AMBERIAN DAWN
Power Metal / Symphonic Metal • Finland

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Amberian Dawn is a Finnish metal band which combines symphonic metal with neoclassical power metal.

Amberian Dawn is musically lead by keyboardist/guitarist Tuomas Seppälä, who exclusively composes all music for AD. Vocalist Heidi Parviainen adds the finishing touch to the songs with her lyrics.

The story of AD began in the summer 2006 when the founder members, Tuomas Seppälä and Tommi Kuri decided to put together a new band when their former band Virtuocity was disbanding. Tuomas and Tommi recruited Virtuocity drummer Heikki Saari (Norther, Force Majeure, Tuoni), keyboardist Tom Sagar, and guitarist Sampo Seppälä to join the new band. After a fairly short search they found the classical soprano Heidi Parviainen (Iconofear). After a while Sampo Seppälä (guitar) decided to leave the band due to personal reasons. His replacement came in the shape of the powerful guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen (Iconofear, Merging Flare , Guardians of Mankind, Elenium). Heikki Saari moved soon
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Thanks to Stooge for the addition and adg211288, Unitron for the updates

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Darkness Of EternityDarkness Of Eternity
Napalm Records 2017
Audio CD$11.21
$7.35 (used)
Magic ForestMagic Forest
Napalm Records 2016
Audio CD$5.48
$5.47 (used)
InnuendoInnuendo
Import
Napalm Records 2016
Audio CD$8.99
Circus BlackCircus Black
Import
Spinefarm 2012
Audio CD$17.99
End of EdenEnd of Eden
Import
Spinefarm 2010
Audio CD$4.57
$4.84 (used)
Rivers of TuoniRivers of Tuoni
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$7.43
$10.75 (used)
Re-EvolutionRe-Evolution
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$11.82
$11.92 (used)
Amberian Dawn: The Clouds of Northland ThunderAmberian Dawn: The Clouds of Northland Thunder
Import
Imports 2009
Audio CD$32.11
$19.02 (used)
River of TuoniRiver of Tuoni
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2008
Audio CD$8.98 (used)
Clouds of Northland ThunderClouds of Northland Thunder
Import
Ascendance Records 2009
Audio CD$49.99 (used)
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AMBERIAN DAWN Discography

AMBERIAN DAWN albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.82 | 6 ratings
River of Tuoni
Power Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.45 | 5 ratings
The Clouds of Northland Thunder
Power Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.62 | 5 ratings
End of Eden
Power Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 4.31 | 5 ratings
Circus Black
Power Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 3.59 | 5 ratings
Re-Evolution
Power Metal 2013
.. Album Cover 3.47 | 6 ratings
Magic Forest
Symphonic Metal 2014
.. Album Cover 4.16 | 4 ratings
Innuendo
Power Metal 2015
.. Album Cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Darkness of Eternity
Power Metal 2017

AMBERIAN DAWN EPs & splits

AMBERIAN DAWN live albums

AMBERIAN DAWN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ambieran Dawn
Power Metal 2006

AMBERIAN DAWN re-issues & compilations

AMBERIAN DAWN singles (3)

.. Album Cover
1.50 | 1 ratings
Arctica
Power Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cold Kiss
Power Metal 2012
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kokko
Power Metal 2013

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AMBERIAN DAWN Reviews

AMBERIAN DAWN Darkness of Eternity

Album · 2017 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
DippoMagoo
Finnish symphonic power metal band Amberian Dawn has long been one of my favorites in the genre, but at the same time, I’ve always felt they had potential to be even better than they are if they could just be a bit more consistent with their songwriting quality. They’ve released some excellent albums in the past, to be sure, with 2009’s The Clouds of Northland Thunder, 2011’s Circus Black and 2015’s Innuendo being my personal favorites. However, I find even their best albums always manage to fit in one or two tracks that don’t quite do it for me, as the band often goes for some oddball tracks, some of which deliver big time and end up as major highlights, while others fall flat and end up stalling momentum on their respective albums. I’ve said all this to say, out of every album Amberian Dawn has released so far, Darkness of Eternity, their seventh full-length release, and one I was highly anticipating, is easily their most frustrating, inconsistent release to date, with some tracks that match their career highlights, while others simply feel odd and out of place on a metal album, and it all makes for a release where you can have songs placed together that conflict with each other and are so strikingly different, it feels like you suddenly switched to a different album. With all that being said, the high points of the album are good enough to make it easily worth enduring the low points, and it’s still a quality album overall, but it’s also incredibly frustrating.

