Sonata Arctica ‘Talviyö’
Album Review By Adam McCann
Nuclear Blast Records/Power Metal
Sonata Arctica have for many years, held court as one of the premier European power metal bands, releasing a string of albums which for many, hold sway as some of the definitive albums of the genre. However, the bands more recent history has been a little more chequered; their previous album ‘The Ninth Hour’ was received quite ambiguously as the band pushed to include slower tempos with a focus upon ballads but would this continue with their latest studio album ‘Talviyö’.
As expected, ‘Talviyö’ continues very much within the vein of the band’s recent attempts, many of these songs show that Sonata Arctica are intent on demonstrating their prowess with the dreadful ballad. However, this does have the effect that with ‘Talviyö’ the band have lost their bite and although there are some flashes of Sonata Arctica’s past, particularly with ‘Message From The Sun’, ‘Storm the Armada’ and ‘Who Failed The Most’ and besides a superb bass line during ‘Whirlwind’, the wolves fangs have been relatively dulled and restrained. In fact, it says something about this album when one of the better tracks is the instrumental ‘Ismo’s Got Good Reactors’. These are countered by some absolutely woeful ballads, particularly ‘The Garden’ which borders on an endless dirge.
Much like the previous album, ‘Talviyö’ isn’t exactly instantly enjoyable, in fact, even following many listens, it is still difficult to fully appreciate. Yes, there are parts of this album which are appealing, but alas, ‘Talviyö’ is a rather large ‘meh’.
Rating : 69/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann