Sonata Arctica
Ecliptica - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition


2.5
average

Review

by ChoccyPhilly USER (14 Reviews)
November 7th, 2014 | 15 replies


Release Date: 10/24/2014 | Tracklist


To listeners who crave exploration, a gradual change in taste is inevitable; a paradigm shift, if you will. A shift sometimes so great, that it renders us reacting differently to albums we used to know and love so passionately. There's just a different air, presence and overall feel installed in those albums all of a sudden and it's difficult to point out exactly why they feel so... different. Beyond these occurring changes to our preferences and tastes, there'll always be one constant that keeps us going back to revel in our past joys. It is of course nostalgia and it's exactly what has overwhelmed the power metal band, Sonata Arctica. Having always had the curiosity to reinvent themselves, they were an enigmatic group throughout the latter half of their career, only now finding themselves looking back to their most humble of beginnings.

In an interview regarding this release, Tony Kakko himself said:

"Ecliptica is the starting point of this band and a very special album with a certain feel of innocence and enthusiasm, which cannot be recreated as such since we're not teenagers anymore."

Words which thoroughly describe everything Ecliptica had to offer. Through unparalleled exuberance and energy, they were able to craft an album that was instantaneous and gripping. Tracks such as 'My Land' and 'Blank File' effectively showcased how fun and catchy this band were with their high-flying, soaring choruses and electric vocal performances. Whilst not being the perfect and astounding debut it could have been, it was still a remarkable achievement nevertheless, which is unfortunately something that Ecliptica: Revisited fails to be.

All the bright qualities that made Ecliptica great find themselves diminished and weakened to a point of redundancy. The vocals and instrumentation are particularly responsible in contributing to this; both guilty of being lacklustre and dull. Among the myriad of examples, 'Replica' and 'Fullmoon' prove to significantly worse than others, exemplifying Tony's horrendously cringe-worthy oversung vocals and instrumentation that doesn't fit the song at all. It's sadly a recurring theme, with many songs lacking any critical punch and the enthusiasm brimming within Ecliptica. Maybe it's a little petty to continuously compare this to the original as a band will obviously change after time. However, even Sonata Arctica's competent harmonies, a trait that the band withheld throughout their career, is often flat and mediocre. Granted, the acknowledgment that Sonata Arctica aren't teenagers anymore is considered, but it's still no excuse for the lack of heart and soul in this.

That being said, it's important to note that only 2 members of the original line-up existed during the making this album. The members who left were integral within Ecliptica, acting as secondary writers and crafting the instrumentation into their own, an asset that ultimately became the cohesion of each song. It's then inevitable to think that the endeavours of the current members would simply not be able to emulate the unique subtleties done on the original, regardless of the quality of their prowess. Such is shown in more or less every solo in the album, most notably in 'My Land', for almost being carbon copies of what they once were but are undeniably distant. But this is what happens when one tries to imitate the intricate emotion in someone's solo; it's simply impossible. As a result, Ecliptica: Revisited suffers in its predecessor's shadow, especially when trying to replicate it too much.

"... This new version is more of a tribute and an update on how these songs sound when played by our current line-up."

And maybe this what truly happened here. This album, though riddled with flaws, perhaps isn't supposed to be their defining album that excels in bringing together their most favourable characteristics, but more a contrasting example of who they were 15 years ago and who they are now. There's no doubt that this band has changed and experimented with new styles, so perhaps this isn't actually them looking back, but them looking forward and seeing exactly how far they've come, even if results may vary.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
2.6
average


Comments:Add a Comment 
ChoccyPhilly
November 7th 2014


11765 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Most frustrating review thus far but i'm glad I could review a band close to me for my 10th.



Cheers to JohnnyOnTheSpot for proof reading this.



Constructive criticism is very much welcome!

Digging: Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

Sabrutin
November 7th 2014


5498 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pos'd, this will sum up the feelings of a lot of fans. Still, I have to say that this change of sound is exactly what I needed to enjoy Ecliptica again. I agree on the fact that it can sound less energetic, but I also have to admit that it's growing on me pretty hard after only three spins.



So far, I'm satisfied with what I bought and I'm starting to like most songs more than the originals!

ChoccyPhilly
November 7th 2014


11765 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Thanks. I dunno about it growing on me. As i said above, all of the emotion is gone and I'm not liking it too much, aside from Blank File.



but to be fair, what did I expect? They weren't going to make the exact same thing but I guess the thought of the original lingers in my head too much when I listen to this

Sabrutin
November 7th 2014


5498 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fair enough, let's just wait and see what they'll do when they will need to write new material.

ChoccyPhilly
November 8th 2014


11765 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

No feedback for that neg? ;_;

Dizchu
November 8th 2014


265 Comments


I gave a pos (because it was an enjoyable read) but I'll give you some criticisms.

I know this is a review of a remake album but some descriptions of the songs would be good. Direct comparisons to certain choruses that aren't as strong or production that isn't as tight, stuff like that. Also I'm not so sure how necessary pointing out the lineup change is (as the musicians were pretty tight on Pariah's Child).

I do share your sentiments though. I wish they did a remaster of this album rather than a re-recording. It just sounds so tired and lifeless. I haven't been fond of anything they've done since Reckoning Night actually, though Pariah's Child had some wicked songs.

ChoccyPhilly
November 8th 2014


11765 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Cheers man and I agree completely. I may edit when possible



I thought comparing the band members from then to now was very important because it shows how much they've changed. It's not about Pariah's Child, it's about the differences between this and effectively the same album they made 15 years ago. I felt that re-recording the album was never going to work because the ethic is just different and that's partially because the band lineup changed

Jom
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2014


3085 Comments


I like how you had Tony's quotations integrated within the review. I was really excited to give this a listen, but it looks like I'm going to have to put it on the backburner for a bit because that bit about how this album "is more of a tribute and an update on how these songs sound when played by our current line-up" is such an immediate buzzkill.

Sabrutin
November 8th 2014


5498 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think you should try to listen, I was skeptical of the snippets but now I can definitely say that as a whole I like this better than the original. Everything, from the production to the "new" vocals grew pretty fast and I have to say that it somehow doesn't feel less energetic anymore. Plus, Tony has mastered his vocals and songs like Blank File are now vocally better in my opinion.

Tunaboy45
November 8th 2014


16144 Comments


Great review Choccy, pos.

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EcoChocolatacchi
December 15th 2014


10 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Its going to take me years to finally verdict on this. I loved Pariah's Child as a comeback album but I really hyped this up past the level I should of.

Ikarus14
October 4th 2015


1155 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Only thing about this I enjoyed truly was that over-the-top cover of 'I Can't Dance'. Original is far superior obviously.

Sabrutin
October 19th 2015


5498 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Man Tony's vocals at about 3:18 in 8th Commandment are so good. The band now just needs to adopt a more aggressive production, that's my major complaint with this and Pariah's Child.

Nazzadan
November 3rd 2015


1765 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Album sucked tbh fam, really unfortunate considering the original was an integral part of my jr. high-highschool days.

Digging: Rise Of The Northstar - Welcame

Sabrutin
December 30th 2017


5498 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Useless album agreed now, but not really a bad one. The production is gross though.



Tony's vocals at about 3:18 in 8th Commandment [2]



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