On Sonata Arctica's eighth studio full-length, the veteran Finnish quintet returns to the polished and emotional melodic metal that originally forged its reputation. Frontman Tony Kakko is at his Freddie Mercury-like best with grand harmony vocals on "Take One Breath," and channels Styx crashing an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical on "Blood." New bass player Pasi Kauppinen delivers a variety of authoritative grooves on "Half a Marathon Man," which encapsulates the band's wild yet structured creativity. There's beauty, hope, and tragedy aplenty here. If you never tire of twinkling keyboards and European fantasies gone sideways, you'll embrace Pariah's Child. LUCAS AYKROYD
Check out "The Wolves Die Young" from Pariah's Child.