Label: Nuclear Blast Playing Time: 57 Min Release: 06th September 2019
Sonata Arctica are known for hyperfast, melodic songs, high pitched vocals and their catchy tunes. Typical Finnish Power Metal, if you want to say so. But that’s what they used to be. In the past years, the sound of the band has changed more and more. Less Metal, more Rock music. Less speed, more mid-tempo. Less metal riffs, more harmless guitars. Less catchy, more complex.
Even though changes in the Metal scene are often regarded very critically, I think that every band has the right to develop further and to try out new stuff. This applies to Sonata Arctica as well, although they might have disappointed several of their older fans.
But I have to say, that I do have my problems with “Talviyö”. The reason lies not (only) in the changes I mentioned above. It is much more a question of the small number of well-done songs. All in all, there are only four songs that work well (‚Whirlwind‘, ‚Cold‘, ‚Storm The Armada‘ and ‚Who Failed The Most‘). Many other tracks are too irrelevant (‘A Little Less Understanding’), too distracting (‘The Raven Still Flies With You’) or just too cheesy (‘The Garden’). There is not enough quality for a band like Sonata Arctica. And as a friend of harder sounds, I have even more reasons to complain. The importance of the electric guitars declines while the focus on piano, keys and clean guitars has increased. Actually, this is a matter of individual taste and unfortunately it’s not my cup of tea.