The men from Finland's high north had been one of THE surprises of last year and took the hearts of many Power Metalians by storm. Well, but more often than not bands are able to use songs on their debut that they had been able to work on for years sometimes, but with the pressure of having to come up with new material fail to produce on their second effort.
Not with SONATA ARCTICA, because what they're offering us with their second album "Silence" (only rarely a title has been THAT misleading!) is good, very good indeed! Contrary to many other bands they have managed to retain the freshness of their debut and still sound more mature somehow in the melodies and arrangements. They also have been able to distance themselves from the quite obvious STRATOVARIUS-influences of "Ecliptica" and sound more like SONATA ARCTICA than like the Finnish forerunners. One big factor in this feat is Tony Kakko's voice, which has grown even better than on the debut, leaving its distinct impression on the songs.
Add to that that the guys from Kemi sound more variable than ever, you'll get everything from fast double-bass-scorchers like "Weballergy", "San Sebastian" (which already could be found on the "Successor"-EP) and the excellent "Wolf & Raven" over very good mid-tempo-tracks like "False News Travel Fast", "The End Of This Chapter" with its great melodies to the ballads "Last Drop Falls" and "Tallulah" that your Metal-heart desires and with the more than eleven-minute-mammoth-epos "The Power Of One" and the brilliant "Sing In Silence" the Finns shoot out two more highlights.
Defying the Power Metal-overkill, SONATA ARCTICA still will stand strong once the flood has ebbed away, because a band with such talent just cannot be swept away, strong effort!