Sonata Arctica – Stones Grow Her Name

Musical genius answering the name Tony Kakko has succeeded in making his band a world extravaganza. No, please do not get this the wrong way, I do believe that every member of the band is a splendid musician. However… the singer of S.A. is a real frontman, the actual group mastermind. He’s the one writing all the songs, music and lyrics, and then orchestrating them along with his bandmates. The way he’s perceiving music in its entirety is unique… I bet that this specific megamind has hanged a Queen poster over his wall, which he’s gazing at every day. “Soon I’ll have my night at the opera… And then my day at the races… Soon I’ll unleash my magic to the world”.  

I guess it’s time for reward… The Finnish are back with their own Queen blueprint. This is how Rock would sound if ten different bands collaborated. This is a brand new, Queenical proportions “Physical Graffiti”, in terms of its variety and song diversity. Sonata Arctica pretty much play whatever comes to mind. No tugs allowed! Kakko and Klingenberg (keyboards) have both stated in the past they consider the band more Rock than Power Metal. This album is basically the bill at the end of the day, confirming their Rock roots. Several musicians participate (sax players, viola players, banjo players – nuh, Ritchie Blackmore is not present here) plus Timo Kotipelto!

Opening track “Only the broken hearts (make you beautiful)” is a Hard Rock baroque thing, featuring multiple Pop elements and a bunch of Queen stuff. Elias is playing wonders here… Then… Well, then you’ll have to buckle up cuz we’re gonna crash big time! “Shitload o’ money” is Rock, Disco, lyrical, Glam… It’s crazy! One can even listen to Balkanic motifs. How the heck do they conceive all those things? Yep… Must be that musical genius we were talking about…

Wild guitars and perplexed themes invade “Somewhere close to you”. Chorus is reminding us of the Eurovision song contest, however, the melody is so good we simply don’t care!

“I have a right” is the first single and video of the album. The melody is enchanting. Kakko said this was the last song he wrote for this album; it’s a nice story, too. Drummer Tommy Portimo had just finished his parts and he was looking forward to relaxing, maybe going to the steam room… Yeah, right… Text message arrives. “Check your mail. I’ve got another easy track for you”. Naturally the drummer becomes an angry lion…

What do you say we continue with the mid-tempo-ballad-something songs, like “Alone in Heaven”? Pretty smooth chorus, around six hundred backing voices, an acoustic guitar next to the electric… Next song: “The day”… “I’m gonna make breakfast… Paper says the company will lay off five thousand souls today”… I can even spot Springsteen elements here and Broadway lightings…

Btw, this is the moment we say goodbye to gravity. “Cinderblox” is on, featuring a country intro, humpa elements; the violin is playing, the banjo is painting and it’s a country party! “Wildfire” is a sixteen minute long folk project (the very continuance of the first same-title song off the “Reckoning Night” album?), performed in two parts. It’s a western story with a Pop background.  

I don’t know what their fans think about this one, I don’t have a clue how the Press is gonna receive it; I do believe that the Finnish dudes are only thinking that Music is just one! Have a good listening!