Words and pictures by Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus The Gothic Theater – Denver, CO December 8th, 2016
For those wondering how to best save on heating bills, a great way to warm up on a bitterly cold winter night is to attend a Scandinavian power metal show. Performing tonight were two groups that I had scant knowledge of; LEAVE’S EYES was only familiar to me via ex-frontwoman Liv Kristine’s former band THEATRE OF TRAGEDY, and I was only familiar with SONATA ARCTICA’s first album “ECLIPTICA.”
Finnish power metal titans, SONATA ARCTICA, will unleash their new studio album called The Ninth Hour on October 7th through Nuclear Blast. Today, the band have released the second trailer in support of this upcoming record. Watch is on the Nuclear Blast YouTube channel!
If you missed part one, you can view it here: Trailer 1
Here is the full tracklist ofThe Ninth Hour:
01. Closer To An Animal
04. We Are What We Are
05. Till Death’s Done Us Apart
06. Among The Shooting Stars
07. Rise A Night
08. Fly, Navigate, Communicate
09. Candle Lawns
10. White Pearl, Black Oceans Part II – “By The Grace Of The Ocean”
11. On The Faultline (Closure To An Animal)
Once again, the upcoming album was produced by SONATA ARCTICA themselves and mixed by Pasi Kauppinen, to create a recognizable yet refreshing sound that defines the spirit of the band in the year 2016.
Only two years after the release of »Pariah’s Child« and a massive world tour, the Finnish Melodic Metal quintet SONATA ARCTICA are already back for more – their ninth masterpiece entitled »The Ninth Hour« will see the light of day on October 7th.
Once again, the album was produced by SONATA ARCTICA themselves and mixed by Pasi Kauppinen, to create a typical yet refreshing sound that defines the spirit of the band in the year 2016.
“The studio work for the new record started seriously in mid-April 2016 in several home studios around Finland,” singer Tony Kakko explains. “But the main recording and mixing took place at the Studio57 in Alaveteli, Finland. It functions as a kind of centre point and all work finally ends up there. We aimed to create another melodic, beautiful, surprising SONATA ARCTICA album… Did it turn out that way? I surely think so. But maybe I should leave that for you to decide!”
After a North American tour with their friends from NIGHTWISH plus many headline shows around the globe, the band was once again able to take a look at the entire world as it is at the moment – on the edge of a possible armageddon. This spirit is reflected in the new artwork of »The Ninth Hour« :
“The artwork of our ninth studio album »The Ninth Hour« depicts a future utopian landscape on the background. Nature and human technologies are in balance. In the middle we have an hour glass contraption with a knob for us to meddle with. The right-hand side cup represents the nature side with no humans left, on the left we have the human dystopia after we have destroyed Nature. The idea I had was, that turning the knob will tilt the hour glass in one direction or another, and the other cup will slowly empty and that future will be erased. Biblically we are expected to repent and sacrifice on »The Ninth Hour«…to dive right back to a more mundane reality, it’s a fact that we are currently living in critical, historical times. Our decisions will define the future. Not only ours as a race, but the future of this entire planet. We need to make sacrifices and in many cases we will repent our already made choices.”
I have not seen the 2500+ capacity MacEwan Hall sold out for a Metal show in a long, long time. Not even for bands that also pull in the more mainstream crowds like Blind Guardian and Gwar. But Nightwish did it! At their second concert in Calgary in over 20 years, the place was packed for an extra-ordinary bill of Euro-Metal. Delain and Sonata Arctica have also been through Calgary before and the crowds were out in force to see the triple stacked show. I’m not surprised Nightwish is riding a career high with a triumphant North American tour with their new signer as they just recently won the award for Best Metal album in their homeland of Finland.
Finnish melodic metal heroes SONATA ARCTICA have announced their highly-anticipated 26-date North American tour for 2016 with headliners NIGHTWISH! The trek launches in Sayreville, New Jersey on February 19th, hitting six Canadian cities plus Pittsburgh, Anaheim, and New Orleans, then closing out in Tampa, Florida on March 23rd. Opening for the tour will be Dutch symphonic metallers DELAIN.
