Sonata Arctica - Pariah's Child
Nuclear Blast
Melodic Power Metal
10 songs (54:00)
Release year: 2014
Sonata Arctica, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Joel
Major event

Pariah's Child is the latest from Sonata Arctica and is a review, that is very overdue since the disc came out in late March. I discovered the band around the time of their classic disc, Silence, and the lightning quick song, that was Wolf and Raven. Amazed by the speed and melody, I discovered this band, had an earlier release(Thank you MetalReviews! At that time I was just a reader), Ecliptica. A few years later we were greated with the now classic, Winterheart's Guild, and the band was becoming more famous with more fans worldwide. I couldn't stop listening to this band. Then Reckoning Night came and while it was an amazing disc, it came at the cost of Jari Liimatainen, their founding guitarist leaving the band. Many readers of this site, knew what followed in form of Unia, and I would rather just not go there, since many did not care for the disc, while many others are just neutral on it. For me it took The Days Of Grays, and the video for Flag In the Ground, to get me back on the Sonata Arctica bandwagon(though I continued to listen to Pre-Unia discs on a regular basis). This cd was consistent, melodic, while not perfect, it was a much better disc. A lot of experimentation that just did not work at the time. The follow up Stones Grow Her Name, did nothing for me, and a song title like Shitload Of Money made me roll my eyes, and chalked it up, to an attempt at humor gone wrong. So with Pariah's Child, what would we get? The Sonata Arctica that brought us Ecliptica and Silence, or the one who brought us Unia/Stones Grow Her Name? I am happy to say some of the older influences returned, even if the speed has not.

The Wolves Die Young was the first single, and it is a solid mid tempo paced song. This song would have been well suited for The Days Of Gray. Melodic, powerful, and passionate vocals from singer, Tony Kakko. The opening to Running Lights will bring back some nostalgia with its speedy tempo, and lead guitar playing from Elias Viljanen, that is well played. I really liked this song a lot. Take One Breath, opens with an arpeggio melody played on piano, and it builds into the first verse of the song. Another speedy yet mid-tempo song, that I am thinking would be a lot of fun live. Cloud Factory like The Wolves Die Young is another mid-pace song driven by some solid drumming. I like the leads behind the vocal melodies, I just wish it was a little louder in the mix. There is one small part of the song, where the song sort of falls apart where Kakko sings a somewhat jarring(ok it was probably an attempt at fun) melody. It is very brief, and does not kill the song, but only detracts a little bit from it. Blood is next, and opens with a haunting piano melody followed by an effects driven Kakko, singing softly. WIth a solid stop and go riff through the verses, the song builds itself up to the chorus. There is some spoken words parts of the song, which tells you what Kakko is singing about. I will leave that up to your interpretation .

The emotional yet all over the place, What Did You Do In the War, Dad? Is as emotional as a Sonata Arctica song can get. The lyrical content, somber in its tone delivers a haunting message. At just over five minutes the song, has an epic feel to it, even if the length does not warrant it. I would love to see how they pull the song off live. Half A Marathon Man is next with its soft and kind of boring intro. The rest of the song sounds like something totally different, and this is more of an almost AOR/Hard Rocker, which at first caught me by surprise. Not the best track, but the not worst thing this band has ever created. X Marks The Spot is an attempt at something I am not quite sure of. Musically its a fun mid paced song, lyrically and spoken word parts, well leave something to be desired. The soft vocals of Kakko with piano, starts the beautiful yet simple song that is Love. Not much can be said about this song, but Sonata Arctica have always written some powerful ballads(Replica anyone? Broken from Winterheart's Guild). Piano also starts the last song on the disc, the ten minute opus that is Larger Than Life. It does have a larger than life choir singing in this song, and some very weird vocals again from Kakko, that I don't care for, but again I think its an attempt at being dramatic. When the song goes into the classic Sonata Arctica mid-paced tempo, the song is at its best. There is a lot in one song to describe here, but again, like some of the songs before it, its all over the place, but somehow it works.

While I may be somewhat hard on the disc, it is definitely better than Unia or Stones Grow Her Name without a doubt. For those who are wishing for the days of Ecliptica and Silence, I am sorry but I believe those days have passed. The band still plays songs from their back catalogue live, and while the band moves into different directions, they know that melodic Power Metal is where they started. Is this the seminal Sonata Arctica cd every one wanted? Well No, but it is a very solid addition to a catalogue of already classic albums.
Killing Songs :
The Wolves Die Young, Running Lights, Cloud Factory, What Did You Do In The War, Dad
Joel quoted 85 / 100
Jared quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Sonata Arctica that we have reviewed:
Sonata Arctica - The Ninth Hour reviewed by Jared and quoted 70 / 100
Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name reviewed by Cory and quoted 71 / 100
Sonata Arctica - The Days Of Grays reviewed by Elias and quoted 95 / 100
Sonata Arctica - Unia reviewed by Chris and quoted 55 / 100
Sonata Arctica - For The Sake Of Revenge (DVD/CD) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
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