A track-by-track breakdown for "The Ninth Hour", the new studio album from Finnish melodic metallers SONATA ARCTICA, can be seen in three clips below. The CD will be released on October 7 through Nuclear Blast.
SONATA ARCTICA frontman Tony Kakko told Metalholic about the lyrical content of "The Ninth Hour": "This album is not really like a theme album. There are multiple different themes there. But definitely this nature and environmental awareness is one big thing and there are, like, three songs that connect to that in a certain way: 'Closer To An Animal', obviously, then 'We Are What We Are', but also 'Rise A Night', which is like a horror science fiction story, but still has that same idea behind it. Then on top of those we have the usual SONATA ARCTICA human relationship stories and also touch lightly on this upcoming United States Presidential election thing — this sarcastic 'Fairytale'."
Regarding the artwork of "The Ninth Hour", Kakko said: "The background is like a Utopia where everything; nature and human technology are all in harmony in the lands. Then you have this hourglass contraption there — this knob. This knob is something that we are meddling with by all the choices we are making, destroying and polluting this planet of ours. Eventually, all that meddling will cause the hourglass to turn in one or another direction where it's destroying one of those futures or destroying the other. What we are then facing is either dystopia, where nature is gone and we are just living in misery, then the other option is not really much better for humans because we have annihilated ourselves in that option. All that's left is nature that's finally had a chance in healing itself because we are no longer hindering it."
"The Ninth Hour" was produced by SONATA ARCTICA themselves and mixed by Pasi Kauppinen to create a typical yet refreshing sound that defines the spirit of the band in the year 2016.
"The Ninth Hour" track listing:
01. Closer To An Animal
04. We Are What We Are
05. Till Death's Done Us Apart
06. Among The Shooting Stars
07. Rise A Night
08. Fly, Navigate, Communicate
09. Candle Lawns
10. White Pearl, Black Oceans Part II – "By The Grace Of The Ocean"
11. On The Faultline (Closure To An Animal)