Recent Reviews

21.05.2017

14.05.2017

07.05.2017

30.04.2017

23.04.2017

17.04.2017

[ More Music Reviews ]


Sonata Arctica: The Ninth Hour
Sonata Arctica The Ninth Hour CD Album Review

Sonata Arctica: The Ninth Hour

Progressive Power Metal
5.0/5.0

Sonata Arctica's latest and ninth album is aptly titled The Ninth Hour. While it's not uncommon for a metal band to do this, the title is an references a Bible verse about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Matthew 27:46. "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"" Seems odd for a band not known to be either Christian or religious. Yet, founding member, singer and principal songwriter Tony Kakko lifts the symbolism of that critical moment in the life of our Lord and applies it to our world. He suggests, with the threats of war, environmental disaster, and other cultural and political maladies, that we as race, as a world, are on the brink of some deep shit. If things don't get better, if we don't repent and make sacrifices, Kakko suggests we're pretty much screwed.

Sonata Arctica Band Photo

Sonata Arctica

Well, that's some start to a review. I'm sure glad I didn't read the press materials until I gave the album the first spin. I might have been to depressed to continue on. But the aforementioned summation is the theme that runs through The Ninth Hour.

But the weight of the concept aside, our friends Sonata Arctica are back with more of the consistent and creative progressive power metal. You will not be disappointed in the least. One of the absolute positive things about a Sonata Arctica song and album is the amazing vocals and vocal arrangements. They abound in melody and harmony. Whether within the epic power metal of Closer To An Animal or Fly Navigate Communicate or the quieter anthem-like ballads, We Are What We Are or Among The Shooting Stars, Kakko and company continue to charm your ears.

Musically, that latter song, Among The Shooting Stars, is a fine example of how the band uses song composition to create dramatic arrangements. The song unfolds and builds with effortless movement to pull you in and draw things to a concluding crescendo. Another example is Candle Lawns, again an anthemic ballad, it uses keyboards, voice, and choral vocals to propel the arrangement. Then following a smooth subdued guitar solo, that triumvirate gets embellished by brisk riffage to finish. But the premier example of Sonata Arctica's compositional drama maybe the the sequel White Pearl Black Oceans Part II, a massive symphonic anthem lead by a light and lingering piano line and Kakko's voice. It might give you chills.

Suffice to say the obvious, The Ninth Hour is another fine accomplishment for Sonata Arctica: compelling and creative, entertaining and engaging melodic progressive power metal in its best form.

Sonata Arctica - Life


Share This Review with Your Friends





CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Suffice to say the obvious, The Ninth Hour is another fine accomplishment for Sonata Arctica: compelling and creative, entertaining and engaging melodic progressive power metal in its best form.

Find A Review

Alphabetical Index

a b c d e f g h i j
k l m n o p q r s t
u v w x y z #
Loading
Album of the Week
Click to read the Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly - On Her Journey To The Sun CD Album review

The demise of significant Swedish prog band Beardfish in 2016 hasn't slowed down it's vocalist Rikard Sjoblom in the least. The songwriter and multi-instrumentalist dropped a new solo album ... [ Read More ]