Sonata Arctica
Stones Grow Her Name

1. Only The Broken Hearts
2. Shitload O`Money
3. Losing My Insanity
4. Somewhere Close To You
5. I Have A Right
6. Alone In Heaven
7. The Day
8. Cinderblox
9. Don’t Be Mean
10. Wildfire, Part: II – One With The Mountain
11. Wildfire, Part: III – Wildfire Town, Population: 0

Tony Kakko (vocals, keyboards)
Elias Viljanen (guitar)
Marko Paasikoski (bass)
Henrik Klingenberg (keyboards)
Tommy Portimo (drums)

Ecliptica (1999)
Silence (2001)
Winterheart's Guild (2003)
Reckoning Night (2004)
Unia (2007)
The Days of Grays (2009)

Pekka Kuusisto - Violin
Peter Engberg - Acoustic guitars, viola caipira & banjo
Lauri Valkonen - Double Bass
Mika Mylläri - Trumpet
Sakari Kukko - Tenor & Soprano saxophone
Mikko P. Mustonen - Orchestrations
Anna Lavender - Spoken parts
Timo Kotipelto - Additional Backing vocals
Mediocre Media Ogre Choir

All songs written by Tony Kakko
Arranged by Tony Kakko & Sonata Arctica.
Stones Grow Her Name was recorded at:
Drums, Bass and Hammond - Studio57 by Pasi Kauppinen
Guitars - Sonic Pump Studios by Nino Laurenne and Petri Ahvenainen, Magic-7 by Elias
Trumpets & Saxophones - Sonic Pump Studios by Petri Ahvenainen
Double Bass - Tico Tico Studio by Ahti Kortelainen
Keyboards - Lanceland 2 & AA-Club Studio by Henkka, Kakkoslaatu Studio by T.Kakko
Tony's Vocals - Kakkoslaatu Studio by T.Kakko,
Tony's Studio Assistant - Markus "Masi" Hukari
Additional backing vocals - Sonic Pump Studios by Nino Laurenne
Mixed at Sonic Pump Studios by Mikko Karmila, with Tony & Marko
Mastered at Chartmakers by Svante Forsbäck
Album illustration by Inferi / Janne & Gina Pitkänen
Photos by Terhi Ylimäinen

Released 18/5-2012
Reviewed 25/5-2012

nuclear blast

It is hard to look at a favourite band and judge them fairly but I am excellent at that and what strikes me first with Sonata Arctica is that their cover artwork is bad, something it very rarely (if ever) is and as that wasn’t enough it is also the first time they have put a bad name on one of their albums. However, such trifles are hardly of any concern to the fans as the gold certification in the home country less than a week from release is a clear testament to. The reviews however has been quite mixed from poor to decent to excellent and for all intents and purposes this album is average.

This album is as if Tony Kakko has been listening to the old Sonata Arctica albums and then borrowed things he liked from them all ending up with an album that sounds exactly like Sonata Arctica. It means a combination between hyperfast power metal and quite progressive mid tempo metal it is hard to pinpoint it more than that although hypermelodic and with a very polished sound probably should be mentioned as well. The reason for the difficulty in pinpointing the sound more than that is thanks to the big variation that also happens to be a big drawback of this album as the songs don’t really feel connected to each others, other than them being on the same disc.

This has to be the most uninspired Sonata Arctica album to date, the predecessor The Days of Grays had a lot more going for it with more clever ideas and an overall feel that just kicks this album in the face. The fact is that just because it is a disappointment as far as something from Sonata Arctica is concerned it is still a good album but ALL other Sonata Arctica albums are much, much better. My main problem with this album is that the songs all feels like other versions of songs that we have already heard on the albums preceding this one. And atop that we have some of the worst lyrics and song titles ever by this band, Shitload of Money and stuff like that sounds more like something from a rapper or so than from a band like Sonata Arctica who clearly seems to have lost the ideas for this album and just as I already alluded to, try to make music that is supposed to appeal to the fans. Also it seems a little like they are trying to bridge their contemporary sound with the sound in which their begun their adventures as Sonata Arctica.

Some say that Sonata Arctica has abandoned their metal roots with their latest albums and gone more into pop or rock but that seems a bit like a strange thing to say about a band that started out as a pop band, so they might have been going back to their roots if they convert to a more poppy sound. Thing is though that it sounds a bit like business as usual for Sonata Arctica and they are as metal as they have ever been and as good as they have always been but for me their music has been about melodies, energy and the joy of creating something new and exciting and on this album it feels as though the joy is gone and left is a well produced and well performed album that still ends up feeling no better than average. What that means is that this is the worst studio album by Sonata Arctica, by quite some margin.




Label: Nuclear Blast/Warner
Three similar bands: Stratovarius/Queen/Edguy
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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