Sonata Arctica - The Days Of Grays review



Reviewer:
8.0

520 users:
7.38
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.

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Heavy metal / Power metal
Nuclear Blast
Finland
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
Milena
Rating:
8.9
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.

Read more ››
published 29.03.2011 | Comments (7)


Comments page 3 / 4

Comments: 95   Visited by: 601 users
26.09.2009 - 09:11
insanity.peppers
What a boring album. Tony doesn't seem to know there's a difference between progressive and bland, wanky bullshit.
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26.09.2009 - 13:44
Lord_Regnier
Written by Derwood on 26.09.2009 at 05:07

Melodeath and power metal are both genres that seem to have hit the saturation point in terms of the sheer volume of material available from the ridiculous number of bands working in them. What I was really trying to get at is that there isn't much originality to be found in either simply because there is so much out there..


So true about Powermetal. The genre is oversaturated. And what makes things a hundred times worse is it's oversaturated by crap. It's always the same kind of lame and mediocre soft music, barely metal. Mid-tempo or slightly uptempo (often full of ballads too), predictable and bland. And with whiny, sleep-inducing vocals without any balls.

The good melodic speed metal of old is dead and has been replaced by this accessible, mainstream-oriented, radio-friendly bullshit that most of the time doesn't even deserve to be labeled as metal because many parts sound almost like pop music. I liked PM until the mid-90s (maybe the late 90s) but each time I hear Euroflowermetal these days it makes me want to jump down a bridge. Lots of bands are atrocious beyond any common sense.
Powermetal is a joke nowadays. And not a funny one.
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"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
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27.09.2009 - 10:16
Eomer666
Account deleted
I miss good old sonata stuff(winterheart.ecliptica tsc)...This release shows that theres lack of "power" in their latests efforts(unia,days of grace).
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27.09.2009 - 10:44
Fat & Sassy!
After a bunch more listens, I'm gonna stick my Flag In the Ground and say this album rawks. >:[
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You do you, brozzio.
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27.09.2009 - 19:25
BlankFile
Eomer666 at least say correctly the name of the album... (The Days of Grays and not the The Days of Grace...)
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27.09.2009 - 19:40
Angelique
Bitchy Moderator
I'm totally loving the album, especially orchestral versions are treasures! Even I'm a big fan of flowerpower and absolutely love their pompous old stuff I find this album so much more interesting, I wasn't really expecting old stuff so I wasn't disappointed at all. To me that old stuff is like missing childhood days, how much fun it was but I wouldn't want to go back for real.

Unia was in a way very good album but to be totally honest I didn't get it, I tried to listen it over and over again but swooof it went, i just couldn't get into it for some reason. Now I have listened The Days of Grays for about 50 times I'm so incredible happy that me and Tony are on the same page again!! It's like founding an old love all over again, I'm one happy gal with this album!!

Hard to pick up one favorite but at the moment I guess the songs that gives me the chills most are Juliet and The Truth is Out There. Now if I could only see them live with a real symphony orchestra I'd be ready to drink the most foul poison and close my eyes
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I have more faith in my plumber than I do the eternal being. Plumbers do a good job. They keep the shit flowing.
-C.Bukowski
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28.09.2009 - 18:56
bcapo3
Written by Lord_Regnier on 23.09.2009 at 01:15

Written by The Shape 1973 on 23.09.2009 at 00:05

Edguy who have pissed on their original fanbase.


I'm not sure if you'll believe me or not but I know some people who still deny Edguy went commercial, mainstream and pissed on their original fans.
Fanboyism can cloud people's judgement so much at times.

As for me, I totally agree with you. Also, I think Edguy is now a shitty pop rock band for girls who have more interest for musicians' cocks than for quality music.


Wow! So now I'm a girl who's in love with Tobias' cock! I didn't noticed it till now! Thanks! But yeah, I still think Mandrake/Hellfire Club are their best works ever and I wish they turn back and did the same kind of stuff, but I don't dislike Rocket Ride and Tinnitus Sanctus.

Talking about Sonata Arctica's new album, I have to say that I like, but not love it such as Ecliptica to Winter Heart's Guild albums...
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28.09.2009 - 23:46
Lord_Regnier
Written by bcapo3 on 28.09.2009 at 18:56

Written by Lord_Regnier on 23.09.2009 at 01:15

Written by The Shape 1973 on 23.09.2009 at 00:05

Edguy who have pissed on their original fanbase.


