Sonata Arctica – Clear Cold Beyond Review

Sonata Arctica's Long-Awaited Comeback: Unveiling 'Clear Cold Winter...

Released by: Atomic Fire Records

Release Date: March 8th, 2024

Genre: Power Metal

Links: http://www.sonataarctica.info/

 

Line Up:

Tony Kakko | vocals
Elias Viljanen | guitars
Pasi Kauppinen | bass
Henrik “Henkka” Klingenberg | keyboards
Tommy Portimo | drums

 

Tracklist:

01. First In Line
02. California
03. Shah Mat
04. Dark Empath
05. Cure For Everything
06. A Monster Only You Can’t See
07. Teardrops
08. Angel Defiled
09. The Best Things
10. Clear Cold Beyond

 

After two decades, Sonata Arctica has unveiled an album that marks a significant milestone in their musical journey. While it falls slightly short of their pinnacle achievements, it heralds a notable resurgence for a band that once captivated audiences in the early 2000s.

The album’s compositions exhibit a commendable level of craftsmanship, offering a diverse range of experiences—from the atmospheric allure of “Slah Mat” to the spirited pace of “First in Line” and the grandeur of “Teardrops.” However, amidst these successes, “A Monster Only You Can’t See” falters with its attempt at a pop-infused chorus, failing to meet the standard set by the rest of the album.

Tony Kakko’s vocal performance once again demonstrates his artistry, particularly in the lower registers where he excels. Yet, the mixing occasionally obscures his voice and introduces superfluous effects. Lyrically, there are moments of mediocrity, notably observed in “California,” characterized by its unremarkable chorus.

The return of Henrik Klingenberg adds a dynamic dimension to the album, with his skillful solos and commanding synth melodies enriching tracks such as “Teardrops,” “California,” and “Cure for Everything.”

Elias Viljanen’s guitar work, complemented by Tommy Portimo’s precise drumming, upholds the band’s signature intensity, although occasionally overshadowed by certain production choices.

Despite its imperfections, “Clear Cold Winter” achieves a commendable synthesis of Sonata Arctica’s power metal roots and their more recent experimental tendencies, marking a resolute return to form after a period of uncertainty.

 

Score: 7/10

Reviewed by: Shadow Editor

 

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