Sonata Arctica - Talviyö



5.6 | 108 votes |
Release date: 6 September 2019
Style: Power metal

Owners:

43 have it
10 want it


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. You Won't Fall [Japanese bonus]
08. Ismo's Got Good Reactors
09. Demon's Cage
10. A Little Less Understanding
11. The Raven Still Flies
12. The Garden

Line-up
Tony Kakko - vocals
Henrik "Henkka" Klingenberg - keyboards
Elias Viljanen - guitars
Tommy Portimo - drums
Pasi Kauppinen - bass

Guest review by
tominator
Rating:
4.5
If you have already looked at the score of this review, it's probably clear that I have some issues with the latest Sonata Arctica record.

Read more ››
published 15.11.2019 | Comments (8)

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Comments: 45   Visited by: 294 users
19.09.2019 - 13:12
aeonnumb
Apart from the first 2 songs the rest is from meh to bad.. And this guitar tone... super muddy and awful like all albums with Elias in.
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15.10.2019 - 23:11
zdenoeddie
I just think, that Last Drop Falls. I know, I am Black Sheep, but there no Land of the Free anymore. I Respect the Wilderness, but Wolf & Raven Sing in Silence. Little bit Shy, but still believe in The Power of One. Amen.
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Up the Irons!!!
http://www.last.fm/user/zdenoeddie
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19.10.2019 - 11:42
Rating: 8
IcePickLodger
The only negative on this album is poor production. why don't they hire a real specialist for mixing and mastering?? however the music is still ok. not their best, of course, but not bad at all. different and creative. I don't want them to play the same stuff over and over...
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22.10.2019 - 04:09
Rating: 9
rps
Written by zdenoeddie on 15.10.2019 at 23:11

I just think, that Last Drop Falls. I know, I am Black Sheep, but there no Land of the Free anymore. I Respect the Wilderness, but Wolf & Raven Sing in Silence. Little bit Shy, but still believe in The Power of One. Amen.


Yes it may seem Cold but The Raven Still Flies, so You Won't Fall. Use A Little Less Understanding, through the Whirlwind to get the Message From The Sun, cause Ismo's Got Good Reactors to get out of the Demon's Cage. Who Failed The Most? We are The Last Of The Lambs, so Storm The Armada, and relax in The Garden.
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22.10.2019 - 19:16
Rating: 4
tominator
At best deranged
Probably the biggest letdown of this year for me (so far). Looking at the score before listening to the album, I thought this was going to be a similar case to the recent In Flames records. Basically an album that isn't particularly good but has maybe 1 or 2 tracks that I like.

Unfortunately, that's not the case. The whole album is just so dull and forgettable to me. And not even the production is up to par. Everything sounds so muffled. The music at times just feels like a wall of sound coming towards you. Whirlwind is a perfect example of that.
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24.10.2019 - 04:26
Rating: 9
rps
Written by tominator on 22.10.2019 at 19:16

Everything sounds so muffled. The music at times just feels like a wall of sound coming towards you. Whirlwind is a perfect example of that.


Funny cause the first 52 seconds of Whirlwind has a whirlwind sound purposely mixed in. A decent equalizer can fix any sound problem you may have. It is very clear through my Zapco peq.
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24.10.2019 - 08:26
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
It shouldn't be on the listener to have certain audio equipment in order for an album to be heard properly, especially when a band of Sonata Arctica's stature is involved.
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I have no memory of this place.
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24.10.2019 - 14:21
Rating: 4
tominator
At best deranged
Written by rps on 24.10.2019 at 04:26

Funny cause the first 52 seconds of Whirlwind has a whirlwind sound purposely mixed in. A decent equalizer can fix any sound problem you may have. It is very clear through my Zapco peq.


I'm not talking about the first 52 seconds, I'm talking about the whole song (and the whole album suffers of the same problem). Out of the around 170 albums I've heard so far this year, I rarely had an issue with muffled sound. The mix of this album is simply underwhelming. It's the same old problem with recent SA albums. Compare the original Ecliptica to the anniversary version. Same problem.

