Although you may have a vague remembrance – it’s sixteen years since they released an album, after all – of Finland’s Winterborn as being just one of the many very competent bands to hail from that most ferrous of nations, nothing more, nothing less, then one listen to their new full-length, Break Another Day, will make you revise your opinion.

Because quite frankly, Winterborn are a very good band indeed. Marketed as a power metal band, BAD is far, far more than just another exercise in running up and down the fret/keyboard pretending to be Paganini, no matter how enticing a prospect that might be should you possess the talent. Winterborn do have that talent, and once or twice they do partake in those flurries of notes so beloved of all their musical cousins, but they have a whole lot more to boot. Tracks like For The First Time Ever and, especially, closing epic Through Different Eyes, reveal a band who know just what it takes to weave melodic rock, prog and heavy metal into one gargantuan package. Add a bit of AOR classiness, as they do on opener Another Sleepless Night, and you’s appear to have band tailor made to appeal to the Sentinel Daily massive…

Perhaps the best thing about Winterborn is that they don’t over-egg the pudding; All the songs here, even the longest ones, sound taut, economical and punchy, achieving maximum impact without ever threatening to collapse under their own weight. These blokes now how to create atmosphere, tension even, with their music, and they know when enough is enough. A rare talent indeed.

Teemu Koskela‘s vocals are at the eye of this creative storm, but it’s a genuine team effort; Pasi Vapola and Antti Hokkala complement one another well in the six string department, augmented by the keyboard flourishes of Henrik Klingenberg, whilst in the engine room drummer Lauri Bexar and bass-playing colleague Pasi Kauppinen keep things moving without allowing the overall sound to become too musclebound.

Good stuff, then, and there’s enough A-grade material on show here to leave us all hoping they don’t leave another decade and a half between albums next time!

Break Another Day is out now.