Tony Kakko's dark poetry comes alive again in all its majesty in Sonata Arctica
's 2007 release, "Unia".
A master at painting powerful images, Kakko has the luxury of having very competant and understanding musicians to harmonize his thoughts with their instrumental voices.
Henrik Klingenberg (the keyboardist) paints a very vibrant picture with his enormous array of sounds to every sonic poem Kakko pens. The structure of "Unia" is also well defined with the rhythm parts sticking to the driving force of every song. Guitars, bass and drums rarely stray from each other thus, producing a unifying front when they deliver their respective parts in all its aggressiveness.
Yet, it's when each member is highlighted during a song that we see them at their best.
's But A Drop Of Fuel
For A Nightmare
", the best song on the album, features everybody by themselves at one point and includes an awesome duet of keys and guitar near the end. The chorus is probably the highlight of the song, due to the sheer blasting of a multitude of sounds - resulting in a feeling of euphoria.
Of course, Tony Kakko's crooning and wailing puts everything in perspective with a range of every possible emotion from Love
"Good Enough is Good Enough" features a wonderful string ensemble to augment Kakko's lyrical angst.
Even "Under Your Tree
" runs heavy with his sense of loss, even though I contend that he's singing about a dead pet rather than a child.
"Unia" ultimately features everything you want in a Sonata Arctica
record : the keyboards are played like a second guitar, Tommy Portimo drives home every song with his two favorite styles - hard and fast, and Jani Liimatainen is the "flag bearer for metal" from this band for giving powerful, crisp and machine-like precision riffs every time it's called for.
thus succeeds best from its yin-yang like revolutions throughout the whole of "Unia", from soft to hard, slow to fast and dark to light. It's brilliant.