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Masterpiece - 100%

Vegetarian_Cannibal, May 29th, 2010

Sonata Arctica is a miracle. I'm a huge fan of power metal, and was blown away by the song "Don't Say a Word" when I first heard it. Soon after I purchased the rest of this album, and before long I decided it was the greatest album I had ever heard. It has some songs that are more metal, headbanging type songs like "Wildfire," but also some quieter songs like "Shamandalie."

I'll start off by talking about the song "Don't Say a Word" because that song alone is worth spending ten bucks on. It's the first single from the album. It gets right into the action with some awesome guitar riffs, and then the vocals start. It starts out pretty mellow, with some rather quiet vocals, and then it gets awesome. The verses on their own are catchy and powerful enough to make this an amazing song, but then the chorus. I literally get high off of the chorus in this song. It is just so powerful and so catchy, and is forever stuck in my head. After the second chorus it gets kind of weird, but in a good way. There's some very deep spoken vocals, and then it shortly breaks into a great keytar solo. After that, there's a guitar solo, and then a final double chorus. The final chorus gets higher and more triumphant, and I feel like crying because it is so good. I have listened to this song about sixty times, and so far I just haven't gotten tired of it. This has got to be my favorite song of all time. This song, and the rest of the album, will forever be playing on my iPod constantly.

The other songs are amazing, too. "White Pearl, Black Oceans" is the next best, and probably in my top five for greatest songs ever. This one is more mellow, sort of like some of the songs on Unia. It's about nine minutes long, and I would say this was one of the songs that started them on their more progressive side that's apparent on Unia. I say it's progressive because the sound keeps changing and it's long. It doesn't follow a verse-chorus-verse-chorus format. It does sort of have a chorus that keeps appearing, but it almost seems random. The song starts out slower, but picks up the tempo later on. Anyway, I think the chorus is really catchy and it is overall a beautiful song.

Some other highlights are the opener, "Misplaced," which not only is a good tune, but also has great lyrics that I can relate to at times, and "Wildfire," which is probably the heaviest song. It starts out with a cheesy intro that I think is pretty hilarious. Then the song starts for real and is just fantastic from beginning to end. "Shamandalie" is much slower and quieter than any other song, and takes more getting used to. After a few listens, I really started to love it. It's pretty much the most beautiful song ever. "The Boy Who Wanted to be a Real Puppet" also had to grow on me, but I ended up liking it. It tells an interesting story. "Blinded No More," "Ain't Your Fairytale" and "My Selene" are also great songs. The only point that's somewhat weak is the instrumental "Reckoning Day, Reckoning Night," which is beautiful but seems more like a filler than anything else.

Overall, this album is a must have for any power metal fan. You won't be disappointed.