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.

****1/2

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)
THE COVASETTES Spin (indie)



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