Talviyö (Finnish for "winter night"[1][4]) is the tenth studio album by Finnish power metal band Sonata Arctica. It was released on 6 September 2019 by Nuclear Blast.

Talviyö
cover art of Talviyö
Studio album by
Released6 September 2019[1][2][3]
RecordedSeptember 2018-May 2019[1][4]
StudioStudio57[1][4]
GenrePower metal
LabelNuclear Blast[2]
ProducerMikko Tegelman, Sonata Arctica[1]
Sonata Arctica chronology
The Ninth Hour
(2016)
Talviyö
(2019)
Singles from Talviyö
  1. "A Little Less Understanding"
    Released: 21 June 2019[5]
  2. "Cold"
    Released: 23 August 2019[6]
  3. "Who Failed the Most"
    Released: 6 September 2019[1]

Background and recordingEdit

The album was produced by the band and Mikko Tegelman, a producer they already wanted for their previous album, The Ninth Hour, but was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts.[2][3]

According to vocalist, additional keyboardist and main songwriter Tony Kakko, the band had been willing to create an album with a more "live" sound,[3] but could never properly do it on their own. In order to make sure Tegelman would be able to work with them, Kakko had all songs ready before they went into studio.[2][3] In the album's promotional material, Kakko said "the idea was to create an album that is musically in line with at least the previous two albums".[5]

In June and July 2018, he showed some demos of songs he had written earlier that year to the rest of the band and by the time they entered the studio, they already knew what to do.[2] Under Tegelman's guidance, Tommy Portimo (drummer) and Pasi Kauppinnen (bassist) played their instruments together,[3] which, according to Kakko, "give the whole rhythm section a whole organic feel and that gave it a much stronger foundation for the album and made it much easier to develop the album". He ultimately called it "a really pleasant album to make songwriting-wise".[2]

The recordings started in September 2018 and the album was mixed and mastered in May 2019.[4]

TitleEdit

The title of the album is a Finnish word for "winter night".[1][4] According to Kakko, he was looking for a simple name and started searching for translations of "night" in other languages via Google Translator. Eventually, he came back to his own mother tongue and suggested the title "Talvi". The other members considered it "boring" and he jokingly suggested "Talviyö", an expression that he felt most people outside of Finland would struggle to pronounce. The other members laughed and they realized "that's what it should be called".[3]

CoverEdit

The cover photograph is by Onni Wiljami.[5] The original picture was edited by Wiljami[4]) so as to depict a nighttime situation, among other changes.[7]

Song informationEdit

Kakko explained that the album is not a concept one, but admitted that the songs are somehow connected, thematically speaking. He considers it a natural continuation of the albums the band has been releasing since Stones Grow Her Name.[4] He also sees it the third album of the band's third age.[4]

Kakko admitted that the opening track "Message From the Sun" could be "misleading" because "it's more of the power metal side of Sonata Arctica for all our power metal fans."[2] The song talks about the mythology behind the northern lights.[7][8][4]

"Whirlwind" includes sounds and words by Kakko's son; those were originally recorded in the background of the song's demo and after listening to that recording many times, the band felt that removing them would make the song look like it was missing something.[8]

"Cold" received a video, which was released on 23 August 2019. It was filmed in Tampere and directed by Patric Ullaeus.[6] "Storm the Armada" and "Who Failed the Most" discuss environmental concerns,[4] with the latter addressing it in a political manner by asking whether humankind is choosing the right leaders, environment-wise.[9][8]

The so-called Caleb saga, which started on Silence's "The End of This Chapter" and was continued on Reckoning Night's "Don't Say a Word", Unia's "Caleb", The Days of Grays's "Juliet" and The Ninth Hour's "Til Death's Done Us Apart";[10] is continued on the album with "The Last of the Lambs".[2][4]

