Sonata Arctica – The Ninth Hour

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Release: 07/10/2016 FIN

The last Sonata Arctica album I actually cared about was the 2012 release “Stones Grow Her Name” which was probably their most different and original album. Well, then came “Pariah’s Child” and now there’s “The Ninth Hour”. It’s concept is indeed very interesting and let’s see what the band’s ninth album has to offer.

Closer To An Animal” is the opener and the first single off “The Ninth Hour”. It might kick off as an energetic track with hit potential, but turns out to be rather straight forward and predictable without any hook that would make it memorable in any way.
The ride goes on with “Life” and here it kinda gets cooler, but still I felt that there was something missing. I don’t know what it is but maybe you’ll find out for yourself.
Fairytale” jumps on the same bandwagon as the previous tracks, being quite exciting in the first few moments, but turning bit old the longer you listen to it. However, I really loved the lyrics here.

The Ninth Hour” continues with the calm piece called “We Are What We Are” and don’t expect anything surprising here. Afterwards you can enjoy “Till Death’s Done Us Apart”, a finally more Sonata Arctica-ish track on this record… I’ve been waiting for this.
And that “one, two, three, one two, three”-part wasn’t possibly inspired by Sia, was it?
Among The Shooting Stars” eventually got quite epic too.

What else is there for us? Well, “Rise A Night” comes around with a riff typical for Sonata Arctica and “Fly, Navigate, Communicate” will surprise you with the fact that it’s the most experimental track on this record, if you want to call it like that. I enjoyed that rather minimalistic chorus – Yes, it’s quite minimalistic for the genre.
Candle Lawns” will give you a chance to relax a bit and don’t get me wrong, but this song was the cheesiest one on “The Ninth Hour”. But then we get to hear “White Pearl, Black Oceans, Pt. II” and this is the moment where things go down. These ten minutes are worth it. Trust me. Best ten minutes on this album.
You know that things are going to an end once you hear “On The Faultline (Closure To An Animal)”. There’s nothing much left to say. It was okay.

 

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The Ninth Hour” is a solid record. It won’t move you emotionally. It won’t bring you to tears. It won’t  make you stand up from your seat. Sonata Arctica didn’t bring any significant highlights that would make this album stand out and for some reason I’m not really surprised.
I think that fans of Sonata Arctica will enjoy “The Ninth Hour” no matter what, but if you’re looking for something with more depth, this album won’t be the right choice.

 

Take A Listen:

 

Personal Favorites:

  • Fairytale
  • Till Death’s Done Us Apart
  • Among The Shooting Stars

Rating:
★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

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