Sonata Arctica
Stones Grow Her Name
Style: Melodic Power Metal
Release date: 18 May, 2012
Playing time: 53:14

With the predecessor 'The Day of Grays'  the band showed a more progressive side of the band. On this seventh album they don't exploit the progressive sound any further, they sound a lot more straight forward and to the point. The guitars sound a bit heavier and the songs differ quite a lot.

The first two tracks are rather average straight to the point songs. With the third track it gets more interesting, the song starts with classical piano and is the first track with more tempo. The galloping guitar riff makes this an interesting track. Sometimes I get the idea that I am listening to pop songs in a metal jacket. In "Somewhere Close to You" the guitars are very crispy and crunchy and it is one of the heaviest Sonata Arctica tracks to date. Their first single "I Have a Right" is in my eyes a little bit too wimpy, you can sing a-long after just one listen and why does the Scrorpions enter my mind?

With "Alone in Heaven" the music gets more serious, with more surprises and depth. "The Day" is a track with nice piano parts and "Cinderbox" with banjo and Hammond organ; sounds like a fast country metal song. The sensitive ballad "Don't Be Mean" is one the fans will like and has some nice violins in it.

The last 2 tracks are more epic ones and are two of the better tracks Sonata Arctica has ever written. Especially in "Wildfire, Part II" we hear beautiful influences of the band Queen. It is a bombastic, theatrical and epic song. The last track shows again the more heavier side, with speed parts and some aggressive singing of Tony Kakko. With this album Sonata Arctica has evolved again, it is different but the same.

It is definitely Sonata Arctica, but they once more took steps and perhaps some fans won't like it, but after a few spins I'm sure you will be convinced and conclude that this album is better than their last one.


01. Only the Broken Hearts (Make You Beautiful)
02. Shitload O'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

Label: Nuclear Blast
Distribution: Warner Music (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 12 May, 2012