May 11, 2022

I have a confession to make which is also a spoiler alert for this review. I have never understood the need for rock bands to make acoustic, stripped back or unplugged albums as it seems just such a pointless exercise. I am and always will worship at the Altar of the Scorpions being true metal gods but why would you want to listen to an acoustic Scorpions song? I want power, screaming and soaring vocals and, above all else, wailing cataclysmic guitars that herald the end of the world as we know it! Sorry but if you unplug the instruments and amplifiers then I have and always will turn off the stereo. Having said all that, I know and understand that so many people want these albums and I have no problem with that and I hope you enjoy them but I simply cannot join in the fun.

Sadly, it is the same for the new album from the ever impressive Finnish melodic power metallers Sonata Arctica. They are a band renowned for powerful performances and outstanding metal albums and that is the Sonata Arctica I want to and will listen to. However, for those who want to hear new, stripped back versions of old standards and classics then they will surely relish Acoustic Adventures – Volume One. The band has already toured in acoustic mode in 2016 and 2019 so there is obviously a market that wants the metal to be toned down to reveal the intricacies at the heart of the songs and I do understand that the clever subtleties can sometimes be lost when the power is cranked up. All of the songs were reworked and newly re-recorded for the new album with, obviously, the electric guitars being replaced by acoustic guitars and there has been a great deal of new arrangements too so what may have been an old and well known favourite does now sound like an almost new work by the band.

Fans of the band are going t have a great time listening to the ‘new’ tracks but I suspect most will soon be scampering back to the electric originals. The band has fully invested in the project and the vocals of Tony Kakko really do stand out and, based on this, he could have a career as an old time crooner any time he wanted! The piano seems to be the major instrument on the album and Henrik Klingenberg is truly inspired with this role in the band.

I’m sure all fans of the band already have the album and are thoroughly enjoying it and the performances truly are special but I just miss the riffs, the solos and the power.

Acoustic Adventures – Volume One

  1. The Rest Of The Sun Belongs To Me (5:21)
  2. For The Sake Of Revenge (3:31)
  3. A Little Less Understanding (4:30)
  4. Alone In Heaven (5:17)
  5. Tallulah (5:28)
  6. Don’t Say A Word (6:14)
  7. As If The World Wasn’t Ending (3:50)
  8. Paid In Full (3:59)
  9. Tonight I Dance Alone (3:16)
  10. The Wolves Die Young (3:58)
  11. Wolf & Raven (4:24)
  12. On The Faultline (5:20)