With Stones Grow Her Name, Sonata Arctica, the reigning kings of Finnish power metal, may be throwing their fans a curve ball. This is not your usual Sonata Arctic album or not; it's similar but different.
Strictly speaking, it's not all the power metal we come to expect from the band. Nor, as of Unia and Days of Grays, is it overtly laced with prog nuances. Yet, both are still there.
Curiously, the album is book ended by opposites. The first to songs, Only the Broken Hearts and Shitload O' Money, are simply quite catchy melodic hard rock. The last two songs, Wildfire Parts II & III (possibly revisiting the song from Reckoning Night), are classic Sonata Arctica progressive power metal. In between, well, it's an eclectic gathering of tunes.
Losing My Insanity could be power metal by its pace, but merely sounds like speedy melodic hard rock. Then there's I Have a Right and The Day, two songs that seem to return to more of the melodic rock, even AOR side. The former is the first single and video from the album, an arena-sized anthem worthy of this band. (Watch the video below.) Alone In Heaven nears metal power ballad status, but rings more of that anthem feel. The curious Don't Be Mean is what, a ballad of sorts, perhaps a torch song.
Ultimately, the best part of Stones Grow Her Name, besides the cool album title, is that it keeps you guessing. Actually, while the two parts of Wildfire are typical Sonata Arctica prog power metal, I think the best stuff precedes these songs. Call the album eclectic or simply different, but I think you'll like it. Very recommended.
The best part of Sonata Arctica's Stones Grow Her Name, besides the cool album title, is that it keeps you guessing. Here's the band offering something more and different beyond their usual prog power metal.