Review Sonata Arctica “The Ninth Hour” (by Ivona Bogner)

Review Sonata Arctica “The Ninth Hour” (by Ivona Bogner)

- in Reviews


October 7TH, 2016
Nuclear Blast

I remember the first time I ever heard Sonata Arctica. It was late night, or better to say morning, the only one radio station in Serbia that had metal program, year 2001.

I also remember that they attracted my attention just because they supported my beloved Stratovarius throughout their European tour.

I have to adnit that I have lost touch with band during the years. And now I have “Ninht Hour”,

Album includes 11 tracks:

  1. Closer to an Animal
  2. Life
  3. Fairytale
  4. We Are What We Are
  5. Till Death’s Done Us Apart
  6. Amond the Shooting Stars
  7. Rise a Night
  8. Fly, Navigate, Communicate
  9. Candle Lawns
  10. White Pearl, White Oceans Part II: By the Grace of the Ocean
  11. On the Faultline (Closure to an Animal).

I like possible concept of this album, although if you listen carefully and read the lyrics, you will find several themes. The main idea is environmental awereness, also relationships and there are some science fiction elemets.

The begining of the first song “Closer to an Animal” sounds like Stratovarius classic. “Life” brings infectiuos melody, and although at first listening Lalala lalalala lalalala sounds stupid, at some weird way I like it and I enjoy it. Once you hear it, there is no possible way to get rid of it. The sarcastic “Fairytale” with orchestral intro promises a lot.  Lyrics imply the whole madness around presidential elections in the US:

“Who’ll be the superseder,
The builder of the walls; a great leader
He’ll rape us all and say surprise.
…and everything is fine.”

One verse brings me to brutal reality I live in over than 25 years:

“It’s not how many people vote
and how they vote.
It’s who counts the votes.”

Ballad “We Are What We Are”… Laugh after you read this, my first association when I heard it was Titanic movie. Maybe because of Uilleann pipe, but I’m Flying Scene with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet just can’t get out of my head while I am listening this song. Strong lyrics points to nature of humans who just do not appreciate Mother Earth.

“Till Death’s Done Us Apart” is one of my favorites. This is one of those songs where you can fully include your imagination into creating short movie in your head, at least me who never liked reality and imagination is the way to escape from it. Real pearl of the album.

Highly emotive “Among the Shooting Stars” again brings me and my vivid imagination somewhere in Scandinavian forests.

Few ballads and that the guys speed up with “Rise a Night” and “Fly, Navigate, Communicate”. “Rise a Night” again sounds like early Stratovarius, while “Fly, Navigate, Communicate” buys me with the way Kakko sang it.

Another ballad “Candle Lawns”, beautiful, emotional words, real life story that happened to all of us

Over ten minutes long “White Pearl, White Oceans Part II: By the Grace of the Ocean” is an epic one in every meaning.

“On the Faultline (Closure to an Animal)” is piano version of “Closer to an Animal” with alternative lyrics. Again beutifuly sang.

This would not be an review if there is no criticism at all. So, what might be bad sides of this album? I really think at this level band do not need lapses like: “It is a dumb thing to say”; “Life is better alive” (“Fairytale”), Hip, hip Hurray (“Fairytale”) “Ding, dong, ding, dong” (“Till Death’s Done Us Apart”). If they wanted to record album for pre-chool children, I could understand…

And, let’s not forget artcover. Interesting one, Utopian landscape with technology and the nature in the ballance. Is it even possibile in 21st century?

(c) Ivona Bogner

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