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Sonata Arctica - Talviyö



5.5 | 150 votes |
Release date: 6 September 2019
Style: Power metal

Owners:

65 have it
9 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

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 (9)

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Comments: 53   Visited by: 497 users
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
Contributor
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
Staff
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.
----
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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24.10.2019 - 14:21
Rating: 4
tominator
At best deranged
Contributor
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
Contributor
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
Staff
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.
----
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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27.10.2019 - 21:11
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Staff
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
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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27.10.2019 - 21:57
Rating: 4
tominator
At best deranged
Contributor
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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06.02.2020 - 17:29
qlacs
"The Quaker"
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.10.2019 at 08:26

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.

If a mix can't translate well to most listening mediums it's a sure sign of an unbalanced and lazy mix. If they didn't bother to mix it well, why should anyone bother to spend money on it...
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09.02.2020 - 22:05
Rating: 5
BonemanJones
This is a very slow, very long album, and worst of all it's just boring. Several songs begin with interesting energetic intros, that plod into a slow muddy mess that never really goes anywhere. Everyone always expects a few of Kakko's attempts at heart wrenching ballads, but this is an album comprised entirely of ballads. "Whirlwind" is about as exciting as it gets, and is probably the most energetic track on here.

In two words, disappointing and lethargic.
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17.02.2020 - 05:58
Rating: 8
SoUnDs LiKe PoP
Nowhere NEAR as bad as people are making it out to be...

... but by Sonata standards, a disappointment. For me, probably their second to worst album ever.

There just isn't much replay value here, and the amount of "auto skip" tracks is staggeringly high for a Sonata Arctica album... I mean, this is a band that, in my opinion, rarely even has ONE skippable track on an album.

Then there's the production... I dare say with better production, a number of the songs would improve from "good" to "great." Sadly, we're stuck with this muddy, muffled production.

With all that said, Whirlwind is a fantastic track... I hope the next album will have more fresh sounding tracks like this, and less of these pretentious 80s pseudo-prog tracks.
----
I lift weights and listen to metal
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10.05.2020 - 21:06
ickoriss
I wanted to not hate this thing, but I can't. It's just bad. Fire whoever mixed and produced this.
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12.07.2020 - 22:09
Sjarlatann
"Style: Power metal"

Hahaha, not even close.
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13.07.2020 - 13:44
Rating: 4
Metal Rasputin
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Most of the songs sound very tired, dull and lifeless, like the band had no interest in the whole thing and did it just because. The bad production is just a cherry on the top of it all.
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You've got a lot of guts. Let's see what they look like!
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18.01.2021 - 10:38
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
I find "A Little Less Understanding" quite enjoyable, but listeing to something like "Cold" is pain
----
My rest seems now calm and deep
Finally I got my dead man sleep


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17.08.2021 - 09:48
Rating: 6
Stunning Cactus
Well, my expectations were low to begin with, but damn. Talk about falling from grace.

Even on albums like Stones Grow Her Name and The Ninth Hour there's at least one song that I love. But nothing on this latest release grabs me...just nothing.

I own hard copies of their entire discography, but I guess I won't be able to say that anymore now...
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20.07.2022 - 08:09
Rating: 8
Mountain King
K i K o
Their latest album has grown on me, I don't how but this is how I feel.
Heard it several times already and I like it now after being its biggest critic. HOWEVER, I still prefer their first 3 albums and that style by far.
I like the wintery keys and feeling of this album with songs being focused on aspects of winter or a cold country like Finland? Especially now that I moved from Europe to a desert country. I made that connect after remembering that Talvi is winter in Finnish as far as I remember so I googled Talviyö and got winter night as a result.
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27.03.2023 - 23:20
Rating: 4
mikeprado30
Written by Sjarlatann on 12.07.2020 at 22:09

"Style: Power metal"

Hahaha, not even close.

I was thinking about that. Maybe a Melodic AOR or something like that.

Written by Harmaajoki on 07.09.2019 at 05:12

Is this... Christmas songs compilation?


He heh. If only this one would be as good as Majestica's Scrooge-themed album.

Written by Troy Killjoy on 13.09.2019 at 06:13

Written by CWA on 13.09.2019 at 00:42
Not that I'm disagreeing, but what is the contradiction you are referring to?

Just how people bash bands for changing direction just as they bash others for remaining the same. It's an irony I notice is particularly strong in the metal community, though not restricted to it.

That irony is so persistent in metal community. Bash Hammerfall or AC/DC cause they don't change, and bash Enslaved last albums for not being as their 90's efforts (citing some examples).
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BARDS WE ARE, BARDS WE WILL BE!
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