Sonata Arctica – Acoustic Adventures – Volume Two (Album Review)

Back in January of this year Finland’s Sonata Arctica released the first part of their two-piece Acoustic Adventures project. A delightful collection of many obvious, but also some more obscure catalog selections, Acoustic Adventures – Volume One was nothing less than exhilarating. So now, more than one year later the Power Metal stars return with the follow up,  Acoustic Adventures – Volume Two.
Set for release on September 30th through Atomic Fire Volume Two comes with twelve more songs, and also helps celebrate Sonata Arctica finally launching their Finnish/European Acoustic Adventures tour. A great way to get inspired to check out the tour, in truth, Volume Two is equally as powerful as Volume One

It all starts with a fantastic rendition of 2012’s “I Have A Right.” Beloved by many fans, this version is equally as catchy, but perhaps even more touching. Next 2001’s “Black Sheep” picks up the pace while adding a bit of a medieval touch and 2014’s “Half A Marathon Man” amping up the drama even more. 

Later on 2003’s “Broken” brings in some sadness and melancholy, but Sonata Arctica ultimately breaks your heart with their new rendition of 1999’s “Letter To Dana.”. Always an extremely sad song, for some reason this version really digs deep under your skin. Fear not though, because your sorrow is mended with a lively piano laden performance of “Full Moon,” also from 1999’s Ecliptica album.    

If all of this was not enough you also have the dramaturgic arrangement of 2004’s “Shamandalie,” a beautiful performance of  both 2001’s “San Sebastian” and melancholic “Gravenimage” from 2003, but also an up-tempo output of 2009’s “Flag In The Ground.” The latter originally an essential Power Metal tune, this latest version is somewhere between medieval, sailor and a Nintendo sounding music! Finally, more hope and confidence beam out with breathtaking versions of both 1999’s “My Land” and 2003’s “Victoria’s Secret.”  

If Volume 1 was more obvious Sonata Arctica favorites, Acoustic Adventures – Volume Two is more of just that, but with plenty of unique surprises. It is a roller coaster ride for the heart and the arrangements are just so beautiful it is impossible to deny them. You can hear the almost 30 years of experience in every note they play here and fans should be thankful Sonata Arctica put such care into revisiting the past. That is why Cryptic Rock gladly gives the final chapter in this acoustic adventure 5 out 5 stars. 
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