Review SONATA ARCTICA ‘Acoustic Adventures – Vol. 1’

When Sonata Arctica started shortly before the new millennium, the signs were on melodic power metal, mostly also presented with higher pace. The Finns from Kemi remained true to this successful formula, which led to ten albums with which the band could establish itself in the scene.

Of course, Sonata Arctica have always remained true to the metallic roots, even when they launched with ‘Acoustic Adventures’ a new series of live shows in 2016, which found a continuation in 2019. The setlists of this tour included songs of the band completely rearranged. It was more than just an ‘unplugged’ version of their tunes. Rather, versions of the songs were generated, which knew and know how to score with individuality. Inspired by the enthusiasm of their fans for such new interpretations, the band set to work to make these tunes available on a record. Volume 1 of a two-part series entitled ‘Acoustic Adventures’ will be released at the end of January.

It was in the summer of 2020 when Sonata Arctica recorded the songs and the first twelve tracks are on Vol. 1 of this series of two parts. It is certainly a challenge to strip down well-known songs to their core and yet maintain the fascination. Sonata Arctica accomplishes this challenge with flying colors. On the one hand these versions show the substantial songwriting fundamentals of the original versions and on the other hand the band’s ability to give these origins a new look.

One of the most famous songs of the Finns, ‘Tallulah’, is represented in a well-done version and also the lively and dynamic ‘Don’t Say a Word’ from the ‘Reckoning Night’ album should be mentioned in this context. That a banjo also fits well to the music of the Finnish metallers is proven by the soulfully converted ‘A Little Less Understanding’. Not to be omitted is the brisk and galloping ‘Wolf & Raven’ which provides a lot of power even in the cut-down version.

The good thing about ‘Acoustic Adventures – Vol. 1’ is that the longplayer shows old songs in a new outfit. While some other bands just pull the plug and present an unplugged record, Sonata Arctica go one step further. The idea is not completely new, as Tesla had a similar approach with their ‘Five Man Acoustic Jam’. Nevertheless, ‘Acoustic Adventures’ is different, which also has to do with the diversity of the songs. If you want to listen to metal anthems in a different light, you’re in good hands here.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  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. Tallulah
  6. Don’t Say a Word
  7. As If The World Wasn’t Ending
  8. Paid In Full
  9. Tonight I Dance Alone
  10. The Wolves Die Young
  11. Wolf & Raven
  12. On The Faultline

Label: Atomic Fire Records

Genre: Acoustic

Release Date EU: January 21st, 2022

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