I tried 2 different headphones as well btw (Sony WH-CH700N and the one I usually use to listen to metal: Sennheiser HD569). On neither of them it sounded good. So I already did more than I usually would. The fact that I still felt like it was underwhelming isn't a good sign then.

The drums don't have enough punch, the guitars don't have the clarity they deserve. It simply doesn't sound good to me.

I can use an equalizer on an album like Iron Maiden's The Final Frontier album as well for example (because that one does suffer from similar issues)... doesn't mean the album hasn't got issues with the mix and production. Same goes for this album.

I mean I don't think it's my duty to buy certain equipment to make sure that I can fix the underwhelming mix of an album... Fact is I have heard a ton of albums this year that have way better production and mix. And a lot of those albums were made by bands who had only a fraction of the budget that SA has.
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27.10.2019 - 03:32
Rating: 9
rps
Written by tominator on 24.10.2019 at 14:21

Written by rps on 24.10.2019 at 04:26

Funny cause the first 52 seconds of Whirlwind has a whirlwind sound purposely mixed in. A decent equalizer can fix any sound problem you may have. It is very clear through my Zapco peq.


I'm not talking about the first 52 seconds, I'm talking about the whole song (and the whole album suffers of the same problem). Out of the around 170 albums I've heard so far this year, I rarely had an issue with muffled sound. The mix of this album is simply underwhelming. It's the same old problem with recent SA albums. Compare the original Ecliptica to the anniversary version. Same problem.

I tried 2 different headphones as well btw (Sony WH-CH700N and the one I usually use to listen to metal: Sennheiser HD569). On neither of them it sounded good. So I already did more than I usually would. The fact that I still felt like it was underwhelming isn't a good sign then.

The drums don't have enough punch, the guitars don't have the clarity they deserve. It simply doesn't sound good to me.

I can use an equalizer on an album like Iron Maiden's The Final Frontier album as well for example (because that one does suffer from similar issues)... doesn't mean the album hasn't got issues with the mix and production. Same goes for this album.

I mean I don't think it's my duty to buy certain equipment to make sure that I can fix the underwhelming mix of an album... Fact is I have heard a ton of albums this year that have way better production and mix. And a lot of those albums were made by bands who had only a fraction of the budget that SA has.


Thanks for sharing. I can respect that. Many have said the same. Tony himself speaks of the mix and how they purposely did it so I have to respect that too. https://pinnaclemusic.org/2019/08/21/sonata-arcticas-tony-kakko-on-new-album-talviyo/ If you can share some specific muffled sound I will check it out, for now I'm not getting the same result.

Maybe I will try to share some settings that worked for me to get the best audio. For me yeah, I usually don't worry about sound mixes, unless like And Justice for All, some obvious mix failures are there. Bending sound is fun and a lot can be done with a good equalizer.

I think my view of the album is different than most cause I didn't start with the former line-up of the band but the latter half of their work.

As far as maturity in content, there are some deep songs here, and it didn't disappoint me for the most. My only main critique is that guitar solos (of all things!) are missing from many of the songs. (sure my vote could have been lower) Another is I would have put the songs in another order and included the Japanese bonus track on the regular album. I think like Final Frontier or many albums of groups we love but don't a particular album, years from now people will go back to the same album(s) and find themselves loving it. For now with so music available to us all, it's easy to write off any album and move on to another.
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27.10.2019 - 14:20
Rating: 4
tominator
At best deranged
Written by rps on 27.10.2019 at 03:32

If you can share some specific muffled sound I will check it out, for now I'm not getting the same result.

Maybe I will try to share some settings that worked for me to get the best audio. For me yeah, I usually don't worry about sound mixes, unless like And Justice for All, some obvious mix failures are there. Bending sound is fun and a lot can be done with a good equalizer.

I think my view of the album is different than most cause I didn't start with the former line-up of the band but the latter half of their work.

