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Slower, different and still good. - 93%

PowerDaso, July 20th, 2010

Sonata Arctica is a band that, in my opinion, deserves recognition. They have changed their sound practically in every album, starting off with "Winterheart's Guild" since they pretty much kept the same sound of "Ecliptica" in "Silence", and they still have the luck to keep their fans (at least until this album). Kakko is the one to decide how each song would be, and that affects the overall sound, as it is imposed by how he is feeling. Anyways, he did this album, "Reckoning Night", and got a pretty good job out of it.

Kakko chose to take a slower approach this time. It might not be noticed at first, since "Misplaced" is pretty fast and preserves the old Sonata's essence, but by the time "Blinded No More" kicks off the change will be right there. There is an imposing of a different sound by the progressions used on the guitar and those being supported by the keyboard of the, at that moment, new keyboard player: Henrik Klingenberg. The sound is much harder to digest, as it is not progressive in the Dream Theater type but in a way that it is hard to understand at first, a good sample of this would be "The Boy Who Wanted to Be A Real Puppet". As mentioned, there are songs that keep old Sonata's bits to them, like "Misplaced", "Ain't Your Fairytale", and "Don't Say a Word" which would possibly be the ones to push you to listen the album. It might be a little weird for Sonata Arctica, but there is only one ballad in the whole album, and it's the closing track, "Shamandalie". Its spotlight is off for the keyboard, but there are some heavier riffs in the mid-ending of the song.

A song that is worthwile mentioning would be "White Pearl, Black Oceans". It is pretty iconic, not only because of it's lenght, but because what it carries. The song doesn't have one single solo in its whole length. I know this may sound negative, but it actually is not. The whole song is a huge packaging of massive choruses, strings and anything you want to call epic, as well as variating progressions and rhythms, plus it adds several themes and varies a lot. The song by itself is worth buying the album.

"Reckoning Night" is pretty much a mixed bag. It has those aggressive songs that every metal album deserves with the heavily distorted, down tuned guitars and fast, string-shredding solos, as well as it has some slower songs that focus much more on the keyboard and vocals, letting the guitar be much more rhythmic along with the bass and the drums. There is not a precise way to categorize this album, but it certainly is interesting and I do recommend it, certainly it will provide a fun while.