I'm not sure if you'll believe me or not but I know some people who still deny Edguy went commercial, mainstream and pissed on their original fans.
Fanboyism can cloud people's judgement so much at times.

As for me, I totally agree with you. Also, I think Edguy is now a shitty pop rock band for girls who have more interest for musicians' cocks than for quality music.


Wow! So now I'm a girl who's in love with Tobias' cock! I didn't noticed it till now! Thanks! But yeah, I still think Mandrake/Hellfire Club are their best works ever and I wish they turn back and did the same kind of stuff, but I don't dislike Rocket Ride and Tinnitus Sanctus.




I meant that their music seems targeted directly at this kind of audience now. Of course, I didn't mean everyone who listens to Edguy belongs to this category. You're surely smart enough to get the nuance.
But some girls really have this attitude.
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"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
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29.09.2009 - 20:19
DreamNightmare
I agree with this review. This album is not for the diehard Sonata Fans of Old or the 'Bring Back Jani' crowd, but it is different; This time in a good way.
The songs are interesting AND catchy, unlike Unia, which went a little too far imo.
I too wished they had put another faster track on here (Maybe in place of Zeroes) but the Material here is solid. Sonata have indeed found new life! worthy of 8/10 After a few spins. Reminds me of some of the slower sections of WHG
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29.09.2009 - 20:50
bcapo3
Written by Lord_Regnier on 28.09.2009 at 23:46

Written by bcapo3 on 28.09.2009 at 18:56

Written by Lord_Regnier on 23.09.2009 at 01:15

Written by The Shape 1973 on 23.09.2009 at 00:05

Edguy who have pissed on their original fanbase.


I'm not sure if you'll believe me or not but I know some people who still deny Edguy went commercial, mainstream and pissed on their original fans.
Fanboyism can cloud people's judgement so much at times.

As for me, I totally agree with you. Also, I think Edguy is now a shitty pop rock band for girls who have more interest for musicians' cocks than for quality music.


Wow! So now I'm a girl who's in love with Tobias' cock! I didn't noticed it till now! Thanks! But yeah, I still think Mandrake/Hellfire Club are their best works ever and I wish they turn back and did the same kind of stuff, but I don't dislike Rocket Ride and Tinnitus Sanctus.




I meant that their music seems targeted directly at this kind of audience now. Of course, I didn't mean everyone who listens to Edguy belongs to this category. You're surely smart enough to get the nuance.
But some girls really have this attitude.


Don't worry, I was kidding, I'm still a man.
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30.09.2009 - 11:48
Arkold Thos
There is one way to describe The Days of Grays - awesome. I'm speechless... I really waited for another power metal album, after listening Flag in the Ground and I believed The Days of Grays was the slow song from the album, but I was wrong and I am happy with it, I wanted more dark and slow album, something as Unia but not the same, more dark and fabulous.

I have to say, Sonata Arctica got the luck of being one of those bands, who doesn't have bad songs, no matter if they are fast or slow, or actually, the genre it is. Awesome.
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30.09.2009 - 18:06
Marcellus Krowe
I actually liked this album, but I can't help but feel a little biased . Unia was such a big ball of suck it was what I was comparing Days of Grays to, so for some reason that automatically makes me like it. Flag in the ground remains my favorite song off of the album, and I do like the fact that Sonata is trying new things because honestly, no one wants Reckoning Night 500 more times. That would make them Dragonforce, ha ha ha. I kid.

I really like the orchestral parts though, any band that's a little more Nightwish is ok by me.
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04.10.2009 - 06:42
alexxhighlander
This is very disappointing, to say the least. It is not a matter of wanting the band to sound the same album after album. That's not it. This simply sucks. It's pop rock with a pinch of prog and downtuned giitars drowned under tons of lame keyboards and sentimental, silly lyrics. Not one riff worth remembering, not one memorable guitar solo, slow, boring. Their worst ever.
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08.10.2009 - 21:12
The Shape 1973
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.
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"I know I'm not homophobic as I very much enjoy watching lesbians on the internet." Jeremy Clarkson Feb 2019
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12.10.2009 - 04:00
BlankFile
The Japanease Bonus tracks are both very good. They remind me a bit of the old Cds before Unia.
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14.10.2009 - 17:39
warrior_of_ice
Oh boy do they miss Jani (when he was ontop of his playing). For me, this album is comparable to drinking gin. Had I not tried it, I wouldnt have fully understood why I hate it so much. The keyboards are ruining this band, although I am a fan of "tastefully" imployed synths and pads, there are none in this album. Lastly, Tony Kakko gives me the impression that he belongs in an insane asylum- some of his lyrical choices puzzle me, plus, have u seen him in the, "Flag in the Ground" video? lol
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14.10.2009 - 17:44
warrior_of_ice
Employ* sorry for my grammatical errors, not enough coffee.
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14.10.2009 - 21:36
Fat & Sassy!
Written by warrior_of_ice on 14.10.2009 at 17:39

