Sonata Arctica - Reckoning Night review


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Band: Sonata Arctica
Album: Reckoning Night
Release date: October 2004

01. Misplaced
02. Blinded No More
03. Ain't Your Fairytale
04. Reckoning Day, Reckoning Night...
05. Don't Say A Word
06. The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Real Puppet
07. My Selene
08. Wildfire
09. White Pearl, Black Oceans...
10. Shamandalie
11. Jam [hidden track]
12. Wrecking The Sphere [Japanese bonus]

There's always something special when one of your favorite band releases a new album, don't you think?
Well, now that special moment has come for me again, for the third time this year, and this time it's Sonata Arctica's turn.
And I was really excited before putting this into my player, because once again I was stunned by the beautiful cover, damn, the covers are getting better and better, and I didn't think they could do a better one than "Winterheart's Guild", but damn, how wrong could a man be?

Anyway, let's focus on the music now, after we have been staring at the cover for an hour or so.
The music is very Sonata like, and believe it or not, the biggest surprise here is that the album is missing one of Sonata's trademarks, a clean, emotional ballad, "White Pearls, Black Oceans" & "Shamandalie" are the closest you'll find, they're both good songs, but the real emotional touch is missing.
Otherwise it sounds very much Sonata, Tony sings as good as always and both the music and the lyrics are good. The only difference I can hear is that the keyboards, once again, play a larger part. I have not heard as much keyboards in Sonata's music since"Ecliptica", even if it's used in a different way, mostly because the music has evolved since "Ecliptica" and that a new member is onboard, Henrik Klingenberg, so I guess we should have expected this (I'm not complaining, just telling facts).

The lack of a true ballad is sad, it truly is, because Sonata is one of the, if not the, best band when it comes to emotional ballads, I mean who hasn't been touched by songs like "Letter to Dana", "Shy", "Mary-Lou (Acoustic)", "Last Drop Falls", "Tallulah", "The Misery" & "Draw Me"? Every one of them is almost legendary in the Metal ballad society.
But this time Sonata is just giving us some mid-tempo songs (Blinded No More" & "The Boy…" and some half ballads and half mid-tempo songs (White Pearls, Black Oceans" & "Shamandalie") but that's not bad either, but a regular Sonata ballad wouldn't be wrong, it surely wouldn't.

Otherwise the songs are quite good, even if I think that some of the songs feels more like fillers the first times you hear them, and that's very unusual when it comes to Sonata, but maybe that's a result of the short time between "Winterheart's" and "Reckoning Night", I don't know, but that's the case.
And the album missing a true killer, a super-song, when "Winterheart's" got more than one, but "Reckoning" is missing that one. But it surely don't miss good songs, I'll personally give "Blinded No More" my vote for no.1.
Otherwise I hold "Ain't Your Fairytale", "Don't Say a Word" and "My Selene" (That's the fourth girl Tony is singing about, who are they all?) very high, but they still have a hard time when it comes to beat the tops from the last album.

So overall this album is a bit more difficult to fall for, but I think that's a result of two things, one has beenalready mentioned, the time between the last album and this is short (for Sonata) and then that Sonata is growing, they're evolving, they are not a Stratovarius clone anymore, their music has evolved and it's a bit harder to take it to the heart, but is still so damn good, I love it.
"Reckoning Night" is the natural successor to "Winterheart's Guild", it's a natural evolvement from the same album, the music is getting more complex and advance, the keyboards is once again growing, the ballads loosing ground and Sonata is about to get rid of the Strato-clone stamp, or better said, they have lost it and are now only Sonata Arctica, go guys.

Btw, just to inform you; the excellent narrator from "Silence" is once again giving his tremendous voice for a Sonata album, that's what I call "a lovely reunion".

Check Out: "Blinded No More" the best mid-tempo song since "Gravenimage", "Don't Say a Word", "The Boy Who Wanted to be a Real Puppet", "My Selene" and the silly "Bonus", that will appear after the last song.

