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One Step Closer to the Power Metal Hall of Fame - 82%

Obscuur, November 23rd, 2007

Sonata Arctica is a power metal band from Finland, founded in 1996. The band's sound is pretty similar to the sound of fellow power metallers Stratovarius. Winterheart's Guild is the 3rd studio album of Sonata Arctica (and it is the first CD I ever bought).

The album immediately kicks in with the first song, the track with the long title, Abandoned, Pleased, Brainwashed, Exploited. The song is pretty fast, and is pretty catchy. The only thing that dissappoints me, are the drums, they can be called boring, they are just too simple, it sounds like something is wrong with the CD, and the same part is played over and over again.

The seconds song starts with an intro, which surprises me. I think it would be better if this was the opening song, and the intro isn't the only reason. Gravenimage is a great song, maybe one of the best songs of the entire album. This song also is catchy, and has great vocals. The guitar is good, not really special, the keyboard adds something to the music, which makes it more fun to listen to.

The whole album is a bit like this. It has good vocals, that fit the genre. The guitar and bass are good too. Some guitar riffs might be a bit boring, but the album has some great solos. The keyboards are pulled to the back a little bit, which is a plus, it now sounds more like one with the other instruments. The keyboard also has its solos, that sound very good (especially the one that starts The Cage). I think drums are disappointing, it's a little bit samey all the time.

Overall this album has fast,typical power metal songs, but also some slower songs, like Broken (which is one of my favorite songs of this album). The songs are very, very catchy. Some parts stay in my head for hours. But when a song is in your head all the time, you start wondering if you have the lyrics right (right? Or is that just me?). The lyrics are, in my eyes, pretty good. Maybe the lyrics could be less about relations, but they are very well-written, and might also be a bit poetic.

I'm very pleased with this album, and it was worth my precious money. This might be the best Sonata Arctica album so far. If you like power metal, this album needs to be part of your collection.