Sonata Arctica - Pariah's Child review



Reviewer:
7.5

256 users:
7.38
Band: Sonata Arctica
Album: Pariah's Child
Release date: March 2014


01. The Wolves Die Young
02. Running Lights
03. Take One Breath
04. Cloud Factory
05. Blood
06. What Did You Do In The War, Dad?
07. Half A Marathon Man
08. X Marks The Spot
09. Love
10. Larger Than Life
11. No Pain [Japanese bonus]


Sonata Arctica are back with a new album that, at least externally, relives the glory of the past times. A new album with the flavour of the old: old logo, old artwork style and old wolves' theme are back. What about the inside?

Let's just say that if you are one of those fans who would have only been satisfied with a new Ecliptica or something of that sort, feel free to stop reading this; you'll be disappointed. Pariah's Child isn't the album the fans expected, and is by no means a complete return to the band's classic style.

The last three albums have been testing ones for the band, and Pariah's Child is no exception. This said, let's admit the band has balls, since the guys surely know this will be an album that will undergo many harsh criticisms. Moreover, differently from the previous releases, this one doesn't feature a "Flag In The Ground" or a "Losing My Insanity", meant as tracks "put there" to please fans but which don't absolutely fit the album's mood: Pariah's Child remains coherent.

Overall this is a simple and catchy release: something inherited from the controversial Stones Grow Her Name, but Pariah's Child also brings back some of that Reckoning Night-esque melodic power, even if a more modern approach impregnates the whole album. I mean, there's a song about drifting - and not drifting on wolves (that'd be cool, yeah) but in real cars, for humans.

Pariah's Child is, compared to the usual band's standards, a slow album. The double bass power metal rides have been replaced by quieter mid-tempos, with Henkka's keys bossing the show, while new entry Pasi Kauppinen satisfies, who was, since 2007, waiting for another Unia to hear more bass. With nice ideas, good musicianship (please note I didn't say technical, I said good), a variegated Tony Kakko and an epic, "Larger Than Life", that so badly tries to be "White Pearl, Black Ocean" part II, this had all the features needed to become, if not a Sonata Arctica classic, a good make-up album, but not everything went in the right direction.

The band's music has never been so elaborate, but in the last two albums an exaggerated oversimplification and perhaps too playful tendencies have taken the lead. An example is "X Marks The Spot": an enjoyable, potentially epic tune, with Tony in great shape, isn't fully exploited due to... well, you'll hear and judge by yourselves. Therefore, where this release falls short is in its predictability: after the first seconds of almost every track it's pretty easy to imagine how the whole song will develop.

Pariah's Child trusts the emotional power Sonata Arctica always had, and thanks to this it has its moments, as the moving "What Did You Do In The War, Dad?" or "Love", that righteously gains a place among the band's immortal ballads such as "Shy" or "Tallullah".

This album is a step up from the disappointing Stones Grow Her Name, but will it be enough to please fans that have felt betrayed for too many years?


 



Written on 09.03.2014 by Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 35   Visited by: 517 users
22.04.2014 - 16:44
Luneth
Written by Teravolt_Danny on 14.03.2014 at 22:18

Written by Lehctim on 14.03.2014 at 20:29

I think I'm the only person on earth that liked SGHN. Not as good as first 3 albums, but way better than Days and Unia


I thought it was a good album, but weak for SA. My favorite SA albums in order would probably be:
1. Reckoning Night
3. Winterheart's Guild
3. Silence
4. Unia
5. The Days of Grays
6. Stones Grow Her Name
7. Ecliptica

Yup, that's right, I think Ecliptica is their worst album. I've never understood what people see in it... yes it's their fastest album, but so what? IMO, it has the most bland and uninteresting melodies of any SA album.

As for the two new singles... I like them both, especially Cloud Factory. I'm a little bummed that it will only be 10 songs, though.



I think that list is quite good and I definitely agree Unia is in their top five. But Ecliptica is class, just beautiful.
1. Ecliptica
2. Reckoning Night
3. Silence
4. Winterheart's Guild
5. Unia
6. Days of Grays

I don't even count stones as an album of theirs and prefer not to think about it. As for this new release, still not heard it but already like Cloud Factory and Wolves Die Young so I'm hopeful
----
Evil? I am not Malevolent, I simply am!
Apocalypse, X-Men
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30.04.2014 - 01:37
Teravolt_Danny
Well, it will be a long time before I can revise my list of SA albums, but I have a feeling that Pariah's Child will end up somewhere in the top 3 or 4. It's really, really good. Completely exceeded my expectations.
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12.05.2014 - 04:38
Abel
Written by mikeprado30 on 14.03.2014 at 05:39

I will never understand why people loathe so much Unia & The Days Of Grays. IMHO those ones were nice albums (not as good as the 3 first ones but I enjoyed them very much). SGHN really was a huge letdown if you let me say it



Exactly, I loved Unia and The Days of Gray, I also love the old S.A. but I think they just matured. Power-metal I think its a hard genre to keep up for too long, look at Dragonforce for example, their tracks got shorter and simpler eventually. Unia was a complex album and by the time i was very surprised, but once i listen to it carefully it was very VERY talented; also I'm very open minded about this things.
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12.05.2014 - 05:14
mikeprado30
Written by Abel on 12.05.2014 at 04:38

Written by mikeprado30 on 14.03.2014 at 05:39

I will never understand why people loathe so much Unia & The Days Of Grays. IMHO those ones were nice albums (not as good as the 3 first ones but I enjoyed them very much). SGHN really was a huge letdown if you let me say it



Exactly, I loved Unia and The Days of Gray, I also love the old S.A. but I think they just matured. Power-metal I think its a hard genre to keep up for too long, look at Dragonforce for example, their tracks got shorter and simpler eventually. Unia was a complex album and by the time i was very surprised, but once i listen to it carefully it was very VERY talented; also I'm very open minded about this things.


Well, if we talk of complexity in musical terms, best example I know is Blind Guardian's A Night At The Opera So complex that the bards themselves talked about the huge trial that was to record it (specially ATTWS).

I love the complex and the simplest PM if it has quality and gets my like, and this SA album got it
----
BARDS WE ARE, BARDS WE WILL BE!
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21.09.2015 - 10:42
Capricorn91
Such an accurate and appropriate definition of one of my favourite records of 2014! I concur with all you've mentioned, solid review bro!
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