With the manic "Seeds of Sorrow," which opens his second solo album, 2004's Coldness, with a flurry of notes and flailing of limbs, Finnish vocalist Timo Kotipelto and his self-named backup band make a good case for those who argue that power metal is nothing but pop music performed at hyper speed and in the highest registers imaginable. But, surprisingly, the rest of this album is relatively scarce on pop-thrashers ("Can You Hear the Sound" being the only other example) -- making way instead for a bevy of slower hard rockers like standouts "Reasons," "Snowbound," and "Coldness in My Mind." That's a good thing too, as the latter are far more suited to Kotipelto's voice -- a still-magnificent instrument capable of electrifying even the dullest of power metal exercises. One such showcase is the particularly inspired "Journey Back," but, conversely, the album's only power ballad, "Take Me Away," is strangely disappointing for failing to reach the necessary drama and emotion that would set it apart from its surroundings. Other than that, it's safe to say little has changed in Kotipelto's sonic direction since his departure from power metal heavyweights Stratovarius. The band that bears his name carries on in much the same, melodic metal tradition, without taking as many forays into classical music overkill or progressive rock (semiepic closer "Here We Are" is as close as they get) as one might expect. Therefore, although it reveals very few surprises, Coldness will likely play right in to Kotipelto's regular fan base. [A Japanese version added a bonus track.] Eduardo Rivadavia, All Music Guide
- Hard Rock
- Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Scandinavian Metal
- June 22, 2006
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