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Stones Grow Her Name
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A poor album by a usually consistant band. It sounds nothing like their previous output, if you liked albums like Ecliptica you would think it was a totally different band.

We know they did it deliberately but everything from the meaningless title, through the cod glam rock of "S***load of Money", to the completely sprawling mess of the last track is a misfire. Chuck in the misplaced banjo's on "Cinderblox" and the Boy Band lyrics on "I have a right" and you have a real mish mash that just doesn't work on any track.

I am a big fan of this band but I struggle with all the positive reviews for this as it is just frankly poor and has none of their hallmark elements.

Its inventive and as ever the musicianship is good, but I can't see who it would appeal to. Maybe I would recommend it to people who didn't like them ??
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2012
Diversity or a big sprawling mess? It's a bit difficult to tell with the new Sonata Arctica album. On the one hand, there are some songs that are catchy, memorable and impressive (the sheer crunch of 'Somewhere Close To You' is enough to blow away the cobwebs for a start), but other songs flirt dangerously with the trite and banal. Take 'I Have A Right'. While basing a song around the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child seems like a worthwhile thing to do, just because it's an important cause doesn't automatically guarantee a wonderful song. What's on offer here is profoundly lightweight and, well, just not very interesting. And there are other songs that fall into this category, most notably the ballad 'Don't Be Mean'. Even the song 'The Day', which starts beautifully and has a fairly interesting lyrical theme, loses its way a bit towards the end.

That said, when the band get it right, they do so in some style. 'Only The Broken Hearts' and 'Losing My Insanity' are powerful, driving rockers and the decision to include a banjo on 'Cinderblox' is a sign of a particularly demented kind of musical genius.

In conclusion, the album is well worth trying, despite its flaws. Just be aware that, rather like walking on stony ground, you might find the experience a bit... uneven.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2012
I like this album a lot. It is complex yet catchy, heavy and also very soft in places. I have been listening to Sonata Arctica for several years now and after buying the amazing Winterhearts Guild (2003) I have gradually collected all their back catalogue. Strangely for a band with 7 studio albums of original material I have never been disappointed with anything I have bought of theirs.

If you've heard Sonata Arctica before then expect a combination of the catchy Reckoning Night (2005) and perhaps a few of the complex bits from the wonderful Unia (2007). A clever album, almost immediately accesible but full of little hooks which keep me coming back for more. I have listened to very little else over the past week.

If you have never heard Sonata Arctica before then I would describe them as follows:

Hard Rock/Metal with a bit of Speed from time to time, slightly symphonic with rousing anthems. Technically brilliant and very varied with a truly beautiful emotional element.

I actually would give this album 4.5 stars if possible. It is better than a 4 star album but because I have listened to Sonata Arctica a lot in the past I kind of have an emotional attachment to some of their earlier albums.

In summary this is very close to their best and I like it more every time I listen to it but my personal favourite albums by Sonata Arctica are:

Ecliptica (2000)
Winterherarts Guild (2003)
Reckoning Night (2005)
Unia (2007)

I doubt that you will be disappointed.
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on 18 October 2012
I'm not a big "power metal" fan, but I've always loved Sonata Arctica because their albums are full of clever writing, song structures and well crafted songs. I don't think they will ever top the brilliant Winterhearts Guild, but this is another soild effort.

It's quite a light album, but the guitars are sound clean and powerful, and Tony's vocals soar elegantly them. The bass and drums sound good too, this album is definately well produced.

It starts with the quickpaced "Only The Broken Hearts" and quickly leads into one of the standout Tracks on this Album "s**tload of money" which is very groove laden, and almost southern rock sounding, and is a killer sing along anthem. "Losing My Insanity" is another quick, bouncy song...

... and then the momentum stalls a little, with the next few tracks slowing down, and all being quite ballady, with the exception of Cinderblox, which is a stomping almost folky number and is the strongest song in this middle section by far. This usual good pacing of Sonata Arctica's albums seemed to have failed them here, and by time the rather woeful "Don't Be Mean" comes on, you almost want to hit the off button...

And then you come to the final two tracks, Wildfire, PT II and Pt III... and these are by far the standout tracks on this album. They have all the trademarks of this bands sound and are the closest to "epic" songs on this album.[7:54 and 7:57 mins long respectively] They take you on twist and turns and the songs are beautfully crafted. It's a bit of a shame the middle few songs [aside from Cinderblox] are quite mediocore and not very memeroable at all.

If your new to this band, definately get the phenominal Winterhearts Guild first. If your a fan, you could do to worse than this album but don't expect to be blown away. All in all this is a solid, if unspectacular album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2014
He was born to rock and enjoys listening to as much of it as is possible. This was just what he wanted.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2012
Without a doubt Sonata Arctica's most mature and `musical' effort to date. Sonata Arctica have transcended the genres of power, prog and melodic metal with this gem but don't panic metalheads as it is still METAL ... breathtakingly awesome metal! Always a talented band Sonata have taken the next step and one time comparisons with countrymen Stratovarius (who I love, don't get me wrong) are now irrelevant. Nobody makes metal like this - support this band now and buy this album!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2012
Quite simply bloody awesome.
The Cover is great and plays well too. An overall enthralling experience enjoyed by us all.
Yay!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2012
One of the best studio records from one of finland's ultimate best. This latest effort is more aggressive, die hard fans of sonata arctica will love this studio album. The technical elements of the album is of one of their best works of all time.
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