Only two years after the release of ‘Pariah’s Child’ plus a massive world tour, the Finnish melodic metal quintet SONATA ARCTICA are already back for more – their ninth masterpiece entitled ‘The Ninth Hour’ will see the light of day on October 7th.
Once again, the album was produced by SONATA ARCTICA themselves and mixed by Pasi Kauppinen, to create a typical yet refreshing sound that defines the spirit of the band in the year 2016.
“The studio work for the new record started seriously in mid-April 2016 in several home studios around Finland,” singer Tony Kakko explains. “But the main recording and mixing took place at the Studio57 in Alaveteli, Finland. It functions as a kind of centre point and all work finally ends up there. We aimed to create another melodic, beautiful, surprising SONATA ARCTICA album… Did it turn out that way? I surely think so. But maybe I should leave that for you to decide!”
After a North American tour with their friends from Nightwish plus many headline shows around the globe, the band was once again able to take a look at the entire world as it is at the moment – on the edge of a possible armageddon. This spirit is reflected in the new artwork of ‘The Ninth Hour’:
“The artwork of our ninth studio album ‘The Ninth Hour’ depicts a future utopian landscape. Nature and human technologies are balanced. In the middle we have an hour glass contraption with a knob for us to meddle with. The right-hand side cup represents the nature side with no humans left, on the left we have the human dystopia after we have destroyed nature. The idea I had was, that turning the knob will tilt the hour glass in one direction or another, and the other cup will slowly empty and that future will be erased. Biblically we are expected to repent and sacrifice on ‘The Ninth Hour’…to dive right back to a more mundane reality, it’s a fact that we are currently living in critical, historical times. Our decisions will define the future. Not only ours as a race, but the future of this entire planet. We need to make sacrifices and in many cases we will repent our already made choices.”
Right after the summer festival season and the release of their anticipated record, the band will embark on a European tour together with their label mates Twilight Force to present the new songs to their fans.
You can see Sonata Arctica and Twilight Force in the UK when the play London, Shepherds Bush Empire on 15th October. Tickets are available here:
October 15th – London, Shepherds Bush Empire
Sonata Arctica were formed in the north Finish city of Kemi in 1996, and were originally originally called Tricky Beans. After some line-up changes in 1997, they changed their name to Tricky Means, releasing their demo ‘Full Moon’ in 1999. This new demo was the first effort for the band within heavy metal waters. Their new trademarks were a faster and more melodic sound; keyboard oriented heavy metal with clear and high vocals. It was how destiny wanted it, and with help from Athi Kortelainen and the Tico Tico Studios their demo ‘Full Moon’ gained the band their first successes. Tricky Means soon became Sonata Arctica.
The release of their first true full length and legendary album ‘Ecliptica’ came in the autumn of 1999. At first it was only sold in Finland, but other countries soon followed. Shortly after this release Tony Kakko decided to concentrate more intensely on singing, as opposed to singing and playing keyboards at the same time. Their successes continued when ‘Winterheart’s Guild’ was released in 2003, the band signing to Nuclear Blast shortly after.
Sonata Arctica have since released five new studio albums through Nuclear Blast: ‘Reckoning Night’ (2004), ‘Unia’ (2007), ‘The Days Of Grays’ (2009), ‘Stones Grow Her Name’ (2012) and most recently ‘Pariah’s Child’ (2014).