Sonata Arctica - Silence


Heat in 7
Apr 17, 2001
Southern California
Century Media - 2001

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By Rodrigo

Let’s just say that I was totally not looking forward to Silence, the new Sonata Arctica album. While at first I liked Ecliptica I quickly got bored of it with repeated listens. My expectations for Silence were really low and frankly there was no desire to play the album. But just like other albums that I didn’t really want to listen to, Silence has become one of the greatest surprises of the year. With the right combination of speedy melodic songs to semi-ballads, Silence is a well-rounded album and fans of melodic power metal fans should eat this up.

The songwriting has definitely improved and it makes the band sound more mature and grownup. Gone should be the comparisons to Stratovarius because with Silence Sonata Arctica truly achieves their own sound. Songs like "Land of the Free", "False News Travels Fast" and "Sing in Silence" are the perfect examples of what a Sonata Arctica song is like. These songs achieve tempo variations during and they are constantly moving forward with great keyboard and guitar melodies. These songs are perfect hybrids of the other songs found in Silence. "Weballergy" is the first song of the album and it is an extremely fast melodic song that is extremely catchy and enjoyable. I especially love the many trade-offs during the long instrumental part of the song (1:45-2:57). Other similar songs are "Black Sheep" and "Wolf & Raven". "The End of this Chapter", "Last Drop Falls" and "The Power of One" are emotional semi-ballads that show that the band can play slow just as good as they can play fast. These are the longer songs of Silence but not once do they bore you.

With the songwriting and the playing at a much higher level than in the previous album I was extremely happy to find that the singing of Tony Kakko, which I found to be one of the weakest aspects of Ecliptica, has also dramatically improved. No longer did I find his voice annoying and childish (in Ecliptica it just sounds like he doesn’t have great command of his voice). At times in various songs Tony even uses a death metal type grunt for just one word or a few words in other cases. I couldn’t believe it when I first heard that.

In certain songs a narrator appears to talk introduce the album and other songs. He kind of sounds like the masked character of the "Scream" movies, yet it doesn’t sound cheesy at all. What the purpose of him is in respect to the album is something I have no clue about. Silence is an album that should appeal to most melodic power metal fans. Also, do give it some time to sink in because at first Silence might not strike you as a very good album. This is definitely one of those albums you have to hear often to begin to appreciate it, but once you do, you will be happily treated to a great album.
I'm listening to Ecliptica now, and tho I've not yet heard Silence (still can't find it!), I can't wait to. I'm not usually a huge fan of power metal (that double-bass drum stuff does my head in), but Sonata is the one band who suit my tastes to the ground :)

Great review! Looking forward to hearing it!