Tony Kakko - Vocalist
Elias Viljanen - Guitarist
Marco Paasikoski - Bassist
Tommy Portimo - Drummer
Henrik Klingenberg - Keyboards
Jani Liimatainen - Guitar
Mikko Härkin - Keyboards
Janne Kivilahti - Bassist
Pentti Peura - Bassist
Sonata Arctica is a Melodic Powermetal band from Kemi, Finland. It was founded by vocalist Tony Kakko, former guitarist Jani Liimatainen, then second guitarist Marko Paasikoski, former bassist Pentti Peura and drummer Tommy Portimo in 1996, when they were called Tricky Beans. They started out playing more of a hard rock style, and made three demos.
In 1997 they changed their name to Tricky Means, and that's when they started experimenting with the metal genre. They were influenced by Stratovarius, another finnish metal band. They started using more keyboards, and used bass and guitar more for rhythm, instead of a constant stream of riffing. Tony Kakko developed a more clean singing voice, and Marco Paasikoski, who was second guitarist back then quit the band.
In 1999 they made their first metal demo "Full Moon". A friend of the band sent it to the record company "Spinefarm Records", where they got a record contract, and they changed their name to Sonata Arctica.
They released their first single "Unopened" later in 1999, which hit the top 20 finnish charts in a week. After that, Sonata Arctica got labels all over the world.
In september 1999, they released worldwide their first album "Ecliptica", which got salutes from critics all over the world.
At that time, Tony Kakko were handling the keyboards while singing, but he decided that he wanted to keep to just beeing the vocalist, and so they found Mikko Härkin as their keyboard player.
In the beginning of 2000, after a tour with Stratovarius, Janne Kivilahti left the band, and Marco Paasikoski came back to the band as the new bassist.
In June 2001, they released their new album: Silence. After that, they went on their first tour to America, with shows in Brazil and Chile. The band say that this was their greatest tour yet!
In the beginning of 2003, Mikko Härkin left the band. The keyboardist from Stratovarius, Jens Johansson, then stepped in for the keyboard solos for the album Winterheart's Guild, which was released later that year.
On the hunt for a new keyboardist, the band had an audition to find some possible candidates. They found two who they really liked, and decided to pick one of them for their personality. After a night drinking with each of them, they decided that Henrik Klingenberg would melt right into the band.
In late 2003, their contract with Spinefarm Records was over, which resulted in houndreds of offers from all over Europe. They desided to sign a contract with Nuclear Blast.
In 2004, Sonata opened up for Iron Maiden's tour in Japan, after which the drummer Tommy Portimo became a father.
After their next album, Reckoning Night, Sonata joined another finnish metalband Nightwish, on a european tour. Tony Kakko say to this day that he would love to tour with them again any time.
In the beginning of 2005, the band was invited to open the North American tour of Nightwish. This tour was canceled, but Sonata took a short tour in the USA and Canada anyway.
In February 2005, Sonata recorded a live DVD during a show in Tokyo, Japan, which was released in 2006.
In late 2006, Sonata started recording their newest album named Unia, and released a single which was released April 27th, 2007. The whole album was released May 25th.
In March, 2007, the bands guitarist Jani Liimatainen said that he had to do his civic duties for Finland, and would not be joining their tour that year. Elias Viljanen joined the band as a backup for that tour. However, Jani later had to leave the band because he failed his duties. Elias then officialy joined the band August 6, 2007.
- 1999 - UnOpened [Single]
- 1999 - Ecliptica
- 2000 - Successor [EP]
- 2001 - Wolf and Raven [Single]
- 2001 - Orientation [EP]
- 2001 - Last Drop Falls [Single]
- 2001 - Silence
- 2002 - Songs of Silence, Live in Tokyo [Live]
- 2003 - Winterheart's Guild
- 2003 - Takatalvi [EP]
- 2003 - Victoria's Secret [Single]
- 2003 - Broken [Single]
- 2004 - Reckoning Night [Single]
- 2004 - Don't say a Word [EP]
- 2004 - My Selene [Single]
- 2004 - Reckoning Night
- 2004 - Shamandalie [Single]
- 2005 - The End of This Chapter [Compilation]
- 2006 - For the Sake of Revenge [Live]
- 2006 - Replica [Single]
- 2006 - The Collection [Compalation]
- 2007 - Paid in Full [Single]
- 2007 - Unia
--Canis 19:01, 13 May 2008 (CEST)