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sonataarctica acousticadventures1
Artist: Sonata Arctica
Title: Acoustic Adventures - Volume One
Genre: Power Metal / Melodic Rock
Release Date: 21st January 2022
Label: Atomic Fire Reords

Album Review

It’s been a while since I saw SONATA ARCTICA with their acoustic set back in 2019. The more I was thrilled to hear that they would be releasing two acoustic albums with the material from this tour plus a few more songs. The 2019 tour showed a different and more versatile side of the band that started with Power Metal but changed their approach over the years so that sometimes it was closer to Rock than to Metal. The result of the bands acoustic session will be released on tow albums, part one was released in January, the second part can be expected to be released in autumn this year.

SONATA ARTICA open their acoustic show with ‘The Rest Of The Sun Belongs To Me’, a song that originally is a heavy and straightforward fan favourite. ‘As If The World Wasn’t Ending’ starts almost like a lullaby until more instruments come in and the Hammond organ carries the melody along. Yes, you read correctly, Hammond organ. There are electric instruments on this album, but no worries, they fit in and add a great and intense melodies to the songs. ‘Paid in Full’ saw an interesting re-arrangement and turned into a Country style song. While the original version is quite strong on e-guitar riffing and competing guitars and keyboards. In this version, the bass that pops up only from then to then in the original version gets a more emphasized line and the lack of over-droning e-guitars directs the listeners attention to the vocals and the emphasized backing vocals. The band did a really great job here.

The next one is ‘A Little Less Understanding’, released on ‘Talviö’ in 2019 got a Hammond organ instead of a piano and a banjo replaces one of the guitars. The heavy and dark attitude is replaced by a positive almost Folk prone attitude and invites you to sing along. Honestly, I like this version than the original one. ‘Alone In Heaven’ is a song from the band’s 2012 released album ‘Stones Grow Her Name’ and the original version already has an acoustic guitar intro and an upbeat attitude and the chorus is always joined by the crowd attending the live show. The acoustic version comes with a piano intro and a great acoustic guitar melody. The Hammond organ gives it a nice atmosphere in the chorus part and gives the “heaven” a deeper meaning. The tempo of the song varies a lot more compared to the original version. There is more space for the few instruments and the vocals are more and intense and powerful, reminding you of Gospel.

One of the band’s most famous song is ‘Tallulah’ a wonderful half-ballade that was released more than 20 years ago on their album ‘Silence’. The original has a very strong piano line and some strings in the background and a very intense E-guitar solo and Toni’s crystal-clear vocals always are a highlight of the live concerts. I never thought the song could be arranged more beautiful, but SONATA ARCTICA did it. The piano gives the song a wonderful and clear melody, the drums were reduced and an acoustic guitar shows up only once in a while but plays a wonderful solo with a very longing touch. SONATA ARCTICA know their songs by heart and so they can make a beautiful song even more beautiful and by leaving out any unnecessary instruments and effects, they turned into a mesmerizing ballade.

‘Don’t Say a Word’ is one of heavier songs on the bands regular setlist and saw a really significant make-over. The heavy e-guitar riffing und very upbeat drums and the vocals in high key make the original song a true Power Metal song. Now the song is clad in a piano melody, the rhythm section is hardly audible in the background. But: the vocals come with an intensity that you might expect on a Broadway show. The lyrics and the story the song highly profits from all the reduced instrumentation and the dramatic parts that are perfectly underlined by the piano while Toni Kakko effortlessly changes between raging almost spoken word passages and brilliant high key clear singing. The choir that comes in towards the end as well as some strings add an intensity that carries towards the almost abrupt end.

‘Tonight I Dance alone’ starts with an intro that somehow brought ‘Don’t Speak’ (NO DOUBT) to my mind for a few seconds, but as soon as Toni’s voice started telling a sad and sorrowful story, the piano and the gospel in the background drew me deep into this song. From dancing, SONATA ARTICA takes you to Wolves, who play a significant part in SONATA ARTICA’s universe and ‘The Wolves Die Young’ comes with a wonderful clear structure, a wonderful tempered piano and a very versatile vocal performance by Toni. Feel invited to sing along.

One more story about the animals comes with ‘Wolf & Raven’, one of the fastest songs on the album, the piano is just wonderful and the solo parts are stunning. The song starts with a voice from the off, that counts in, and suddenly all instruments break loose. The bass and the drums get prominent functions as well will cost the guitar players some effort during the live shows, for the tempo of the guitars part is quite fast, pay attention to the piano line and enjoy the solo parts. The vocals remind me strongly of a musical performance and the whole song as such is a wonderful experience. Part one of the show is closed with ‘On The Faultline’, that has a slow, floating and meditative melody and when the last chord faded, it makes you long for more ‘Acoustic Adventures’.

This acoustic album gave the whole band the opportunity to prove that they are brilliant songwriters. Not every band is able to rearrange their Metal songs to Country, Bluegrass, Gospel and many other genres by themselves. Tony Kakko used this chance and showed how versatile his voice is and gave the songs a very intense and emotional attitude. Light the fireplace, a campfire or a few candles and start your acoustic adventure with this timeless album.


01. The Rest Of The Sun Belongs To Me
02. For The Sake Of Revenge
03. A Little Less Understanding
04. Alone In Heaven
05. Tallulah
06. Don’t Say a Word
07. As If The World Wasn’t Ending
08. Paid In Full
09. Tonight I Dance Alone
10. The Wolves Die Young
11. Wolf & Raven
12. On The Faultline


Tony Kakko – Vocals
Elias Viljanen – Guitars
Pasi Kauppinen – Bass
Henrik “Henkka” Klingenberg – Keyboards
Tommy Portimo – Drums


Cover Picture

sonataarctica acousticadventures1


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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