Sonata Arctica
Live In Finland

2011, Nuclear Blast
Power Metal

Musica celestiale proveniente dalle lande nordiche... e questa volta dal vivo

Review by Gaetano Loffredo - Publish on: 11/11/11

You know, also the editorial staff of SpazioRock has long been engaged in a debate about which the best power/heavy metal/symphonic goth band is nowadays. Some stand for Nightwish of pirate Tuomas Holopainen and some are for Within Temptation of charming Sharon den Adel, some are fond of our country fellows Rhapsody Of Fire, or Epica from Holland; personally, I have no doubt and vote for Sonata Arctica. The band of the undisputed leader Tony Kakko (read the exclusive interview here) has stood out along the years with albums of huge artistic value, in spite of the ups and downs that anyone has to face now and then.

The influence of Queen on Tony, even though we are speaking of two completely different genres (yet still music), is reflected in the Finnish artist’s career, always working on charming musical patterns and extraordinary melodies which are even more important than his own voice. Hundreds of thousands album sold prove that Sonata Arctica have touched people’s heart to the point that they can afford the third live album, the best from any point of view, after "Songs Of Silence" (2002) and "For The Sake Of Revenge" (2006). To celebrate "Live In Finland" while waiting for the next full length, today Nov. 11, 2011 Nuclear Blast will release two fine formats as well as the more vintage vynil: a sturdy digipack, double dvd plus double cd, and the more luxurious blu-ray. Shall we talk about them?


The absolute master of the audio section is once again Tony, who is able to perform his own songs live successfully without being overwhelmed by the majestic orchestra, something which happens in the album instead. He’s one who, when thinking, talking and singing in English before an acclaiming crowd, feels the same as when he is alone, plunged into the darkness of his own studio among scores and instruments. The setlist is mostly taken from the two latest albums, "The Days Of Grays" and "Unia", the latter being widely reappraised by the undersigned. Yet your heart will be mostly touched by the old material: you won’t be emotionless to the captivating melody of “Replica”, the touching notes of “Talullah”, “Letter To Dana”, or the striking “Fullmoon” and “8th Commandment”, all great classics of the Nordic band. The double DVD proves to be really spectacular and includes a lot of bonus material, especially the acoustic set filmed at Alcatraz, Milan, as a present to Italian fans after the band had to cancel the recording of a whole set in our country for financial reasons.


The really new thing is the Blu-Ray Disc: a gem for collectors, a piece of memorabilia for those who were there at the Theatre of Oulu, a wonderful product for anybody else. The high definition of the Blu-Ray definitely tops the excellent dvd with a superb visual quality, and I can tell you that  even just the smoke from the fireworks will radically change your view of this show, and maybe of the ones you will see on TV from now on: getting back to a simple dvd after such an audio-visual experience won’t be easy at all. The setlist here is very long too – beside the whole live in Oulu you will enjoy excerpts of Sonata Arctica Open Air 1 and 2, the show in Milan, making of, photogallery, and everything else to satisfy anyone from the greatest fan to the new one. Try and see for yourself.


"Live in Finland" is extraordinary, a complete, successful work. You may feel a 2CD + Blu-Ray format is missing, but of course they couldn’t run the risk of replacing a medium with another one that isn’t that popular yet. The fans of the band will want to buy both, giving priority to the Blu-Ray, a medium that grants a perfect performance and a new satisfying experience, even though, after all, what really counts is music… and that’s the starting point for Sonata Arctica to win it all. Well done guys.

Translation made by Elisa Bonora

CD 1

01.Intro (Everything Fades To Gray) 
02.Flag In The Ground 
03.The Last Amazing Grays 
06.Blank File 
07.As If The World Wasn't Ending 
08.Paid In Full 
09.Instrumental Exhibition 
10.The Misery 
11.In Black & White 
12.Letter To Dana 
14.Don't Say A World / Everything Fades To Gray 

CD 2

01.Paid In Full 
02.8th Commandment 
06.White Pearl, Black Oceans 
07.Draw Me 


01.Intro (Everything Fades To Gray)
02.Flag In the Ground
03.Last Amazing Grays
06.Blank File
07.As If The World Wasn’t Ending
08.Paid In Full
09.Victoria’s Secret
10.Instrumental Exhibition
11.The Misery
12.Full Moon
13.In Black & White

------------acoustic start
16.Letter to Dana
------------acoustic end

18.Don´t Say A Word
19.Outro (Vodka / Everything Fades To Gray)

DVD2: Bonus show DVD

Sonata Arctica Open Air 2, Kemi, August 8th, 2009

01.White Pearl, Black Oceans
02.Draw Me
03.In Black & White
04.Don't Say A Word

Extra Features

- Making of “Live in Finland”
- Making of “Flag In The Ground”
- Latin-American (Tour Documentary)
- Made in Finland (Tour Documentary)

Music Videos

- Don’t Say A Word
- Paid In Full
- Flag In The Ground

Acoustic live at Alcatraz, Milano
The “FITG” cover Contest
Photo Gallery


01.Intro (Vodka/Everything Fades To Gray) (Live In Oulu)
02.Flag In The Ground (Live In Oulu)
03.The Last Amazing Grays (Live In Oulu)
04.Juliet (Live In Oulu)
05.Replica (Live In Oulu)
06.Blank File (Live In Oulu)
07.As If The World Wasn't Ending (Live In Oulu)
08.Paid In Full (Live In Oulu)
09.Victoria's Secret (Live In Oulu)
10.Instrumental Exhibition (Live In Oulu)
11.The Misery (Live In Oulu)
12.Fullmoon (Live In Oulu)
13.In Black & White (Live In Oulu)
14.Mary-Lou (Live In Oulu)
15.Shy (Live In Oulu)
16.Letter To Dana (Live In Oulu)
17.Caleb (Live In Oulu)
18.Don't Say A Word (Live In Oulu)
19.Outro (Vodka/Everything Fades To Gray) (Live In Oulu)
20.White Pearl, Black Oceans (Live At Sonata Arctica Open Air II)
21.Draw Me (Live At Sonata Arctica Open Air II)
22.In Black & White (Live At Sonata Arctica Open Air)
23.Don't Say A Word (Live At Sonata Arctica Open Air II)
24.Mary-Lou (Acoustic Live at Alcatraz Milano)
25.Shy (Acoustic Live at Alcatraz Milano)
26.Letter To Dana (Acoustic Live at Alcatraz Milano)
27.Making Of (Live In Finland)
28.Making Of (Flag In The Ground)
29.Latin-American Tour Documentary
30.Made In Finland Tour Documentary
31.Photo Galleries
32.Flag In The Ground Cover Contest
33.Don't Say A Word
34.Paid In Full 
35.Flag In The Ground

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