SONATA ARCTICA – Clear Cold Beyond (2024)


After their two acoustic adventures, Finnish metal veterans SONATA ARCTICA will honor us with their 11th studio album “Clear Cold Beyond” which will be released in March 8th. And right from the first track properly titled ‘First In Line’, we get the keyboard-heavy melodic metal we learned to love from the band in their early days.
Indeed, “Clear Cold Beyond” will delight fans of the band’s classic era, and general metal aficionados to soaring guitar melodies, blazing and instantly memorable lead vocal lines, and an overall energy that’s bursting at the seams.
After that balzing openeing song, second track ‘California’ also contain all of these elements. I can envision an entire arena singing along to the choruses in both songs. We also bear witness to some much heavier and infectious grooves that are almost impossible not to bang your head along to in agreement.
Straying from this energetic and high octane Power Metal assault on the sense, ‘A Monster Only You Can See’ and ‘Clear Cold Beyond’ slow things right back down and take a much more stripped back and ambient approach. Listen to the acoustic segment in ‘A Monster Only You Can See’ and tell that isn’t beautiful.

‘Dark Empath is the album’s exploration of darker themes unfolds with its brooding atmosphere and haunting melodies. The song builds slowly, layering lush synths and intricate guitar work to create a sense of depth and complexity. Tony Kakko‘s vocals are filled with longing and regret as he sings of lost love and shattered dreams.
‘Cure for Everything’ offers a moment of introspection with its stripped-down arrangement and heartfelt lyrics. Despite its fast tempo, the song maintains a gentle and mellow vibe, with melodious vocals and a soothing melody that is pleasant to the ears.

‘Teardrops’ and ‘Angel Defiled’ further showcase SONATA ARCTICA‘s versatility. The former is a haunting almost-ballad with a slower tempo, featuring emotive storytelling and lyrical prowess. It gradually introduces progressively faster melodic elements, creating a captivating journey for the listener.
On the other hand, ‘Angel Defiled’ is a hard-hitting rocker with heavy riffs and a killer guitar solo, demonstrating the band’s ability to deliver high-energy performances. With its poignant lyrics and beautiful melody, ‘The Best Things’ is a heartfelt ballad that tugs at the heartstrings. Kakko‘s vocals are filled with raw emotion as he sings of love lost and lessons learned. Henrik Klingenberg‘s keyboard work is particularly notable as it takes a more upfront role in the arrangement, adding depth and texture to the song and connecting with the audience on a deeply personal level.

“Clear Cold Beyond” is a bold and ambitious album that sees SONATA ARCTICA embracing a modern sound while staying true to their roots. It’s a testament to the band’s enduring legacy and their ability to captivate audiences with their unique blend of power metal and melodic rock.
Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to their music, “Clear Cold Beyond” is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Highly Recommended


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

Tommy Portimo – Drums
Tony Kakko – Vocals (lead), Keyboards
Henrik Klingenberg – Keyboards
Elias Viljanen – Guitar
Pasi Kauppinen – Bass


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