|Review: Sonata Arctica - For the Sake of Revenge|
|For the Sake of Revenge|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2006
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: March 15, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
for:For the Sake of Revenge
Before the metal horde comes after me brandishing pitchforks, I'd like to point out that NutraSweet candy-metallers Sonata Arctica are one of my favourite acts. So indeed, it pains me to garner them with such a low mark for anything they've branded their own, but it is wholly justified by the product, not their subsistence; long may it continue.
The fact of the matter is: Sonata Arctica suck live. From first hand experience, I know how disappointing it is to hear these power metal demigods through wall-to-wall speakers. They simply cannot put it off. So why are they getting into the habit of releasing a live record after every couple of albums? Have they been taking Music Business classes from Iron Maiden and Dream Theater? Stop it! Now!
Merely blasting this with criticism is unjust, so I'll explain: Jani's guitars are way too superlative on CD, which means when coming to play them live, they sound weak, hesitant and undemonstrative; ex-Requiem/Silent Voices man Henrik Klingenberg's keys are restrained too, merely following the album's melody lines with very little adlibbing; Tony's vocals are undefined – but when layered against a tapestry of five trillion backing tapes, they will still sound demanding; and basically all you can really distinguish throughout are Tommy Portimo's head-thumping double bass drums, which are triggered to perfection of course. This is not enough. It didn't work on 2001's "Songs of Silence – Live in Tokyo" and it doesn't work now. Simply put, they could have easily have recorded this on any night of the tour, posted it off to Mr. Karmila and Mr. Jussia and Bam! We have a marketable product.
Whether Tony and his metal care-bears belong on stage is debatable, but at least the track listing is good; even if it does spotlight 2004's "Reckoning Night" too profusely. Hell, we have "Gravenimage", "8th Commandment", "Victoria's Secret" and "The Cage" this time; which at least will set the ravenous die-hards loose. "For The Sake of Revenge" isn't terrible, and on the contrary the DVD is rather splendid – the band appear in much better light when we can see them; it's like watching one long music video! And it is rather humorous to hear Tony change the first verse of "Black Sheep" to We're not Iron Maiden and we're not from England; we are Sonata are we are from Finland!
Well, you're getting there.
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