Written by Malcolm | 12.10.2004


Guest review by
When you see this CD standing on a shelf in your favourite CD-store, don't let the wonderful cover art fool you, yes it is beautiful, yes it is creative, yes it has the Sonata Arctica logo on it, but this album certainly isn't beautiful or creative, and in fact doesn't even really sound like Sonata Arctica either.

published 10.09.2006 | Comments (11)


Comments: 12   Visited by: 76 users
16.08.2006 - 11:13
The Mu-Mu Thing.
Account deleted
nice review, I used to listening Sonata Arctica about 2 years ago and I remember how excited I was when this album came out.. it's a good one, maybe even their best.. my favourite songs as I remember them are: blinded no more, wildfire and the boy who wanted to be the real puppet.. and yeah, I was suprised too, when I've found there are no ballads, almost tipical for them.. but I see the replacement in Shamandalie
nice power metal product!
17.08.2006 - 02:35
el parcero
You're right, they are evolving and they know have their own sound. 'Reckoning Night' is a great album, filled with great songs, each one with it's particular way to attract you to it, I love that. Again, Tony Kakko showed his impressive writing and singing ability.
My favorites would be 'White pearls..', 'Shamandalie' and 'My Selene'.
love is like a jar of shit with a strawberry on top
27.08.2006 - 19:30
Rosetta Stoned
My Opinion:
The cover is 11/10
The album is 5.5/10
27.08.2006 - 19:54
Mr. Noise
I like this one a lot.
SLUDGE. DOOM. DEATH. Wait, what?

"The reason I'm running for president is because I can't be Bruce Springsteen." - Barack Obama
09.12.2006 - 05:16
Account deleted
Sonata Arctica does it again. 9/10 for me. It's hard to notice this, "loss" of emotinal ballads when the album's still so damned great. And yes, wow, insanely nice cover art.
21.01.2007 - 21:55
Dirt pride
Account deleted
this was my first Sonata Arctica album, i love it, wildfires prob my favoroute song.
01.07.2007 - 23:15
Account deleted
Reckoning Night : Great work !!!

Best Tracks : Ain't Your Fairytale, Don't Say A Word

Killing Tracks : Misplaced, My Selene
17.07.2007 - 11:24
Account deleted
We do people consider this a bad album. I wouldn't say this is a one, even in Sonata-scale. Songs have reached more epic kind of atmosphere and don't reach so close to the listener itself anymore and the "landscape" of this album is more like grassy plain rather than mountainious region with pine forests and creeks to refresh the listener like in previous albums, but the moon and the stars are still there shouting the name of finnish power metal band once forgotten . .. Sonata Arctica
18.07.2007 - 00:26
This was my first album too and i still remember the chills. A must have for any Sonata fan. Sadly it seems Sonata is going the progressive way. Still its an excellent album
11.02.2008 - 23:29
I R Serious Cat
I have the special edition, with the Depeche Mode Cover "World IN My eyes". It's a great album, and the keyboard work i sone of teh best I've heard in power metal. And "My Selene" is great, one of the most depresive songs I've heard. Specially 'cause when I heard it I was completely heartbroken. I can't even listen to it now.
"Nobody wants to be the weird kid, you just end up being the weird kid. You don't know how you ended up getting there" - Rob Zombie My dA, mainly photography, go check it out!
27.08.2008 - 03:15
The first thing we notice about this album is the slightly different production (Nuclerblast), with more heavy guittars, comparing to the previous albums. After that we can say that this is another great work of Sonata Arctica, altough not as good as the previous 3 albums. Songs like Dont say a Word, The Boy who wanted to be a real puppet, Shamandalie, Ain´t your fairytale, Blinded no More and My Selene are definetly songs to Remember and great compositions. The song Reckoning Day, Reckoning Night is a bit difficult to swallow, altough i must say that i see that song more as an introduction to "Dont´Say a Word" than an actual standard song of the album. Anyway the guys did good again, creating another great album, with great moments. Stay Metal dudes |m|
21.04.2010 - 19:49
Account deleted
8.5 I don't care what anybody says, White Pearl Black Oceans is one of the greatest songs ever written. EVER. It is also one of the most interesting and emotional stories ever told through music. Sadly, Reckoning Night was the last Sonata Album, that I liked. The new material is half-tried and non-hummable. Too much flash, too little songwriting. However, RN remains one of my favorite power metal albums.

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