Music » Livewire

Sonata Arctica

by

comment
It's a never-ending source of frustration to some folks that Mannheim Steamroller makes cheeseball holiday music and not the crushing Teutonic metal its name suggests. It should swap with Sonata Arctica, which sounds like an orchestral Yule-log soundtrack but is actually a metal group, albeit one with extended keyboard solos and all the other hallmarks of symphonic European prog-metal.

Its Century Media discs distilled the stylistic innovations of peers like Dream Theater and Stratovarius, and combined them with orchestral flourishes worthy of a Rick Wakeman solo album. It does acknowledge the validity of other, less pomptastic schools of headbanging; its 2004 CD Takatalvi contained covers of the Scorpions' "Still Loving You" and Metallica's "Fade to Black" (the latter coming in at a full 1:15 longer than the original). But the bandmates' hearts are in big, swooping synth solos, screaming vocals, and all the other things that make power metal so huge in Europe's frozen north -- and so utterly inexplicable to the majority of American headbangers.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.