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Top Customer Reviews
Personally, I love it! I never liked repetitive double-bass drumming anyway. The songwriting is key here. Totally awesome, and quite unique. It's got a strong prog flavor that always keeps it interesting (reminds me of Savatage - Poets & Madmen) while retaining its metal edge throughout with some godly riffs (again reminds me of Savatage - Poets & Madmen). There are quite a few ballad moments sprinkled throughout (which I always felt SA was best at) and they also remind of Jon Oliva's songwriting.
I also hear influences ranging from Therion and Devin Townsend, to Star One (Ayreon) and Kansas. Unia is a very diverse album, much broader and ambitious than anything in their past catalogue. Don't pass this one off as just another Sonata Arctica album. This one gets a gold pedastal in my hallowed hall of fame for brilliant songwriting.
In Black and White: 9/10 - A wonderful opening track for this particular record. It sets the mood with an abrupt beginning, complexity that is rarely matched and wonderful vocal melodies/harmonies throughout.
Paid In Full: 10/10 - This song is marvelous! The soulful voice and lyrics of Tony really come full force in this track! The melody is wonderful and rather catchy...This is the single for those who didn't know. If you didn't know, it's easy to see that it is after reviewing the entire album.
For The Sake Of Revenge: 8/10 - Whoa...I don't know if the fans were really ready for a song like this. The offbeat vocals with the hallow drumbeat make for a classical and unusual feeling. This is probably the most unique song on this record. It will definitely take a few listens for the average music listener. It is most impressive indeed!
It Won't Fade: 9/10 - This song engages the listener with a crunchy and progressive riff with intense harmonizing and once again, soulful vocals (this time, not so sad..but more angry than "Paid In Full"). This song experiments with ambiance that I don't believe Sonata Arctica has really truly achieved in the past. It's one of the tightest tracks on the album!
Under Your Tree: 10/10 - If there is one thing that Sonata Arctica is good at, it is making an effective and beautiful ballad!Read more ›
Therefore it is no surprise that their fifth installment takes even further steps into this (for SA) previously uncharted territory. In fact, I am surprised at how Unia sounds like a very natural continuation of Reckoning Night. It's as if some meta-album just keeps unfolding with each successive release. I don't listen to a lot of progressive rock, rock opera, whatever; but from what I have heard SA does a better job at making art music more listenable and inspiring than most.
However, gone are the simple over-the-top driving power metal anthems of the Ecliptica days. In a way, this is unfortunate, since I feel SA did the best power metal out there. Like I said, however, if you want power metal, look elsewhere. These guys obviously have a need to continually expand into deeper, more artsy territory, and they are doing it quite well. Unia is definitely the best such effort to date. Some of the multi-part vocal work is particularly unique and astounding - also not a surprise, since this has always been SA's greatest strength (in the studio, that is - they would need to hire an entire chorus to do any of their later albums justice when played live). And there are still some good hooks in there. The "Out In The Fields" bonus track is a good example).
So, if you like the direction SA was heading with Reckoning Night, definitely rush out and buy this album. If you are expecting an album that hearkens back to the Ecliptica or Silence days, go buy Dragonforce Sonic Firestorm or something.
People complains that the mile a minute double bass is gone. Ok, true. But there is still tons of double bass. In fact, almost every song has double bass. Because it's not fast doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Sonata Arctica's old one hundred mile a minute double bass sounded dumb anyway because their songs aren't not up to speed with the drums. Now, onto the tempo. Up tempo? Since when was Sonata Arctica an up tempo, speed metal band? Um, never. Sure their first cd was pretty uptemp but after that they started making slow to mid temp albums with the up tempo just sprinkled throughout. I mean, Silence and Winterheart's Guild were pretty slow and even reckoning night was pretty slow too most of the time so I'm not sure why people are suddenly mad that that sonata are no longer play fast up tempo power metal when they never did that in the first place.
In fact, calling Sonata Arctica a power metal but would be a really big stretch. Ok, so their first album was power metal to the core but after that it's obvious they turned into more of a progressive metal band, which they are still are on this release. Reviewers act like this band just makes ballads now, which is not true. There is maybe two songs on here that could be considered a ballad. It doesn't really matter anyway since SA has always had several ballads on their albums so why should this one be any different to your hears? Oh wait, it's not.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just got turned on to this band...I missed out on some good music, very talented.Published 8 months ago by J. A. Brown
As another reviewer indicated, this one grows on you. At first, it does not appear to be the standard SA affair, but, once you really delve in and give it a chance, it's so worth... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Quaid
I only like 2 tracks of this album, In my opinion is a little boring. If you like the speedy Sonata Arctica, this album is not for you. At least "Days of Grays" is a better albumPublished on March 6, 2012 by Oscar Díaz
A lot of people here have nay-said this album, and I think that's kind of unfair. It's certainly different from their other work, but there is enough of the SA we know and love in... Read morePublished on December 23, 2010 by Shiroe
Only in dedicated layering can this symphprog extend past so many of the cliches brazenly worn, rarely sustaining interesting structure before trailing off into carnival theatrics... Read morePublished on July 31, 2009 by IRate
The band's fifth album so far, here we have mature singing and sound execution. This album is an evolution of Reckoning Night, yes, more progressive and more baleful, brilliantly... Read morePublished on July 16, 2009 by Heriberto Figueroa Rivera