According to Timo Isoaho of Finland's Soundi magazine, Finnish melodic metallers SONATA ARCTICA will enter the studio in late September to begin recording their new album for a tentative April 2014 release. Vocalist Tony Kakko has written around 50 songs for the follow-up to 2012's "Stones Grow Her Name", with plans to track and mix the effort over a three-month period.
Regarding the musical direction of SONATA ARCTICA's next CD, Kakko told Soundi that he has come up with some "diverse and versatile" material this time around, and that "at least the slower and heavier stuff will find its place on next record." The band is planning to make a slightly heavier and "more metal" album than "Stones Grow Her Name", which was certified gold in Finland for sales in excess of 10,000 copies. Kakko also revealed that he has composed a 10-minute song for the new SONATA ARCTICA LP, but he wasn't sure if the track was going to make its way onto the finished product.
Released in Europe on May 18, 2012 and in North America on May 22, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records, "Stones Grow Her Name" was recorded in several studios all over Finland, mixed at Sonic Pump Studios by Mikko Karmila and mastered at Chartmakers by Svante Forsbäck. The effort was released as a limited-edition digipak, standard jewel case, vinyl and download.
"Stones Grow Her Name" sold around 2,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 9 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.