Sonata Arctica – The Ninth Hour Review

sonata-arctica-the-ninth-hour-artworkI can’t quite remember when this album arrived in my inbox for me to review, but I do remember giving it one listen before pushing it to the side and forgetting completely about it until the release date arrived and past. In short – it’s just a forgettable album that won’t really leave much of an impact on you.

The Ninth Hour feels somewhat unfinished and rushed, like the band has tried to cobble together a release and hurry it out, rather than take more time in crafting and constructing a more substantial piece. There’s not an awful lot of variation between the songs, so it’s all too easy for it all to blend into one rather underwhelming song, rather than the album being supported by eleven songs that can each make an impact in their own way.

Unfortunately, the most disappointing element of the album is White Pearl, Black Oceans Part II, which serves as a sequel to the song that featured on 2004’s Reckoning Night. In the past, the band has done well with sequel songs (the follow-ups to their Wildfire track were stunning!) but this song doesn’t even feel related to the original, which is disappointing because WPBO is definitely one of the stronger songs in the band’s back-catalogue. It’s just a somewhat dull and lacklustre song, which is sad as this could have been a seriously special inclusion.

All in all, not a great album. It’s not recoil-in-horror-bad, but on the other hand it’s not exactly good when the album leaves no lasting impression on you aside from how forgettable it is.

4/10

About Natalie Humphries 1780 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: nathumphries@soundscapemagazine.com or @acidnat on twitter.

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