For years I have been reluctant in trying to listen to Sonata Arctica, expecting them to be a standard power metal band with syrupy choruses and galloping drums. But over time my curiosity got the better of me and so I finally gave in and got this one, their most recent album.
And I must confess I have been wrong. For years! Of course part of that typical power metal can be heard here and there. But the band clearly have a much broader look at who they are and what music they want to play. Some songs could even be considered progressive in nature and appeal, just take a listen to Larger Than Life. Keyboards not only have a colouring role, but take the lead where the song needs it. And a ballad like Love is a plain beautiful piece of music where the ending guitar solo soars and adds to the feel of the song. There are also some theatrics, but they are playful and show the band are able to add some humour. Still, a good chorus or some heavy riffs and solos are never far away, as all the members are clearly seasoned players and masters of their instrument.
So there is no denying this has turned out to be a very pleasant listening experience from a band I own way too little albums of. A regret that will surely correct itself over time!