Sonata Arctica - The Days Of Grays review


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Band: Sonata Arctica
Album: The Days Of Grays
Release date: September 2009

Disc I
01. Everything Fades To Gray
02. Deathaura
03. The Last Amazing Grays
04. Flag In The Ground
05. Breathing
06. Zeroes
07. The Dead Skin
08. Juliet
09. No Dream Can Heal A Broken Heart
10. As If The World Wasn't Ending
11. The Truth Is Out There
12. Everything Fades To Gray [full version]
13. In The Dark [limited edition bonus]
14. In My Eyes You're A Giant [Japanese and US bonus]
15. Nothing More [Japanese bonus]

Disc II [limited edition bonus]
01. Deathaura [orchestral version]
02. The Last Amazing Grays [orchestral version]
03. Flag In The Ground [orchestral version]
04. Juliet [orchestral version]
05. As If The World Wasn't Ending [orchestral version]
06. The Truth Is Out There [orchestral version]
07. In The Dark [orchestral version]

The last five years have been testing ones for Sonata Arctica having run the wave of hype and enthusiasm raised by the first couple of albums dry. Critics have had a blast with the band in recent years, with none more victimised than the band's last output Unia. A couple of years ago Sonata Arctica looked like a shadow of its former self, but right now with the release of album number six, The Days Of Grays has shone a ray of light.

By no means is The Days Of Grays a return to the sound, style and form of the first four records. If you expect an hour of frantic double bass pedalling then look elsewhere, but what The Days Of Grays is, is Sonata Arctica at their most mature and adventurous yet. The Days Of Grays is not a grey album, it is in fact quite black and white, an album of two halves in a sense.

On one side we have some energetic, up-tempo and frankly refreshing numbers such as the opening trio of songs "Deathaura", "The Last Amazing Grays" and "Flag In The Ground". "Deathaura" is Sonata Arctica like never before; bombastic symphonies, unusual song structure and a helping hand of some female vocals kick the album off in quite a Nightwish fashion. The album does have some pace outside of these three songs, but the second half of the album presents us with the other side to the album.

On the other side Sonata Arctica draw slightly from their Unia influence in providing slower songs with less conviction than the first part of the album. The Days Of Grays is a reasonably long album, and some of these songs do drag the album down such as the slightly morbid "Breathing".

The good news is that unlike Unia, the band have provided top quality songs that are a little more modest in pace. The Days Of Grays is probably the first time the band have consistently done this, with the help of songs like the closing trio "As If The World Wasn't Ending", "The Truth Is Out There" and "Everything Fades To Gray", not forgetting the fantastically dark "Juliet".

Again Tony Kakko is the shining star of the album delivering possibly his most diverse performance yet. The Days Of Grays is the darkest album Sonata Arctica has ever put out, touching grey subject areas such as death and relationships gone wrong, subjects that no one likes to take time to think about. It may however take time to appreciate The Days Of Grays and its full potential, it is after all the most ambitious project the band have undertaken. Give it the chance though and you won't be disappointed, Sonata Arctica have found new life.


Heavy metal / Power metal
Nuclear Blast
Length: 59:20

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Written on 17.09.2009 by Member of Staff since 2006.

Guest review by
The Days of Grays is an album that was eagerly anticipated by the public, mostly due to the fact that some reviewers, who got to listen to it beforehand, labeled it as an album halfway between Unia and Reckoning Night. But I'd disagree with that-it's between the two albums only in terms of complexity. Musically, it's again a whole new Sonata Arctica. Don't worry though, the elements that make the very soul of the band are still more or less present and I shall discuss them below.

published 29.03.2011 | Comments (7)

Comments page 4 / 4

Comments: 94   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 601 users
08.08.2010 - 20:16
I just very very recently became a fan of Sonata Arctica and the way I listened to the albums was kind of backwards. Nowadays if I DL a discography based ona recomendation (pandora, friend etc) I'll hop on and see what album got the best reviews and listen to their albums from best to worst reviews. With this band I didn't have time to check reviews so I started with their latest 2 albums Unia and Days of Grays (listening to again right now) I gotta say they are sounding definitely Metal / Prog Metalish and I am totally digging them. I started reading some of the reviews and listener feedback on this site and I do notice a bit of unhappiness with the last 2 albums.

This situation reminds me of when I was a kid getting into Metallica for the first time. First song I ever heard was Hero of the Day when Load came out and played the video on TV, I listened to load / reload a few times and then started working my way backwards only to be pleasantly surprised. I'm assuming based on what everyone is saying that's what's going to happen with Sonata Arctica, so I'm glad I started with their 2 latest lol, it can only get better from here going backwards right? lol
08.08.2010 - 20:35
Baz Anderson
Yeh, their first four are undoubtedly the best.
13.12.2010 - 04:01
Tragic forget there is a orchestra playing in the background..............freking awesome album.
15.03.2011 - 09:09
Learning To "X"
Written by The Shape 1973 on 08.10.2009 at 21:12

Written by Dane Train on 25.09.2009 at 05:33

Does this album have a love ballad about a werewolf? No? Fuck it.

It does. Check out the US bonus track In My Eyes You're A Giant.
"I am howling at the bright new moon"
"I am a creature of the night"

So the tradition continues.

Ummm, guys, hello, have you actually read all of the lyrics? Except this one, there is another wolf song on the album, which kicks ass harder (well, with the story at least, and it's in the top three by music for sure) than all their previous ones, and that is The Last Amazing Grays.
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."

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