SONATA ARCTICA – Stones Grow Her Name

Nuclear Blast

I know it’s been some time since the Finnish outfit has released this, but I feel I need to put in my two cents on what I think could be their strongest album to date…

The band grabbed my attention when I heard the song “The End of This Chapter”, still one of the greatest power metal songs I’ve heard.  I feel that this is the benchmark for the band and they did not meet that standard again over the years, despite numerous attempts to do so.  Sonata Arctica took a different approach for this work, producing a more mid-tempoed album rather than the speedy songs they are more renowned for releasing.  This is a more mature approach and, as a result, better crafted songs are brought to the fore.  Tony Kakko sounds as good as ever, while the guitars are much heavier and in-your-face…not a bad thing.  Two ballads are on offer here too, to further showcase Sonata Arctica’s capabilities (“Don’t Be Mean” and the bonus track “Tonight I Dance Alone”).

While not what the fans of the speedier Sonata Arctica will want to hear, the heaviness of the majority of the songs may pacify them.  Well-crafted songs, with a touch of finesse here and there, make this arguably their finest release to date.


Nick van der Meulen

In his show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on Sunday 29 March David Randall featured a selection of tracks from “Albums of the Month” (January-March 2020) (29:45)

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HARTMANN 15 Pearls And Gems (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. II (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 GRAHAM GOULDMAN Modesty Forbids (Lojinx)

Power Plays w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)

LOUISE LEMON Devil (Icons Creating Evil Art )
BLACK ORCHID EMPIRE Winter Keeps Us Warm (indie)
ONE DESIRE Shadowman (Frontiers)
CRYSTAL IGNITE Black Mamba (indie)
PICTURESQUE ATTN: (Rude Records/Equal Vision Records)
SKARLETT RIOT Human (indie)

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