Rating:
7.0
Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name
16 May 2012


01. Only The Broken Hearts (Make You Beautiful)
02. Shitload Of Money
03. Losing My Insanity
04. Somewhere Close To You
05. I Have A Right
06. Alone In Heaven
07. The Day
08. Cinderblox
09. Don't Be Mean
10. Wildfire, Part: II - One With The Mountain
11. Wildfire, Part: III - Wildfire Town, Population: 0
12. Tonight I Dance Alone [digipak bonus]
13. One-Two-Free-Fall [Japanese bonus]


So these days the eyes on Sonata Arctica are those curiously wondering just what the Finnish fivesome will give us this time. A super solid first four power metal albums, then a bolt out the blue with the unique Unia and a middle-ground The Days Of Grays following up. Three years on then and Stones Grow Her Name is an apt reward for the wait, or is it?

Five years ago when Unia was released, it was like Sonata Arctica lost their true identity. There are certainly great moments on both that album and ...Grays, but the band seemed somewhat directionless and overcompensated with quirkiness. It was as if the band were going through a mid-life crisis without original guitarist Jani.

Stones Grow Her Name follows this trend, but is much more of a concise album than the erratic Unia and album of two halves ...Grays. There are no majestic, soaring power metal classics found here, the album actually feels at a relatively slower pace than any of their other albums, but that doesn't mean we should write the album off straight away.

In this more solid sound the band have put together some very nice melodies. There might not be any up-tempo "Flag In The Ground"-types with wonderful anthemic choruses, but the vital core and spirit of the band can still be found and does shine brightly through songs like "Losing My Insanity" and "Alone In Heaven". The bizarre "Shitload O' Money" does hark back to a very Unia feel, while "Somewhere Close To You" is perhaps the heaviest the band have sounded. Album highlight "Cinderblox" is a much needed injection of fun into the album, and "Wildfire Part III" does go some way to satisfying any primal power metal urges too.

Stones Grow Her Name then, is certainly not an instant hit, but given some time and dedication can be enjoyed. Sonata Arctica are a different band now, the guys are more than a decade older than when they put their first hyper-charged albums together, and this is reflected in the direction of this album more so than ever before.

Not a classic album by any means and not particularly memorable either, but good enough is good enough for the surviving fans of this great Finnish band, who will be able to pick out and cherish the golden moments found here to fuel the years of wait for the next album. A little underwhelming but satisfactory nevertheless.

--

Heavy metal
Finland
Length: 53:14
Nuclear Blast

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Sonata Arctica
Album: Stones Grow Her Name


 



Written on 17.05.2012 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››



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Boxcar Willy - 17.05.2012 at 05:59  
I haven't listened to any Powermetal since... I don't even know when, maybe Rob Rock?

Maybe I will actually listen to this. Just for shits and giggles.
YureiYumi - 17.05.2012 at 06:57  
Hello. Thank you for writing this review
Cal Wolvington - 17.05.2012 at 10:04  
I haven't actually heard the album yet, but this review gives me some hope as did the first single and the samples. At least this doesn't sound as aimless and inspirationless (not a word) as Unia.
Warman - 17.05.2012 at 10:20  
I loved The Days of Grays and Unia actually grew on me. So I have to check out this album. Although I'll probably miss the up-tempo songs.
FeskarN - 17.05.2012 at 15:00  
Will really miss the old SA style but I think I will like this album after all. Can't wait till the CD arrives next week.
EmeraldSword - 17.05.2012 at 20:36  
Sonata Arctica's albums have been interesting to say the least in the last few years, but haven't warranted the replay factor for me like they did in the first few. The odd timing signatures make it difficult for me to follow their melodies through and through IMHO. That said, I do have to give them props though for venturing out of the power metal box formula.
Slayer666 - 17.05.2012 at 21:13  
I've only heard "I Have a Right" and I swear I could feel my estrogen levels sky-rocket. :/
EmeraldSword - 18.05.2012 at 10:03  
Written by Slayer666 on 17.05.2012 at 21:13

I've only heard "I Have a Right" and I swear I could feel my estrogen levels sky-rocket. :/

+1
Druss - 18.05.2012 at 13:35  
Written by Slayer666 on 17.05.2012 at 21:13

I've only heard "I Have a Right" and I swear I could feel my estrogen levels sky-rocket. :/

+2, so I'm more than a little hesitant about checking this one out, in truth. Still haven't checked Dragonforce's newest lol, just been lying around since I got it. Maybe I'll be feeling a bit masochistic one day and listen to both for the first time
Abel - 18.05.2012 at 15:32  
True to all of that, but i have to admit, they really have matured since unit, that doesn't that it's better but something definitely different, It's a matter peoples opinions etc. I still love them and I think no matter what they do I will always will
Abel - 18.05.2012 at 15:34  
Written by Druss on 18.05.2012 at 13:35

Written by Slayer666 on 17.05.2012 at 21:13

I've only heard "I Have a Right" and I swear I could feel my estrogen levels sky-rocket. :/

+2, so I'm more than a little hesitant about checking this one out, in truth. Still haven't checked Dragonforce's newest lol, just been lying around since I got it. Maybe I'll be feeling a bit masochistic one day and listen to both for the first time


that's what i did when Imaginarium Nightwish was out. i waited until Epica newest came out, so i could listen to too of my favorite bands together
Abel - 18.05.2012 at 15:52  
Shitload of money; am I the only one that when hears that song Nickelback pops into my head??
Abel - 18.05.2012 at 15:58  
"Losing my Insanity" is a cover, Ari Koivunen is the one that sings it by my understanding, why doesn't anybody knows or seem to know????
Introspekrieg - 18.05.2012 at 16:00  
Written by Abel on 18.05.2012 at 15:52

Shitload of money; am I the only one that when hears that song Nickelback pops into my head??


