Kotipelto - Coldness

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: 8208-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:12:00

Timo Kotipelto sings brightly, lively and clearly - no growls here - on Coldness, the second release from his band Kotipelto. Of course, that shouldn't surprise you, given his past association with power metal band Stratovarius. And I'll gather that the music on Coldness won't surprise you either. It's power metal with soaring vocals, sometimes chugging guitars (Michael Romeo mostly) and bass (Jari Kainulainen), the solid presence of drums (Mirka Rantanen), and, of course, keyboards (Janne Wirman).

Though filled with energy, the first track, "Seeds Of Sorrow," seems a little too generic - drums bash, bash, bash while bass and guitars ride along with the thud of tempered jackhammers. It perks up with a guitar solo from Romeo and a keyboard solo from Wirman, but neither last nearly long enough, and don't add anything unexpected. It's well done performance and production-wise, but? but many tracks seem predicable and just trot out all the hallmarks of the genre. There are those tracks that are as catchy and accessible as power metal gets with "Reason," "Journey Back," the first single, the ultra-catchy "Take Me Away," and the heavy rocker "Here We Are." The latter track is more boomy, gloomy, and heavy and dark than anything else here.

Aside from the single, which stands out because it has "single" just written all over it (the chorus will stay in your mind), two tracks stand out, breaking the mold that characterizes the rest of the album. The first is the chugging, strutting "Evening's Fall." Oddly enough, it reminds me at times of a heavier Loverboy, including the guitar bursts that interject occasionally. It is a track that could have been on Keep It Up (cf. "Meltdown" or "Strike Zone"). Wirman's shrilly, parpy keyboard solo leads into one of many solos from Romeo. The second of these tracks is the one that follows, the even more chuggy "Coldness Of My Mind." Here guitar bursts unfurl into the main rhythm like licking flames. Wirman plays a keyboard solo that easily could go off on its own chilly, tinkly path, but it gives way to another guitar solo (Romeo again) and then everything is barely reigned back in. It's beefy track as result.

The opening keyboard passage of "Around" is rather neat. It's a crystalline, chiming sound that reflects the coldness of the album's title and artwork. This piece sounds a bit like Dream Theater, actually, though Kotipelto's voice is pitched a bit higher. I thought the same thing with "Snowbound," a track that is a little more complicated arrangement-wise, and thus a bit more interesting. This followed by the rumbling and crisp drum attack that begins "Journey Back," but other than some interesting percussion and darker guitar textures, the song seems to fall back into the pattern set by the first few tracks. Here we get a wild flurry of a solo from the guitar, though.

While Coldness doesn't have quite the involved concept as Waiting For The Dawn (the debut), one can see a pattern emerge from the lyrics - of someone trying to find their way in a world that has ? um ? grown cold. Some of the songs are "downers" and some seem hopeful? For example, "Seeds of Sorrow," about the grim reaper, or "Snowbound," being so overwhelmed that one can't see anything ("Everything I see is white haze / It is all around like a nightmare / I've been snowbound," Timo sings), and yet "Journey Back" is about going home, back to loved ones. All this leads to me to believe there isn't a narrative thread here.

Coldness not a bad album; as I said, everything is played very well, very tight, the production is crisp and clean. But it just fails to really impress? at least me. Maybe I'm jaded, but there's no "wow" factor for me. I need to be wowed.

Seeds Of Sorrow (4:09) / Reasons (3:46) / Around (5:24) / Can You Hear The Sound (3:19) / Snowbound (4:34) / Journey Back (3:37) / Evening's Fall (3:56) / Coldness Of My Mind (3:34) / Take Me Away (3:31) / Here We Are (6:22)

Timo Kotipelto - vocals
Janne Wirman - keyboards
Mirka Rantanen - drums
Jari Kainulainen - bass
Michael Romeo - guitars (1-4, 6-8)
Juhane Malmberg - guitars (5, 9, 10)
Antti Wirman - guest lead guitar

Waiting For The Dawn (2002)
Coldness (2004)
Serenity (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FI

Added: September 19th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.kotipelto.com
Hits: 823
Language: english


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