Sonata Arctica - Pariahs Child (2014)

What we assumed that Sonata Arctica had gone into temporary 'style hiccup', is now endangered into permanent status. Is the band has had enough power metal as in their glory days of Reckoning Night or Ecliptica? According to vocalist Tony Kakko, that should not be an issue, because this album, not as 'different' as Stones Grow Her Name, will be a return to 'power metal'. On visual observation, the promises seems real, the cover album with associated wolf images has return.

The Wolves Die Young is a straightforward power song, the symphonic aura is back, although the use of bass fill in that beginning can be a bit alarming. Ok, move on to Running Lights, this song is a melodic call. A bit of over cliche in the choruses but nothing can call this off as 'power metal betrayal' neither. Then dearly, Take One Breath is maybe mood killing on that arpeggios intro, which not much connected to the heavier song its follow. Cloud Factory is pretty standard, but just remind us this is Sonata Arctica, so we expected more above standard tunes. Blood, What Did You Do In The War, Dad? and Half A Marathon Man all are of different mood, mostly new feel, especially the last mentioned song. X Marks The Spot is enjoyable lyrical driven song, maybe most interesting to listen carefully. Again we need to stand another experimental song in a piano ballad called Love. Then the whole styles mixing got the last episode in Larger Than Life. About ten minutes of opera-like writing, this is like Queen meet Meat Loaf meet power metal.

For technical matter, I found Pariah's Child is a bit of issue with the mixing. The guitars not heard as heavy as most of power metal band should be. The lack of leading riffs is leading us to dig a memory of Jani Limatainen. For exchange, the drum and bass are really up front on my speaker. Musically, expectation of Sonata Arctica being heavier than the previous two albums is approved. Nevertheless, styles changes is permanent by now, Pariah's Child is by far power metal album with lot of 'colorful' adds on. To found heavier straight forward symphonic stuffs as in the glory past, is unlikely. If you enjoy wider range of melodic metal, this album should be not much a problem to enjoy.

Metal Harem class: ******** seven stars out of ten

Sonata Arctica - Pariah's Child (2014)
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01. The Wolves Die Young
02. Running Lights
03. Take One Breath
04. Cloud Factory
05. Blood
06. What Did You Do In The War, Dad ?
07. Half A Marathon Man
08. X Marks The Spot
09. Love
10. Larger Than Life

Tony Kakko - vocals, keyboards
Elias Viljanen - guitars
Tommy Portimo - drums
Henrik Klingenberg - keyboards
Pasi Kauppinen - bass

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