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Sonata Arctica
July 2001
Released: 2001, Spinefarm Records
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

If some albums are difficult to clothe in words, then Finland´s grandmasters of melody, power, speed and ingenuity Sonata Arctica´s extremely eagerly waited 2nd full-length, SILENCE, literally put me thinking how it´s really possible and yet so credible that some bands are capable of getting so strong and brilliant within a relatively short period of time and make such a huge impact on the metal territories? Like something could definitely be very wrong in the whole picture that just cannot fit there? Makes me wonder anyway...

It was 1999 when ECLIPTICA, Sonata´s highly kissed, hugged and praised debut left its perpetual, fat-inked mark in many of our minds as we somehow knew somewhere inside there, this new sensational "star" in the already wide sky of other Power Metal "stars", might shine brighter and bigger some day than many other..., -eh? "stars (sorry, my vocabulary´s a bit rusty today!)".

Quite a few passing months later, we got to hear SUCCESSOR, a new mini-CD from the Sonata -warriors which was carried to us by Spinefarm Records exclusively that has always had very sharp yet successful ears for new up´n´coming talents in my opinion. On that particular CD, they brought us a new delightful tune called "San Sebastian" which only proved us there couldn´t be any limits for the band´s ever-growing muscle of progression - and when their next full-length was ever going to see the light of the brightest day, it might be something that could shake the grounds of Power Metal´s sacred dominion more than we could ever expect.

That day is HERE NOW!!... - and Power Metal at its finest and most experimenting has NEVER tasted better - or more captivating; or more shamelessly vivid!! The material on SILENCE is overall so GOD-like perfect and utterly vibrant that it wouldn´t do any right for the album if I brought any particular song out of it by name (well, of course "San Sebastian" is there, too...) and said it´s better than any other song on it; it would almost be a crime against the other songs. All the songs scream for class and talent of the highest standard. The songs contain some elements that some other Power Metal acts hardly dare to touch - or they didn´t know all that magic Sonata are delivering here, was even existing before. You could almost imagine how amazed and even jealous (?) some bands from this particular genre may be for not having sort of a clue how to reach the similar bold atmosphere for their own albums.

Every song is like "Oooh... aaahh..." - and even more that "aaahh... oooh..." feeling of delight and joy for your ears. It´s like you cannot avoid it when the songs hit you; and the more you listen to this masterpiece of all Power Metal albums, the more addicted you become to it. I´ve been listening to this 3 weeks in a row now and it seems to stuck in my CD -player who knows for how long of a time?

I bet bands like Stratovarius and Rhapsody would kill for achieving some of the similar magical atmosphere this album possesses throughout it ´coz this is surely THE BEST metal that´s available from this very genre at these days. And I don´t think I´m lying that much ´coz when SILENCE was released in Japan like a month before anywhere else, more than 27.000 copies were sold within the 1st month, so that many Japanese fans cannot be wrong.

Just get SILENCE in order to understand my shameless words ´bout it. It´s an extraordinary great piece of very professional musicianship and hysterically addictive songs that leaves you humming in excitement afterwards. The Sonata combo reeks of epic brilliance and obviously have the future of Power Metal firmly placed at their feet even if this should be the ol´ news for many of us already...
Track Listing

01. ...of Silence
02. Weballergy
03. False News Travel Fast
04. The End of This Chapter
05. Black Sheep
06. Land of the Free
07. Last Drop Falls
08. San Sebastian (revisited)09. Sing In Silence
10. Revontulet (Instr.)
11. Tallulah
12. Wolf & Raven
13. The Power of One


Tony Kakko - Vocals, additional keyboards
Jani Liimatainen - Guitars
Mikko Harkin - Keyboards
Marko Paasikoski - Bass
Tommy Portimo - Drums

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