SONATA ARCTICA

(FINLAND)

CLEAR COLD BEYOND

(2024)
LABEL:

ATOMIC FIRE RECORDS

GENRE:

MELODIC METAL

TAGS:
Epic, Symphonic, Technical
"A talented blend of maturity and freshness, Sonata Arctica strike a blow with "Clear Cold Beyond", revealing new riches with every listen."
LOLOCELTIC (14.03.2024)  
5/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s) (1) Biography
With a superb cover by Niko Anttila and a return to the legendary Finnvox Studio with Mikko Karmila, there's no shortage of evidence to suggest that Sonata Arctica are trying to go back in time and recapture the success of their early days. It's true that, while the quality of the Finnish band's last studio albums was undeniable, the shift towards more progressive and less speedy music had disorientated some fans. For this new album, the band have announced that they wanted to bring together all the facets of their identity in their compositions, while at the same time becoming heavier again after their more sedate recent releases. 

With the singles 'First In Line' and 'California', the shock is immediate and invigorating. The double-pedal goes into overdrive for an ultra-fast tempo to which are grafted unstoppable melodies and unifying choruses to be shouted live. Tony Kakko and his band haven't lied to us. But while the quintet unleash other tracks of the same calibre ('Cure For Everything'), they vary the moods and tempi, sometimes within the same tracks. This is the case, for example, on the captivating 'Teardrps', which also features a superb orchestral break and harpsichord sounds.

A perfect kaleidoscope of the different facets of Sonata Arctica, "Clear Cold Beyond" also offers a monumental sequence with the tandem 'Shah Mat' and 'Dark Empath', with their opera-like overtones sometimes reminiscent of compatriots Nightwish. It's also Tony Kakko's first opportunity to show off his secret theatricality. A true actor and storyteller, the singer makes his mark on this production, even turning ominous on 'Angel Defiled', a track with a vibe worthy of Stratovarius. At the same time, it's impossible not to mention the performance of the other members of the band, Elias Viljanen and Henrik Klingenberg, whose solos are one gleaming after another. As for the rhythmic duo, while their velocity is dazzling, it is an unalterable foundation for every diamond in this work.

With a luminosity as blinding as the whiteness of the Finnish winter landscape, "Clear Cold Beyond" marks Sonata Arctica's return to the heights of metal as varied and exciting as it is dynamic and melodic. All the facets of the band's identity seen on the ten previous albums are perfectly blended in this multi-hued but seamlessly coherent picture. 
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. First In Line - 5:22
02. California - 4:25
03. Shah Mat - 4:08
04. Dark Empath - 6:05
05. Cure For Everything - 4:40
06. A Monster Only You Can't See - 5:56
07. Teardrps - 4:57
08. Angel Defiled - 4:43
09. The Best Things - 4:52
10. Clear Cold Beyond - 5:45

LINEUP:
Elias Viljanen: Guitares
Henrik "henkka" Klingenberg:
Pasi Kauppinen: Basse
Tommy Portimo: Batterie
Tony Kakko: Chant
   
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