Nuclear Blast Records
Release: September 6, 2019
“Inspiration comes from the world around me.”
“I let the music write itself within the loose boundaries and just enjoy the ride”, reveals the creative mastermind of this mighty Finnish sound forge, radiating an inner calm as well as compassion that immediately captivates. It’s undisputed: Tony Kakko - charismatic singer, composer and lyricist of Melodic Metal heroes Sonata Arctica - is a musical genius! He has a delicately tuned sense for incomparable, deeply epic and complex melodies which not only go into the ear but even deeper; under the skin and into the soul. It’s this atmospheric finesse which has always been born from a multitude of facets, mixed with an interplay of emotions – that characterises the men from the far north and their vision. Their sound combines deep feeling and beautiful melodies in a most seductive fashion, merging dynamic-driving passages and delicate refrains. Sonata Arctica has long since proven that they belong to the Melodic Metal elite...
Now is the time to open a new chapter: “Talviyö”. It can already be stated that the band has succeeded in creating a colossal masterpiece, but let’s start at the beginning...
Message From The Sun
Storm The Armada
The last Of The Lambs
Who Failed The Most
Ismo’s Got Good Reactors
A Little Less Understanding
The Raven Still Flies
Only three years have passed since the brilliant predecessor “The Ninth Hour”, three years in which the quintet has been anything but idle. “Basically I write songs all the time when it comes down to it” says Tony, “but at the beginning of 2018 I took care of the new album. The recordings then started in September last year, mixing and mastering were ready in May” he counts up and starts to laugh: “That sounds like a very relaxed schedule, but it wasn’t at all, since many shows and projects happened in the interim” explains the Finn, revealing that there was no concept in the classical sense in advance. “No, not really. As usual, I first wrote the music and only after that when I knew which songs would musically fit on the album, I started writing the lyrical side of things. I had some ideas ready as to what this and that song might be about, but the lyrics always tend to surprise me at the end. Just like the predecessors.”
“Talviyö” is a compilation of various pieces that are connected in a certain thematic way, “but not enough to describe the album as a closed concept work” Tony explains further, revealing that the band again took many liberties this time, resulting in a flowing, organic creative process. “The idea was and is to continue the string of albums we’ve released since `Stones Grow Her Name ́, which was a little side step. But that’s about it. And I’m not sure how well we‘ve pulled that off, being still too close to the process to see what kind of an addition `Talviyö ́ makes to the collection, but at least it feels like it connects with `Pariah's Child ́ and `The Ninth Hour´”, Tony explains, seemingly visibly pleased, “because the process itself then was more natural, where one thing leads to another.”
If one asks the exceptional composer about his source of inspiration for the youngest masterpiece, he doesn’t have to think for long. “Inspiration comes from the world around me. I very rarely write pure fantasy - there aren't many dragons and elves in Sonata Arctica songs'', he smiles charmingly. “As usual, the lyrics handle human related things, sometimes veiled in cloths of wolves, life, worrying about the state of this planet, what kind of a world we’re leaving for our children to live in, bits of world politics, nature and… well, winter time in Finland and the myths of northern light…”, he ponders. “My song writing process is a very difficult puzzle to explain, built one piece at a time over a long period of time, until a song starts to sound like a song, repeated many times until finally the album starts to sound like an album. As always, there’s something that brings old times to mind, both musically and lyrically.”
One thing rears its head very quickly, the fact that it has become a highly reflective, sensitive and certainly the most personal work of the Finns to date. Accordingly, Tony wants to leave it up to the listener to how they classify the songs, “because you know that what I say here or anywhere about the meaning of the songs, those are just my ideas and views about them. I base those thoughts on my experiences and emotional background. You have your own experiences and emotional range, if you will. Give the songs your own meaning! How you see the meaning today may be vastly different from the way you see them ten years from now, or after you’ve become a parent, or lost someone or just gained experience in life and a wider emotional keyhole you view the world through.”
“Talviyö”; this beautiful, magical and mythical title of the current record has - as the name already suggests - its origin in the Finnish language and means Winter Night translated. Anyway, this is not a classic winter album, but it combines all those mysterious attributes that describe the enchanted magic of a winter night and even goes one step further. “Talviyö” contains the pure essence of Sonata Arctica, the heart of all their creative work; the most beautiful, slightly entranced melodic arcs and sound cascades, the unique enchanted aura and at the same time filled with energy and the pure joy of playing.“Talviyö” resembles a journey that combines sophisticated riffs and opulent bombast with the famous Finnish melancholy, plus a beguiling touch of magic.
It has been a while since the release of this album, but I wanted to discuss it anyway. ‘’Talviyö’’ has been pretty hyped up, but for me that hype let more to dissapointment than excitement. Even the quality of the music itself was a let down. Overall I haven’t heard anyone in my circles been positive or about the album, or in the sense that they were recommending it to others. The few tracks that I like, are still a bit mediocre, especially for Sonata Arctica. Is it that bad to expect a bit more from one of the biggest bands within its genre?
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Tony Kakko I vocals, keyboards
Elias Viljanen | guitar
Pasi Kauppinen | bass
Henrik Klingenberg I keyboards
Tommy Portimo | drums