Finnish power metal heroes Sonata Arctica have announced that their ninth studio album will fittingly be titled The Ninth Hour. The record is due Oct. 7 through Nuclear Blast and will serve as the follow-up to 2014's Pariah's Child. The band will be out in support on a headlining North American run with Leaves' Eyes and Omnium Gatherum.

"The studio work for the new record started seriously in mid-April 2016 in several home studios around Finland," began singer Tony Kakko, "but the main recording and mixing took place at the Studio57 in Alaveteli, Finland. It functions as a kind of centre point and all work finally ends up there. We aimed to create another melodic, beautiful, surprising Sonata Arctica album… Did it turn out that way? I surely think so. But maybe I should leave that for you to decide!"

Speaking about the artwork, Kakko marveled, "The artwork of our ninth studio album, The Ninth Hour, depicts a future utopian landscape on the background. Nature and human technologies are in balance." Adding further detail, the singer went on, "In the middle we have an hourglass contraption with a knob for us to meddle with. The right-hand side cup represents the nature side with no humans left, on the left we have the human dystopia after we have destroyed nature."

The concept behind the artwork goes even deeper as the frontman explained, "The idea I had was, that turning the knob will tilt the hour glass in one direction or another, and the other cup will slowly empty and that future will be erased. Biblically we are expected to repent and sacrifice on The Ninth Hour… to dive right back to a more mundane reality, it's a fact that we are currently living in critical, historical times. Our decisions will define the future. Not only ours as a race, but the future of this entire planet. We need to make sacrifices and in many cases we will repent our already made choices."

Sonata Arctica will head out on their North American tour Nov. 6 and wrap things up on over one month later in Atlanta, Ga. on Dec. 17.

Sonata Arctica 2016 North American Tour Dates

11/06 — Charlotte, N.C. @ The Fillmore
11/07 — Silver Spring, Md. @ The Fillmore
11/08 — Clifton Park, N.Y. @ Upstate Concert Hall
11/09 — Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Trocadero
11/11 — Sayreville, N.J. @ Starland Ballroom
11/12 — Hartford, Ct. @ Webster Theater
11/13 — Montreal, Quebec @ Club Soda
11/14 — Ottawa, Ontario @ Mavericks
11/16 — Kitchener, Ontario @ Dallas
11/17 — Columbus, Ohio @ Park Street Saloon
11/18 — Westland, Mich. @ Token Lounge
11/19 — Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Altar Bar
11/21 — Milwaukee, Wis. @ Rave
11/22 — Minneapolis, Minn. @ Mill City Nights
11/24 — Regina, Saskatchewan @ The Exchange
11/25 — Calgary, Alberta @ Dickens
11/26 — Edmonton, Alberta @ Starlite Room
11/28 — Vancouver, British Columbia @ The Venue
11/29 — Seattle, Wash. @ El Corazon
11/30 — Portland, Ore. @ Hawthorne Theatre
12/02 — San Francisco, Calif. @ Slim’s
12/03 — San Diego, Calif. @ Brick by Brick
12/04 — Anaheim, Calif. @ The Grove
12/05 — Tempe, Ariz. @ Club Red
12/06 — El Paso, Texas @ Tricky Falls
12/08 — Englewood, Colo. @ Gothic Theater
12/09 — Lawrence, Kan. @ Granada
12/10 — Dallas, Texas @ Trees
12/11 — McAllen, Texas @ Cine El Rey
12/13 — San Antonio, Texas @ XAlamo Music Hall
12/14 — Houston, Texas @ Scout Bar
12/16 — Lake Buena Vista, Fla. @ House of Blues
12/17 — Atlanta, Ga. @ The Masquerade

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