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Holy Shit, This I was Not Expecting - 98%

ict1523, October 30th, 2006

I've been hearing for years about how great Sonata Arctica is. I have checked out many of their songs back then and I really wasn't impressed. I mean every element of the songs was good, but it just seemed bland, and like something was missing. When I heard this album came out, I didn't even care. But recently, my friend convinced me to get this album and give Sonata Arctica another chance. And I was shocked by the excellence of this album.

There is barely anything to complain about on this album. Its a pretty long one, so you get to enjoy a lot of it, the instruments and melodies are very interesting, there's an epic, I mean there isn't much more you could ask for. From the speedy and heavy "Wildfire" and "Misplaced" to the more classic rock feel of "Blinded No More" to the excellent and sad solo on "My Selene" this album has practically no flaws. The riffs and vocals of the verses on "Ain't My Fairytale" are just simply amazing. The synths in the background just add to the atmosphere. The vocals on "White Pearl Black Oceans" are also impressive. You could tell the vocalist has a talented voice. I love how the song builds up as it heads on for the first 3 or so minutes. It goes from light, to heavier, to even heavier, and then just tops off with a terrific melody and really high pitched and strong vocals.

There is also some quirkiness on this album which is not necessarily a bad thing. "Wildfire" definitely has some weird melodies and lyrics. I think they even stuck a line from a Queen song in here. Pretty clever and downright creepy. The only somewhat bad thing on this album is the instrumental "Reckoning Day, Reckoning Night" which is just boring and the beginning to "Wildfire" which is spoken in a really retarded elfish sounding voice.

This album has a lot of variety from ballads to epic, to classic rock, to heavy to keyboard instrumentals to brilliantly thought out solos...it really feels like Sonata Arctica took their time to make this album great and really wanted to make this very creative and clever, and they succeeded. One of the most pleasant surprise albums I've listened to in a while.