Oh boy do they miss Jani (when he was ontop of his playing). For me, this album is comparable to drinking gin. Had I not tried it, I wouldnt have fully understood why I hate it so much. The keyboards are ruining this band, although I am a fan of "tastefully" imployed synths and pads, there are none in this album. Lastly, Tony Kakko gives me the impression that he belongs in an insane asylum- some of his lyrical choices puzzle me, plus, have u seen him in the, "Flag in the Ground" video? lol


Although silly, I find his lyrics and vocals highly amusing on this album.
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You do you, brozzio.
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15.10.2009 - 19:44
Taktsekte
Your Ad Here!
Written by Dane Train on 25.09.2009 at 05:33

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


I recall that you liked "Reckoning Night" a lot...

New "The Days of Grays" album -> 20.95€
Ticket to the next Sonata Arctica concert -> 22€
Calling "Ain't your Fairytale" a love ballad -> priceless
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15.10.2009 - 20:55
The Shape 1973
Written by Taktsekte on 15.10.2009 at 19:44

Written by Dane Train on 25.09.2009 at 05:33

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


I recall that you liked "Reckoning Night" a lot...

New "The Days of Grays" album -> 20.95€
Ticket to the next Sonata Arctica concert -> 22€
Calling "Ain't your Fairytale" a love ballad -> priceless

20.95E, where are you buying your CDs from? You need to shop around on the internet or are CDs in your country really expensive? I only paid 11.00E.
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"I know I'm not homophobic as I very much enjoy watching lesbians on the internet." Jeremy Clarkson Feb 2019
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16.10.2009 - 01:04
BlankFile
I Paid 15 euros for the limited edition (2 CD digipack with bonus track)
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06.11.2009 - 22:37
opeth771
I thought they were going back to their old style after losing alot of fans with the most shitty albums ever made (Unia), but this one is just as bad... Flag In The Ground saves this one, and reminds me alot of "Victoria's Secret" and "The Cage"
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22.11.2009 - 12:07
Glabrezu
Bad disc... Betther than UNIA but that was really awful. In this one I like only the intro, that remembers me the old sonata arctica.
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Exploring life
Without fear without feeling
I am one with my torment
And forever blind
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23.12.2009 - 13:39
replica of me
The biggest dissapointment of the year.
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04.01.2010 - 22:49
Uirapuru
Liver Failure
This album a great positive surprise I was expecting some boring ''Unia Pt.2'', but it is catchy, has memorable songs, the vocals are at best.

Good album. Still could be more ''flowerish''
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member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
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05.01.2010 - 17:44
Darkside Momo
Retired
Not bad album actually. Not great either, but infinitely better than boring Unia.
But I guess they still have to do better in their 'new' way. Not that it's that different from their first albums anyway...
----
My Author's Blog (in French)


"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you"

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I am awake"
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16.01.2010 - 07:35
alexxhighlander
Boring, heavy pop crap, disguised as prog power. The guitars are buried under tons of boring elevator music keyboards, there is not a single memorable riff or solo in any song, and Tony does sing well but keeps to the lower end of his range most of the time, which makes it repetitive and dull. The drums don't do absolutely anything worth mentioning, the bass is best ignored, and the pseudo-orchestration parts are just Nigthtwish rip offs.

This is garbage.
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20.01.2010 - 21:29
Warman
Erotic Stains
Written by Uirapuru on 04.01.2010 at 22:49

This album a great positive surprise I was expecting some boring ''Unia Pt.2'', but it is catchy, has memorable songs, the vocals are at best.

I agree with that. Also expected something boring, but "The Days of Grays" has some amazing parts.
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29.05.2010 - 03:04
Hammer Pie
This is one of the worst pop rock albums I've ever heard.
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09.07.2010 - 00:39
x-avier
Better than UNIA for sure, but still not good at all.
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