As far as maturity in content, there are some deep songs here, and it didn't disappoint me for the most. My only main critique is that guitar solos (of all things!) are missing from many of the songs. (sure my vote could have been lower) Another is I would have put the songs in another order and included the Japanese bonus track on the regular album. I think like Final Frontier or many albums of groups we love but don't a particular album, years from now people will go back to the same album(s) and find themselves loving it. For now with so music available to us all, it's easy to write off any album and move on to another.


Honestly it's all over the last couple of releases from SA. And I understand why you would want to have a "live" feel style of album. Problem is, that's really hard to achieve without actually playing live on stage. That's exactly the same reasoning as IM had with The Final Frontier. That was their intent as well. That intent was carried over from A Matter Of Life And Death. But for some reason the production of TFF was a lot weaker than AMOLAD.

I honestly have no issue with the lyrics or some of the ideas that they went for. Whirlwind's intro is totally fine for instance. Even the production that I'm hammering on so much, doesn't hamper most of the softer acoustic parts (or not as much). But as soon as some of the riffs and drums kick in, it just doesn't work for me. It sounds so dull and muddled and loses too much clarity and distinction (between instruments).

And the other main issue I had is that it just doesn't have that energy that was originally Sonata Arctica. It's okay doing something (or going for) something completely different. But it just doesn't work for me with the last couple of albums.

Do I want old Sonata Arctica back? No... I mean if they don't want to do that style of music anymore, then that's totally fine. It's their choice. However, I can't say that I'm really convinced by the stuff they are now doing. And it's been so for quite a few years now.

To come back to the production topic.





Ok these are YT videos but the difference in production is honestly really noticable already. The original release doesn't sound heavier or anything, but the guitars have more distinction in the mix. And especially the drums have a lot mure punch and personality. Moreover, every part of the drumkit has a distinct sound. That's not the case (or at least not as prominent) in the mix of the 15th anniversary edition. And that's what I found to be the problem with SA's last couple of releases in terms of production.
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27.10.2019 - 17:07
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by tominator on 27.10.2019 at 14:20

Full-blown novel

I mean at this point you may as well write a review.
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I have no memory of this place.
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27.10.2019 - 21:11
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Troy Killjoy on 27.10.2019 at 17:07

Written by tominator on 27.10.2019 at 14:20

Full-blown novel

I mean at this point you may as well write a review.

I mean I wouldnt be opposed
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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27.10.2019 - 21:57
Rating: 4
tominator
At best deranged
Written by Troy Killjoy on 27.10.2019 at 17:07

I mean at this point you may as well write a review.


Good point. Maybe I will.

I've recently been thinking about doing another review. So why not.
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29.10.2019 - 01:58
Rating: 9
rps
Written by tominator on 27.10.2019 at 14:20

Written by rps on 27.10.2019 at 03:32


Maybe I will try to share some settings that worked for me to get the best audio....


Honestly it's all over the last couple of releases from SA....

To come back to the production topic.

Ok these are YT videos but the difference in production is honestly really noticable already. The original release doesn't sound heavier or anything, but the guitars have more distinction in the mix...


Written by tominator on 27.10.2019 at 14:20

Written by rps on 27.10.2019 at 03:32



Maybe I will try to share some settings that worked for me to get the best audio. ...

....
To come back to the production topic....


(My edit above to shorten the string)


So i typically go with settings something like this for SA, and most metal. It's not exact, and the main db would be at 12db. I get quite a bit of clarity. I understand that production can profusely affect an album, but over the years I've learned to rely on eq settings over production.

____________________________________________________________
12db

........................................................................................◻
0db.............................................................................◻
.......◻................................................................◻
..............◻................................................. ◻
......................◻ .................................◻
.................................◻......... ◻
-12db
_____________________________________________________________

I agree it was a waste of time to redo Ecliptica, especially as Jani and Elias' guitar sounds are distinct. Besides why try to recreate magic?

ROCKbox has a great eq in its firmware. It's way better than iTunes presets.


Cheers
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10.12.2019 - 22:41
Rating: 6
Nick Carter
And here we go again. This one was not sooo bad, but I keep hearing their albums hoping for some spark, which, once again, I didn't find
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#MetalIsForEveryone
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