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Amberian Dawn - 'Darkness Of Eternity' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f1/48/c5/amberian-dawn-darkness-of-eternity-46-1519680136.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 26, 2018    
 
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A mighty fine addition to an already impressive résumé.

Finnish band Amberian Dawn have been on the periphery of the female-fronted Symphonic Metal scene since their inception in 2006, but never quite attaining the success levels of the genre's big guns like Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica and the like. Successfully marrying a technically complex Power Metal sound with glorious Symphonic arrangements, and the type of captivating harmonies that seem to be child's play for the majority of Scandinavia's song-writers, it's almost as if the disparity between the heavier, Progressive element to their sound and the sumptuous ABBA-orientated melodies create a rift that the average Metalhead is discouraged by.

You could argue that Amberian Dawn's sound has become more accessible since singer Päivi "Capri" Virkkunen joined the ranks in 2012. Virkkunen's vocals (for the most part) remain in the middle range and are therefore much less stratospheric than her classically-trained predecessor – Operatic Soprano Heidi Parviainen. All this is discernibly constructed around the sweeping keyboards of Tuomas Seppälä creating a grandiose soundscape where the guitars mostly underpin the arrangements rather than dominate them,

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Though the likes of opener and first single 'I'm The One', 'Dragonflies', 'Abyss' and 'Ghostwoman' are bombastic, classically-inspired Power Metal anthems with a Progressive undercurrent, the quite stunning melodies are the principal elements that elevate the songs way above the norm. It's unavoidable to ignore the ABBA influence that permeates throughout the vocal arrangements (the clever double-tracking of Virkkunen's voice reinforcing the comparison) and indeed the melodies as a whole – admire them or not, you can't deny that Björn (Ulvaeus) and Benny (Andersson) unquestionably knew how to write a great song.

In fact, when Amberian Dawn ease back on the Power Metal stylings in favour of a lighter, almost Pop-like approach, as on 'Sky Is Falling' and 'Maybe', the resulting songs wouldn't have sounded out of place on the Swedish superstars' 'The Visitors' album. The completely orchestral closer 'Symphony Nr.1 Part 2 – Darkness Of Eternity' (the sequel to 'Symphony Nr.1, Part 1 – The Witchcraft' from previous album 'Innuendo') also shows the depth and skill of Seppälä's composition artistry.

It remains to be seen whether 'Darkness Of Eternity' will be the album to elevate Amberian Dawn to the A-list of Symphonic Metal – it should, but whatever happens, it's a mighty fine addition to an already impressive résumé.

Ant Heeks

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