The fourth studio album of the band shows a SONATA ARCTICA more mature than before. They finally outshined their influences and soon it wouldn’t be surprising to see these same old influences starting to copy SONATA ARCTICA! Without any chance to catch your breath, like we are now still used with all the album beginning songs of SONATA, the album kick off with a speedy number, “Misplaced”, with its haunting and highly melodic chorus. Next is one of the few new surprise SONATA started to offer us since “Winterheart Guild”; “Blinded” will take off guard fans of the band with his overall EUROPE feeling.
Lyrically, SONATA ARCTICA is hard to figure. Are they telling serious stories, like the one of a boat house man seeking peace with his mind, after letting a boat hit the shore (“White Pearl, Black Oceans”, which is also one of the most epic song SONATA ever wrote), or are they funny, with a song like “The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Real Puppet”, definitely about Pinocchio!!! One thing is sure though, Tony Kakko is still an incredible vocal melody writer.
SONATA got its fans used also of syrupy ballad, which aren’t anywhere to be found on “Reckoning Night”. There is an overall feeling of urgency throughout the album, mixed with an incredible amount of melancholy. Another major thing to notice is the way Tony is singing. He tries more and more to incorporate growls and harsh vocal parts, like the heavy vocal lines in “Wildfire”, which may sound to forced sometimes. Definitely, “Reckoning Night” is the heaviest material SONATA has written yet and this overall leaning to heaviness, was already showing on several live performance, which is not a bad thing and shows a SONATA evolving toward a new sound.
While the band still continue to grow, progress and slowly build its own dynasty, the changes are made with such class and ability, that the true fans will be more than pleased to boast of about the fact they have been there since the beginning and that they saw their young Finnish favourite STRATOVARIUS copycats becomes a strong Power Metal outfit! (Online February 28, 2005)