Finnish power metal band Sonata Arctica have a very special, and treasured place in my dearest heart for not only being my absolute favorite band in the genre, but each of their albums represent character and it made me appreciate the greater pieces of music as I’m very excited to be going over to review the latest chapter from the band with Talviyö which is the follow-up to 2016’s The Ninth Hour. Their music to me captured the wildest imaginations quite storing the scene among first sentences alongside with Nightwish, Edguy, Dragonforce, Blind Guardian and other performers.
Distributed by Nuclear Blast, they’ve returned with Talviyö which goes between Heavy and intelligible sing- along verses. This release is particularly different from past albums but contains wider ranges of influences throwing traditional heavy metal and hard rock catalogue. Every song displays story telling driven tells a story about proper emotions which brings vivid paintings of phenomenal nature, unnamed characters managing to create resonating and satisfying experience makes these consolidations fresh and thrilling.
Technically, musically, lyrically and atmospherically Sonata Arctica’s Talviyö combines organic precision and incentive virtual philosophical viewpoints to analyze the listener what they’re discussing. They’ve always been rather diverse in the melodies of the powerful music which uniquely enough these themes suits the voice of vocalist Tony Kakko so perfectly. They’ve imagined magical playgrounds to revise possible brilliance with songs including Who Failed the Most, The Raven Still Flies with You, Storm the Armada and Message from the Sun to the everlasting experimental, dreamlike mimics the keyboards give graceful enchantments and almost mischievous symphonies which properly branches the overall magnificent production which makes Sonata Arctica a glorifying artist.
While their style is extremely recognizable,the creativity and passion in what they’ve been doing for over two decades of creating poetic, beautifully written pieces of music is something beyond this world and therefore, I give them massive props to have their craftsmanship, artistic talent and maturity throughout the years will always be remembered as a longtime fan of them for many years. It’s just pure emotion, nothing else – the band had clear, boldly defined intentions of what they wanted to convey with each song, and so they picked the best style to go with each one. The songs are wrathful, half-insane, agonized, morose and spiteful, all at different times, and sometimes multiple emotions at once. It’s a very nontraditional approach to songwriting – most acts usually just stick to one basic sound without really varying it up that much. But this one really tries something new and different. It’s a flawed idea, and comes off as quite disorganized, but the ambition behind it really makes Talviyö incredibly interesting start to finish.
Sonata Arctica’s trademark grip on people’s heartstrings is very strong. This album is very strong in the story and lyricism department, and the music is superb at capturing and enhancing each song’s emotions and Tony Kakko’s accent-lilted voice has a lot of range and emotion, and it soars with ease above the electric guitar and keyboard dueling as well as the furious double bass drum peddling – adding a nice kick of pure, unadulterated energy to the mix. But with that being said, Talviyö may not entirely be the best Sonata Arctica album of all time but as someone who enjoyed their music since 2007’s Unia, Talviyö is another continuation record from these longtime Finnish power metal veterans to create another masterfully crafted album with ambition, power and emotion.
Overall Score: 8.0/10
Review by Jake Butler