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just amazing - 100%

gnarlyhessian, October 12th, 2004

So this is my first review, and I thought I would chose an album that has changed my musical outlook on life.

Winterhearts guild is so good, words really do fall short of decribing it. The musicainship is top notch, the songwriting is catchy and meaningful (no throw away tracks here), and the lyrics have substance. There are only a few discs in my collection that truly deserve 100%. It is tempting just to put 100 up for any disc that you like a lot, but I believe an album must earn that rating and Sonata Arctica's third album is one of those.

Every song on this disc stands on it's own two feet. It puts you into one of those awkard circumstances, where you really want to hear a certain song so you desire to skip ahead, but the song you are in the middle of is just so damn good you can't bring yourself to push that button. Every song on Winterhearts guild is in a slightly different style than the other tracks too, which might be a reason the afore-mentioed paradox occurs, you can't hear the same thing again in other song you like more.

Winterhearts guild is definately more keyboard oriented than it's predecessor Silence, but Jani still gets plenty of opportunity to show off his chops. A lot of people complain of power metal being drowned down with keybaord lines, but here they just provide melody and substance with a couple of solos. I realiae it may sound contradicting to say a keyboard oriented album isn't bogged down in keyboard, but it is true. It just needs to be heard to understand.

Another great thing about this album and Sonata Arctica in general, they don't sing about dragons and victory like other power metal acts. The topics of dare I say it...love and forelonging are fequently brought up causing too many people to comment something like "Sonata Arctica is so gay dude" 9if I had a nickel...) Anyway these lyrical themes just give more depth to the songs and highly personalize the whole experience.

If some of you still need justification to have this in your collection, three people at different times who can't stand 98% of the music I listen to told me Sonata Arctica "is actually pretty good". And funny enough they all said this while "The Cage" was playing.

If anyone needs convincing listen to "Gravinimage", especially at 4:19 and all of this will be cleared up for you.