SONATA ARCTICA keyboard player Henrik “Henkka” Klingenberg checks in with a special message for their North American fans:
“It’s again been far too long since our last American tour, so we’re really happy to announce that we’re coming back once again…and with NIGHTWISHnevertheless. As we’ll be working on our next studio album in the spring of 2016, be ready to hear some surprises during the tour. Even if we prepared to be in the studio for the whole spring, this was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass on and we’re all looking forward to see our North American fans once again and kick some ass. Until then, take care and a big cheers!!”
2014 was a very busy year for Sonata Arctica. First of all, they released their eighth album “Pariah’s Child” which marked the return to their old melodic speed metal roots. Then, they re-recorded the whole “Ecliptica” album to celebrate the 15th anniversary of this first opus. The Finnish wolves are currently on tour throughout Europe to promote this new re-recorded version. Before the beginning of their concert in London (the only UK show), I had the opportunity to meet their charismatic vocalist and founding member Tony Kakko. I asked him some questions about “Ecliptica – Revisited; 15th Anniversary Edition” and their early years as well.
Frontiers Music Srl is pleased to announce the release of the second CAIN’S OFFERING studio album entitled “Stormcrow” on May 15th in Europe and May 19th in North America.
Cain’s Offering is the brainchild of Finnish guitarist/songwriter Jani Liimatainen, founding member of one of Finland’s biggest musical exports, Sonata Arctica.
Drawing its musical influence from both the classic Hard Rock scene, fast-paced European Power Metal and a very modern Heavy Metal sound, CAIN’S OFFERING is, just as expected, another perfect example of today’s incredible Finnish music scene. Read the rest of this entry »
Sonata Arctica was about half way through their North American tour when they hit Calgary on Sept 22nd. Touring in support of their 8th album PARIAH’S CHILD the band has even to Calgary on a few different occasions and I consider myself to have seen them seven or eight times over the years. They brought along Delain and Xandria, for a pretty flawless bill of speedy, clean European Metal.
SONATA ARCTICA TO RELEASE RE-RECORDED 15th ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF ECLIPTICA
Finnish melodic metal heroes SONATA ARCTICA have been keeping themselves very busy lately. Having successfully released their eighth studio album Pariah’s Child this past April – which debuted at #1 in Finland and at #6 on the American Billboard Heatseekers chart – and poised to launch their world tour, band members found the time to re-record their defining 1999 debut album ECLIPTICA, known to many fans as SONATA’s flawless beginning fifteen years ago.
Keyboard player Henrik “Henkka” Klingenberg shares the back-story on how the project came to be:
“When it first was suggested to us by our Japanese label that we’d re-record our debut album ECLIPTICA, it felt a bit weird, but somehow the idea grew on us. Being that only Tony [Kakko, vocalist] and Tommy [Portimo, drummer]played on the original one, we thought that it would be a fun thing to do, to give these great songs another run. We’re definitely not trying to re-write history: the original ECLIPTICA is the starting point of this band and a very special album with a certain feel of innocence and enthusiasm which cannot be recreated as such since we’re not teenagers anymore. Having said that, this new version is more of a tribute and an update on how these songs sound when played by our current line-up. We wanted to stay true to the original album as much as possible and not turn this into some weird re-arranged project where you couldn’t tell which song was being played. So here it is, the 15th Anniversary version ofECLIPTICA. Hope you enjoy it. We certainly had a good time digging into these songs and laying down the tracks.”
Thanks to Emil Westerdahl at Inner Wound Recordings for setting up the interview, and to Inner Wound Recordings for the promo pictures of the band.
From Finland comes Silent Voices, a band that plays excellent melodic metal and who released their fourth album REVEAL THE CHANGE at the end of last year. I really loved the album and when I realized that Henrik Klingenberg (Sonata Arctica) also was a part of this band I decided to check them out. I got in touch with Pasi Kauppinen (also a member of Sonata Arctica) and we had a long talk about the new album, the influences and the many guest appearances the band has featured. A few of the guests are Mats Levén, Mike Vescera and Mike DiMeo. Of course came Sonata Arctica up in the conversation…enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »
The fifth installment of Finnish melodic metallers SONATA ARCTICA’s video trailer series featuring lead singer, songwriter, and lyricistTony Kakko is now up on YouTube:
With2014 declared as “a year of a wolf” by Kakko, SONATA’s eighth studio offering Pariah’s Child will be released in North America on April 1st. The album was recorded and produced by SONATA ARCTICA at Studio 57 in Alaveteli, Finland. The mix was done by the band’s new bass player, Pasi Kauppinen. Read the rest of this entry »