"Ismo's Got Good Reactors" is an instrumental track with musical references to several places around the World, including Japan. The title of the track is a comment a child made during a boat trip with a friend of Kakko. According to him, the outboard engine was about to fall but he managed to grab it and place it back, and the child said "Ismo's got good reactors!". The friend was actually named Mikko and the child actually meant "reactions".[9]

"Demon's Cage" is a follow-up to The Ninth's Hour's "Fairytale" and "The Garden" is a "thank you" song for spouses in general.[9]

"A Little Less Understanding" was the first song to be revealed, along with the album's title, cover and release date. According to Kakko, it is "lyrically somewhat of a follow up for 'I Have a Right' (from Stones Grow Her Name) and talks about the difficulty of making the right choices with the upbringing of a new human being".[5] About selecting it as the album's first single, Kakko said he thinks it is "nowhere near the best song on the album", but the band had no idea which song to release first, so they ended up accepting advice from their manager, who though it "would function as a ramp towards the album being the most simple song on the album."[5]

Kakko was initially unsure whether the longest song "The Raven Still Flies" would make it to the album, because he considered it "too complex and weird", but his bandmates approved it as soon as he showed it to them.[2] The lyrics deal with the feeling of loss of a parent towards a missing child.[9][4]

Track listingEdit

No.TitleLength
1."Message from the Sun"4:06
2."Whirlwind"6:31
3."Cold"4:28
4."Storm the Armada"5:08
5."The Last of the Lambs"4:22
6."Who Failed the Most"4:44
7."Ismo's Got Good Reactors" (Instrumental)3:43
8."Demon's Cage"4:57
9."A Little Less Understanding"4:34
10."The Raven Still Flies[a]"7:39
11."The Garden"6:16
Total length:56:28[11]

Notes

  • ^[a] The band's official website lists the song under the title "The Raven Still Flies With You"[12]

PersonnelEdit

Technical personnel[1][4]

  • Mikko Tegelman, Pasi Kauppinen – mixing
  • Svante Forsbäck – mastering at Chartmakers West
  • Onni Wiljami – cover art

ChartsEdit

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[13] 2
French Albums (SNEP)[14] 133
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[15] 26
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[16] 35
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 22

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Video Premiere: SONATA ARCTICA's 'Who Failed The Most'". Blabbermouth.net. 6 September 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Giffin, Brian (3 September 2019). "SONATA ARCTICA // A Little Understanding". Hysteria Magazine. Hysteria Media PTY LTD. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gordon, Alex (28 August 2019). "Interview: TONY KAKKO of power metal legends SONATA ARCTICA on upcoming tenth studio album TALVIYÖ and more". Sick and Sound. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Talviyö SONATA ARCTICA". Nuclear Blast official website. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e Divita, Joe (21 June 2019). "Sonata Arctica Debut New Song, Announce 'Talviyo' Album". Loudwire. Townsquare Media. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  6. ^ a b Perilla, Johnny (23 August 2019). "Sonata Arctica release new song/video "Cold"". Next Mosh. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Sonata Arctica - Title & Artwork of 'Talviyö' (OFFICIAL TRAILER #2)". Nuclear Blast official YouTube channel. YouTube. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "SONATA ARCTICA - 'Talviyö' Track By Track #1 (OFFICIAL)". Nuclear Blast official YouTube channel. YouTube. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d "SONATA ARCTICA - 'Talviyö' Track By Track #2 (OFFICIAL)". Nuclear Blast official YouTube channel. YouTube. 10 September 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Sonata Arctica reveals details about Finnish Tour 2018". Sonata Arctica's official Facebook page. Facebook. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Talviyö - Sonata Arctica". iTunes. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Talviyö (2019)". Sonata Arctica official website. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Sonata Arctica: Talviyö" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes – SNEP (Week 37, 2019)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Sonata Arctica – Talviyö" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Top 100 Albumes – Semana 37: del 6.9.2019 al 12.9.2019" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Sonata Arctica – Talviyö". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 September 2019.