Sonata Arctica is a Finnish power metal band from the town of Kemi. They often include symphonic metal elements, and their later releases contain several elements typical of progressive metal.
Originally formed as Tricky Beans, they released few demos and as they got the contract they had to change their name. In 1999 the band recorded a new demo “FullMoon” in Tico Tico Studios located in their hometown, Kemi. At the time of recording the line-up consisted of: Tony (vocals/keys), Jani (guitars), Tommy (drums), and Janne (bass). This new demo was the first exploration for the band in heavy metal waters. The band’s trademark sound of fast, melodic and keyboard oriented heavy metal with clear, high vocals was born. As fate would have it, and with help from Ahti Kortelainen of Tico Tico Studios, the “FullMoon” demo found its way to the premier metal label of Finland, Spinefarm. At the same time Tricky Beans became Sonata Arctica.
Summer of 1999 brought us the first single from Sonata Arctica, “UnOpened”. The title song was instantaneously included in the Metalliliitto 1999 compilation CD. Two tracks from the single, UnOpened and Mary-Lou marked the arrival of SA to the power metal community. During the first mix/pressing of the UnOpened single, Track 1, UnOpened, was unintentionally slowed down. The mistake was discovered shortly after the first batch of discs was sent to music stores. The entire first pressing was recalled. Approximately 200 copies from that first run were sold and are now considered rare collectors items.