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Reckoning Night

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(53 Reviews)

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  • If you’ve never listened to Sonata Arctica, understand that SA are storytellers. Every song is a story unto itself and honestly told like a story. Most bands make some songs which are tales of some kind or another; usually what you get, however, is “I lost my girl” or “I found a girl” or “I hate life.”

    Not exactly original.

    Sonata Arctica’s songs are vivid paintings of a fantastic nature; somehow in four to nine minutes they can give you a setting, some unnamed characters which they still manage to make you resonate with, and a satisfying (if not always happy) conclusion. On this album, for example:

    *Ain’t Your Fairytale – Told from the perspective of wolves who must fight to maintain their world against the growing threat of men.
    *Don’t Say a Word – A man obsessed with his love takes it to very creepy extremes.
    *Wildfire – A boy, cast out and reviled by a town for the deeds of his father, takes his revenge by condemning the people to a horrible doom in the flames of his hate.
    *White Pearl, Black Oceans – Their masterpiece. Of all the songs they’ve done, this is easily the most epic in its scope (at least to me). A lighthouse-keeper, always alone, ventures into town on New Year’s Eve and subsequently suffers a heartbreaking series of events that shatter him.

    Technically they are precise and inventive on Reckoning Night; lyrically, as I’ve said, this is the most accomplished of their work. If there’s a complaint to be had about their work it’s that their English is flawed (they’re a Finnish band), although I doubt it’ll bother you unless you’re an English major.

    Also, though it has nothing to do with the music – Reckoning Night has some of the best artwork in its packaging that I’ve ever seen. If you like the album’s cover you’ll like the rest of it.

    Posted on February 19, 2010