Sonata Arctica – ‘Talviyö’ album review

Band: Sonata Arctica
Album: Talviyö
Release Date: 6th September, 2019
Label: Nuclear Blast



Review by Sean

To say I’m disappointed in this would be an understatement. I’m furious at it. It’d be fine if it was just boring, or just bad, I could give it a bad mark out of ten, highlight some bad songs, and just move on. The problem is that it has moments of goodness contained within it, and they keep pulling me back in when my attention leaves, which is the worst type of album to be. It only serves to annoy me, because every time I start to get into something, it goes bad, and every time I’m thinking something is awful, it improves.

The schizophrenic nature of the album means that it all just sort of blends into one, and by the end of it, I was begging for it to be over. So much so that I actually had to stop listening with four minutes of the last track remaining. It’s something that concerns me as a fan, because even with albums I didn’t like, I still listened all the way through, so to just quit an album is worrying.

I’m sure there will be people that will vehemently disagree with me about this album, but as someone who’s a fan of the power metal band Sonata Arctica, and not a pop band with the same name, this is dire. It’s not quite as woeful as ‘Unia’ or ‘Stones Grow Her Name’, but even they had a couple of tracks on each that were good. This is also better than ‘Ninth Hour’, which had absolutely zero on there that was memorable. But it’s nowhere close to ‘Ecliptica” or ‘Silence’. Even with recent albums it pales in comparison to ‘Pariah’s Child’, which despite a couple of dodgy (poppy) tracks, was a damn fine album.

The issue is, there are two types of Sonata fans. There are the fans like myself, that want Sonata to be the power metal behemoths we know they can be, and then there are the fans that love the slower, more emotional songs they do. Both fans are valid, but this album got reviewed by the wrong type of fan. Personally, give me ‘Ecliptica’ or give me nothing.

If I have to recommend something from the album, I’d say my “highlights” were ‘Storm the Armada’ and ‘Who Failed the Most’. Both of those are the closest to the (in my opinion) good Sonata, and if the album was more of these, and less of the softer stuff, I’d have enjoyed it a lot more than I did.

In short, avoid this one, it’s not good. It’s not as bad as ‘Ninth Hour’, but I said to someone earlier that this was the worst album I’ve heard so far this year, so make of that what you will.

4 out of 10


Track Listing:
01. Message From The Sun
02. Whirlwind
03. Cold
04. Storm The Armada
05. The Last Of The Lambs
06. Who Failed The Most
07. Ismo’s Got Good Reactors
08. Demon’s Cage
09. A Little Less Understanding
10. The Raven Still Flies
11. The Garden