You are not the only one.
BrianStorm - 18.05.2012 at 16:05  
Written by Abel on 18.05.2012 at 15:52

Shitload of money; am I the only one that when hears that song Nickelback pops into my head??


It reminds me of rap music...
Abel - 18.05.2012 at 16:44  
Written by BrianStorm on 18.05.2012 at 16:05

Written by Abel on 18.05.2012 at 15:52

Shitload of money; am I the only one that when hears that song Nickelback pops into my head??


It reminds me of rap music...




jajajajajajajaja XD
Abel - 18.05.2012 at 16:46  
Written by Introspekrieg on 18.05.2012 at 16:00

Written by Abel on 18.05.2012 at 15:52

Shitload of money; am I the only one that when hears that song Nickelback pops into my head??


You are not the only one.



THANK YOU... Tony started the first phrase

"Yeah!
She got a shitload of money
The night's a mile high deja vu
Taking her wings and halo down to boom town, yeah"

I was like...."yeah this has Nickelback all over it"
Risto - 18.05.2012 at 16:59  
Written by Abel on 18.05.2012 at 15:58

"Losing my Insanity" is a cover, Ari Koivunen is the one that sings it by my understanding, why doesn't anybody knows or seem to know????

It was originally a Sonata Arctica leftover that Tony Kakko gave to Ari Koivunen to release on his solo album. Eventually SA decided to release their own version of the song. Not really a cover, is it?
Abel - 18.05.2012 at 19:45  
Written by Risto on 18.05.2012 at 16:59

Written by Abel on 18.05.2012 at 15:58

"Losing my Insanity" is a cover, Ari Koivunen is the one that sings it by my understanding, why doesn't anybody knows or seem to know????

It was originally a Sonata Arctica leftover that Tony Kakko gave to Ari Koivunen to release on his solo album. Eventually SA decided to release their own version of the song. Not really a cover, is it?


but that feels weird doesn't it???, I've never seen anything like it until now. one really doesn't know what to expect of people. I was like "who can a band like SA, do a cover from children???" (metal speaking)
DarthSitthiander - 18.05.2012 at 20:49  
Jani only composed "My Selene", the rest is made entirely by Tony Kakko. So stating the band seems directionless without Jani seems a bit invalid. Also Tony wanted to keep things simple this time. Unia and The Days of Grays were more complex and experimental, whilst Stones Grow Her Name contains elements of everything Tony has written before and is more straightforward.
BlankFile - 18.05.2012 at 21:17  
Well so i decided to download the album, before the original arrives at my house. I´ve heard it a couple of times by now and what can i say? I mean you´ll get neither the old or the most recent Sonata Arctica. You´ll get instead a more matured, experienced and in your face Sonata Arctica, picking up some pieces of the past, but transforming them in a really unique Sonata Arctica way! Simple, hard-rockish, raw at some parts, melodic, and definitely more mature. This is definitely a new step by a band that is everything but consentual in the eyes of the fans. Im curious to read all the opinions of the fans of the band.
Darth Revan - 19.05.2012 at 02:08  
Honestly, I haven't really liked anything they've done since Unia, and for me this isn't much different. Reminds me of Helloween's period of identity crisis, with Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon, except that Sonata seem to be going in the moody dark direction rather than light hearted comedy... Also worth noting, I doubt they could ever release something as bad as those two albums...
Moosh666 - 19.05.2012 at 17:03  
Mediocre, and the worst they have ever released. But ok nonetheless...
Kingface - 26.05.2012 at 18:23  
I've listened to this Album twice so far and I'm really enjoying it! To say I think it's a drastic improvement over the last two albums is a major understatement. It has the same level of diversity, if not more so, but this time the quality of the songs is simply better.

'Shitload of Money' is such a catchy and enjoyable song it's unreal.
Kingface - 26.05.2012 at 18:27  
Written by Druss on 18.05.2012 at 13:35

Written by Slayer666 on 17.05.2012 at 21:13

I've only heard "I Have a Right" and I swear I could feel my estrogen levels sky-rocket. :/

+2, so I'm more than a little hesitant about checking this one out, in truth. Still haven't checked Dragonforce's newest lol, just been lying around since I got it. Maybe I'll be feeling a bit masochistic one day and listen to both for the first time


In regards Dragonforce's latest album, you could be pleasantly surprised. Shorter songs, more variety, brilliant new Vocalist and the excessive Guitar Wankery has been cut down on significantly.
opeth771 - 28.05.2012 at 18:20  
This is just a bad album once again... They kept release crappy albums after Reckoning Night.... The new Wildfire parts are a disgrace to the first part. Too bad, they used to be good
The Norseman - 18.06.2012 at 12:42  
A review is always an opinion so I don't understand why people bother to fight it. Just read it and move on. I agree with this one tho. The album is worth a couple listenings but it doesn't have the value for more than a rate 7.

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