Sonata Arctica Live In Finland

Sonata ArcticaLive In Finland
Fans of Finnish power metal icons Sonata Arctica will have to wait well into 2012 for a full-length follow-up to 2009's The Days of Grays. Not wishing to let their loyal fan base languish, Sonata Arctica released Live in Finland, a massive four-disc (two-CD, two-DVD) collection. The fist CD is a truncated version of set they played in Ulu, Finland earlier this year, while the first DVD is a video recording of the same set, including all 19 songs, featuring much better sound quality. The second CD includes eight songs from their appearance at Open Air II. And the final DVD contains bonus features, including a handful of other lives songs and several "making of" featurettes. The sound quality is dramatically higher on the DVDs, as opposed to the CDs, where the vocals are very loud in the mix and the rest of the instruments, especially the drums, tend to get lost. However, Tony Kakko's vocals are in fine form, clear and soaring, making for a fine focal point despite the imbalance. On the DVD, the editing can be distracting, with too many jump cuts and applied effects. This takes away for the more straightforward entertainment of an excellent performance captured on film. The primary set list, represented on both the first DVD and CD, is drawn heavily from Unia and The Days of Grays, making this collection particularly geared towards fans of their newer material. (Nuclear Blast)