Those fast guitars can be found on most songs, and on “Misplaced,” “Ain’t Your Fairytale,” “Don’t Say A Word,” “My Selene,” “Wildfire,” and “Samandalie,” they are fully evidenced. There aren’t that many straightforward songs, but instead most songs are constructed of both fast and slow parts taking their turns. It seems that the band has let the technical wizardry take the front seat this time. This gives the whole album “a lot to sink your teeth into”-vibe, and so far it seems to pay off. There are new things to be found on every spin of this CD.

The band is not afraid to try new ideas, and those can be found on the early Queen influenced “Wildfire” track, the epic 8-minute symphony of “White Pearl, Black Oceans,” and the instrumental “Reckoning Day.” So there’s a lot offered here. There is also a hidden track at the end, which seems to be an impromptu acoustic jam session. These are all welcome additions and probably make the typical Sonatahead’s day, but for others it breaks the flow of the whole album and leaves one with mixed feelings. Not quite a Power Metal masterpiece yet, but getting closer to that point … and please get that “twinkle in the eye” feeling back!


  • Metal-Katie

    Katie was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. She claims to have been born a Metalhead. At least she's been one as far as she can remember. She loves Metal music and she's ever so happy to see generation after another founding its charm. She's always interested in hearing new Metal bands and reading about them and their antics. She lives and breathes Metal, or at least her alter ego does.

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