A progressive Power Metal
band from Finland formed in 1996. They were originally called Tricky Beans and played hard rock. In 1997, they changed their name to Tricky Means. Then they moved on to traditional fast power metal in the style of bands like Stratovarius, and recorded Ecliptica
. "Tricky Means" did not seem like an appropriate name for a power metal band, so they changed their name to Sonata Arctica.
Eventually, Mikko Harkin joined as the keyboardist, bassist Janne Kivilahti left, and ex-guitarist Marko Paasikoski came back to play bass. Silence
was released. In 2002, Mikko left, and Winterheart's Guild
was recorded with the help of Jens Johansson from Stratovarius. The band narrowed their search for a new keyboardist down to two potential members, and spent some time getting both of them drunk to see how they would get along with the band. Henrik Klingenberg passed the test. In 2004, Reckoning Night
was released; it had some progressive influences, and if this was a novel, I'd call that foreshadowing. But, to get on with the story, a live DVD, For the Sake of Revenge
, was recorded in Japan in 2005.
In 2006, the band found they had a problem: Jani still hadn't finished his civil service, which is mandatory in Finland, and couldn't leave the country, so Elias Viljanen replaced him for the tour. As if this didn't annoy the fans enough, Sonata Arctica decided they were completely and utterly bored of power metal. Unia
came out in 2007, and was a rather sudden switch to progressive metal. Some fans loved it, some hated it. Elias permanently replaced Jani as the guitarist shortly after. In 2009, The Days of Grays
came out, and got reactions as mixed as Unia
did. Another live DVD was recorded in April of 2011 in Oulu, Finland, and released later that year. In May 2012, the band released Stones Grow Her Name,
and has once again drawn sharply polarized reactions from fans and critics. Their eighth album, Pariah's Child,
was released in March 2014, and is a little closer to the traditional power metal, although not without the band's now trademark idiosyncrasies and experimentation.
An Action-RPG named Winterheart's Guild
based on the band is being developed by Zelian Games. It's currently in Development Hell
due to Zelian Games concentrating more on xOrbic
, which will form the foundation of the Winterheart's Guild
game. No release date has been announced as of yet, but a playable demo was shown at E3 2007. The band members themselves will be the player characters and the game's soundtrack will be provided by the band. It is confirmed that the game will contain at least one new, unreleased Sonata Arctica
Just remember: 1. Wolves, not dragons. 2. The lyrics are not personal stories. Not even those that really really sound like they are.
- Vocals: Tony Kakko (1996-present)
- Guitar: Elias Viljanen (2007-present)
- Bass: Pasi Kauppinen (2013-present)
- Drums: Tommy Portimo (1996-present)
- Keyboard: Henrik Klingenberg (2003-present)
- Giutar: Jani Liimatainen (1996-2007)
- Bass: Pentti Peura (1996-1998), Janne Kivilahti (1998-2000)
- Keyboard: Mikko Harkin (2000-2002)
- Bass: Marko Paasikoski (2000-2013, but played guitar from 1996 to 1997)
- Ecliptica (1999)
- Silence (2001)
- Winterheart's Guild (2003)
- Reckoning Night (2004)
- Unia (2007)
- The Days of Grays (2009)
- Stones Grow Her Name (2012)
- Pariah's Child (2014)
This band may exhibit the following tropes:
open/close all folders
- Darker and Edgier: Sonata Arctica's lyrical themes have always been dark, but over time the sound has been changing to be more fitting to the lyrics.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: Firm believers of it. Justified, since their album sales have dwindled due to piracy.
- Epic Rocking: Each album typically has one very long, complicated song. Examples include "Destruction Preventer", "The Power of One", "White Pearl, Black Oceans...", "Gravenimage", "Deathaura", "Wildfire", (Parts II and III) and "My Dream's But a Drop of Fuel for a Nightmare". It's only 6:13, but it's certainly among the most progressive songs they've ever done.
- Goes Up to Eleven when they add epic, rocking, banjos to their latest album Stone Grow Her Name.
- Heavy Mithril
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Done for at least a few of their albums.
- Lyrical Dissonance: They often pair grim lyrics with upbeat music, at least until Reckoning Night.
- Metal Scream: Tony Kakko does some high-pitched ones.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: A solid 7 most of the time.
- New Sound Album: In their 2007 album Unia, the band nearly abandoned traditional power metal altogether and experimented with art rock elements.
- Also, Stones Grow Her Name, meant to be a throwback to the band's hard rock roots. It's a drastic difference from their previous album, The Days of Grays.
- Soprano and Gravel: Tony's high voice probably doesn't count as "gravel," but The Days of Grays features two songs where he shares vocal duties with Johanna Kurkela.