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Review: Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica - Revisited
Sonata Arctica
www.sonataarctica.info
Ecliptica - Revisited

Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2014
Duration: 47:42
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: December 14, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
for:
Ecliptica - Revisited

Rated 1.78/5 (35.56%) (9 Votes)
Review


Anyone who is familiar with my reviews here at The Metal Crypt will undoubtedly have picked up the fact that Sonata Arctica is one of my favorite bands. The band recently re-recorded their debut album Ecliptica, under the title Ecliptica - Revisited, at the urging of their Japanese record label (something the band was initially uninterested in doing but eventually relented) and the question on many peoples' lips is probably "why?" Motivation notwithstanding, the real questions should be "is it any good and does it improve over the original?"

The short answers are "yes" and "no." Let me explain. Mercifully, Sonata Arctica has stayed true to the original arrangements with respect to instrumentation and tempo and that means Ecliptica - Revisited isn't some lame "re-imagining" of the band's classic material. No bluegrass versions of "Full Moon" or lounge-inspired renditions of "Replica." Nope, we get faithful renditions of the hits with just enough room for people like Henrik Klingenberg (keyboards) and Elias Viljanen (guitars), who weren't in the band in 1999, to put their own spin on the now-familiar solos and runs without changing them altogether. Singer Tony Kakko's voice has definitely changed in the 15 years since the original and is now fuller and lower (and his English is greatly improved!) and the album has a much warmer production. What are lost are the youthful energy and enthusiasm, mistakes and all, that makes the original album a classic of Finnish keyboard-and-guitar-driven Power Metal.

At the end of the day, Ecliptica - Revisited is a fine listen and fans of the band aren't likely to hate it (not too much, anyway) but it ultimately seems superfluous. While I'm glad they stayed true to the originals and didn't sully the material I can't imagine anyone liking this version of the album MORE than the one from 1999. Sonata Arctica fans can safely grab this in order to complete their collections and hear their favorites in a different way but newbies will want to start with Ecliptica and experience the songs the way they were originally intended.

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