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Sonata Arctica: Acoustic Adventures-Volume 1

Finnish melodic metal icons Sonata Arctica are set to release the first volume of Acoustic Adventures on January 21st, 2022 via Atomic Fire.

Melodic power Metal is a sub-genre typically associated with speed. It’s a genre punctuated by pummeling kick drums and razor-sharp riffing along with anthemic vocals. In some respects, you couldn’t get a much more of a stark contrast than the juxtaposition between the instrumentation of a Power metal track and typical acoustic arrangement. Nevertheless, the Acoustic Adventures concept that Sonata Arctica have taken on is diving head first into this musical contrast- rearranging a selection of their Power Metal anthems and re-presenting them as stripped back acoustic tracks.

I’m a casual fan of Power metal and if memory serves me correctly, I believe I’ve seen Sonata Arctica live at Waken, but I don’t confess to be a die hard fan. Looking down the track listing of Acoustic Adventures I’m not seeing a whole lot of track titles that I know particularly well. Surprisingly then, that I quite enjoy the Acoustic Adventures (volume 1) album. I guess at the heart of it, a good vocal melody remains a good vocal melody regardless of the arrangement. Sonata Arctica have never been lacking in this department so the album works reasonably well.

For those wondering what Acoustic Power metal might sound like, I would liken the instrumentation on this release a little but to the Eagles Hell Freezes Over version of "Hotel California" (which I’d assume most are familiar with). It's acoustic, but it’s not just an acoustic guitar and vocals- there are keys, some drums and nylon guitar leads and other instrumentation that provides some listening interest. The songs retain a lot of their original structures but are re arranged significantly enough to make it an interesting listen. Personally, I can happily listen through this release without being a major fan, so I’d assume bigger fans will find listening to these songs to be quite novel and very enjoyable.

I guess the only criticism of the album is the concept. Despite being a causal fan of the band (at best) I do find myself being unsure about the motivations of to embark on this project (as a 2 album series no less). If they have an acoustic itch that needs scratching, could they have perhaps tackled this style with new material (fans are always hungry for new material)? Who knows, perhaps that’s what they have in store for Volume 2?!

Track Listing

  1. The Rest of The Sun Belongs To Me
  2. For The Sake Of Revenge
  3. A Little Less Understanding
  4. Alone In Heaven
  5. Don’t Say A Word
  6. As If The World Wasn’t Ending
  7. Paid In Full
  8. Tonight I Dance Alone
  9. The Wolves Die Young
  10. Wolf & Raven
  11. On The Faultline

Added: January 18th 2022
Reviewer: Chris Reid
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 502
Language: english

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