JensJohansson wrote:Since Sonata Arctica is being brought up, how do you all feel about the new album "Talviyö"?
Hi, Jens! I'm glad that you enjoyed reading our miscellaneous discussions. It's been quite a while since you last posted on the Stratoforum, so this is a very pleasant surprise.
Here's my review of Talviyö:
=== PRODUCTION ===
In general, there seems to be a lack of clarity with the mix. The snare drum is muddy and lacks power. Tony's vocals are very high in the mix (sometimes including the backing vocals), relative to the other instruments. The solos can be difficult to discern, if there are many other elements at play. The bass guitar to very audible, but I do not consider that to be a negative.
=== COMPOSITIONS ===
First, I must address that this album is listens much more like a Prog. Metal album than a Power Metal album. Many of the songs are down-tempo and mostly cruise along at mid-pace. The vocal lines are not the most interesting, but the instrumental parts have, at times, managed to raise my eyebrows. The bass guitar, in particular, was quite interesting throughout the album. Tony seems mostly reserved with his vocals, tending to shy away from utilizing his upper register.
Message from the Sun
This is the most "Power Metal" sounding of the bunch. It is a very happy sounding song that has an upper-mid-pace tempo. As a result, it doesn't have any tension or drama, so it tends to lose my interest rather quickly. The verses are actually pretty good, but the chorus doesn't interest me very much. The keyboard solo is interesting, but I'm not a fan of its timbre; it's very nasally.
This song contains some very Prog. sounding sections. I enjoy the keyboard, guitar, and bass melodies throughout. The Verses and Chorus sound more typical of mid-pace Power Metal. Overall, not bad.
The melody of the verses sound very strange, but the chorus sounds decent. The bass lines are excellent, and Elias' solo is nice. The bridge also sounds somewhat interesting, though the vocal melody leaves something to be desired.
Storm the Armada
This is another Prog. centric song. The intro guitar lick is interesting and actually provides some atmosphere. The keyboard ostinato is really cool sounding, and is a highlight for this album. I love how the guitar and the bass also join in at a later point. Once the vocals come in, however, things become slightly less interesting. The solo sections (guitar solo, and bass solo) are cool. Lyrically, it's yet another "Humanity is destroying the environment" song.
The Last of the Lambs
This song is very boring, robotic, and sluggish. I found nothing of interest here.
Who Failed the Most
This is another mostly forgettable one, though not as bad as the last. The lyrics are an obvious jab, and they're once again about the environment, but from a different angle.
Ismo's Got Good Reactors
This is a really cool instrumental song. The harmonic minor parts of the song make me think of a metal version of Gobi's Valley from Banjo-Kazooie.
It also seems to be inspired by eastern music, particularly the scales employed. The atmosphere is very fun and happy-go-lucky. This might be favorite song on Talviyö.
The keyboard melody is good here. This song is also on the progier side. Other than that, not much else really stands out, and is, generally, pretty boring. The lyrics are cringe-inducing. "Working class, kneel and kiss my… s…"
A Little Less Understanding
I find this song to not be very interesting, in every aspect. The chorus is very bright and happy, while the verses are forgettable. The keyboard solo is not bad.
The Raven Still Flies
This is the most Prog. offering on this album, as it has a very peculiar structure. Ultimately, it feels like it drones on at several points, which brings down its enjoyment factor. There's a section after a brief drum solo that sounds interesting to me, but it's short lived.
This song is just not for me. The lyrics seem like they're very sentimental to Tony, and I can understand why people would like this song for its lyrics, but it ultimately comes down to the music for me, and in that regard, this is a very boring sounding ballad. This is a very strange way to end the album; with a whimper.
You Won't Fall (Bonus Track)
Mid-tempo song that is not very noteworthy. The solo sections are the most interesting of all the solo sections on Talviyö, and sound really cool.
=== FINAL RESULTS ===
- Not bad, but not very good either.
Have you listened to Talviyö? If so, what is your opinion of it?