Every Amberian Dawn album to date has a had a mix of different styles, ranging from speedy symphonic power metal with excellent guitar riffs and epic keyboard solos, to slower, more theatrical tracks, all while mixing in some classical flavoring throughout. All of this is true on Darkness of Eternity, however, while the speedy power metal portions are still intact on a few tracks here, a couple of which can be considered among the band’s best work to date, I find some of the slower songs here to be a bit off-putting and not really in line with what I want from the band. Obviously, they’ve never been the heaviest, most guitar-driven band in the world, as keyboards and orchestras have always been the most dominant elements of their music, however, some of the tracks here fall into straight up 80’s pop territory. Again, this is something they’ve briefly hinted at on past albums, with “The Court of Mirror Hall” from Innuendo being perhaps the most obvious example, but even a track like that felt more metal and more epic than a few of the tracks on this album. Take, for example, the second track, “Sky Is Falling”, a track dominated by bouncy vocal hooks, cheesy, pop-inspired keyboard lines and a catchy, overly pop-infused chorus. There’s absolutely nothing in that track I consider metal in any form, and even the brief flashes of guitar work sound so light as to have no effect, plus I don’t even notice any symphonic elements at all, effectively making the track feel more like a dance-pop track than anything else. I will admit, it’s a decent track in its own right, but I really don’t think it belongs on a metal album, even coming from a band that tends to stay on the lighter side of the genre most of the time. The song especially feels out of place when coming after such a classic sounding power metal track like “I’m the One”, and it’s the first sign that band leader Tuomas Seppälä is perhaps overreaching a bit in his attempts to be creative and ambitious.

Moving onto the biggest positive element of the album, Capri’s vocals remain as strong as they’ve been since she first took over vocal duties on the excellent re-recordings compilation Re-Evolution in 2013. As always, her voice is very powerful and deeper than many other female vocalists in symphonic bands, and she sounds as impressive as ever, be it during the heavier tracks like “I’m the One” and “Dragonflies”, or the lighter, more pop-infused tracks, all while sounding as varied in her approach as ever. In fact, she briefly does some semi-operatic vocals on “I’m the One”, making it an instant highlight. She’s also very effective on the two ballads, as expected, and her vocals are definitely the band’s biggest strength at this point.

Unfortunately, the area where the album struggles the most is in perhaps the most important area of all, that being the songwriting. The band at least gets things off to an exciting start with “I’m the One”, a very speedy, classic sounding symphonic power metal track with some excellent guitar leads, epic symphonic arrangements, a huge, catchy chorus with awesome operatic vocals, and an amazing keyboard solo. For all the flaws in the songwriting department, the band still displays some great musicianship throughout the album and this track is certainly one of the best examples of that. It’s also extremely catchy, while still sounding metal and it would definitely feel right at home on one of the band’s earlier albums. While that song is probably my personal favorite here, “Dragonflies” isn’t too far behind. It has some pretty heavy guitar work throughout, with a darker feel than many of the other tracks, though Capri’s vocals still help add a lighter tone to the track, and she excels throughout as always. It has incredible instrumental sections, with some very chunky guitar riffs and epic orchestras accompanying an excellent keyboard solo, and of course, the chorus is spectacular as well. From a purely instrumental standpoint, I think this is probably the best track on the album, and I love how the guitar manages to have come excellent neoclassical flavoring while still being very heavy. Also in the speedier category, are“Golden Coins” and “Abyss”, with the former again having a very classic Amberian Dawn vibe throughout, with epic keyboards and some very impressive, classical flavored melodies, while the latter is brief but very fun and perhaps the speediest track on the album, with some more excellent keyboard work and vocals.

On the slower side of things, we start with the previously mentioned “Sky is Falling”. I’ve already mentioned why I’m not so fond of it, with the biggest reason being that it really throws off the pacing, being thrown in there right next to such epic speedy tracks as “I’m the One” and “Dragonflies”. Well, I wish I could say it was one-speed bump and that the album fully recovered afterward, but sadly that would be a lie. Two tracks later, we get lead single “Maybe”, another very pop inspired track, with some cheesy keyboards, bouncy vocal lines, a catchy chorus and a general lack of anything resembling metal. Again, I know the band has done tracks like this in the past, but this feels very pop like even by their standards, and while I do slightly notice symphonic elements on this track, they aren’t enough to prevent it from having an “Abba with guitars” feel, and the thing is, if I wanted to hear dance pop, I’d listen to dance pop, not a symphonic power metal album. Even worse, the track feels like it’s cut off at the end, as the keyboard lines simply fade out instead of actually reaching a conclusion. I’ll admit it’s certainly a catchy and well-written track, but it simply isn’t what I want from the band, and that ending does come across as a bit sloppy.

Moving into the second half, there are two ballads and two tracks which feel like a blend between the two dominant styles on the album. Firstly, “Luna My Darling” is a pretty solid track, starting with an epic vocal section before moving onto some bouncy, pop-infused melodies during the verses, which give way to a slightly heavier, more epic chorus. The highlight of the track is in the second half when the music speeds up and we get epic dueling guitar/keyboard solos. See, if I’m going to get obvious pop elements in my symphonic metal, I prefer it to be done in this way, as at least this track has a nice blend of both pop and power metal, and is a nice track overall. Similarly, “Ghostwoman” is a speedy track, which also has a power metal feel to it, though it sounds a lot bouncier than the other up-tempo tracks on the album, especially during the verses, and even the chorus is pretty pop like as well. It’s a fun track, and the chorus is very catchy, though not really one of my favorites. The highlight is the epic guitar solo in the second half.

Lastly, we have the two ballads which close out the album. Yes, just in case the overall flow of the album wasn’t already completely out of whack, the band decided to end with not one ballad, but two ballads! First is “Breathe Again” which starts out slowly and calmly, serving as an excellent showcase for Capri’s vocals, before the music picks up in the second half, with some epic orchestral arrangements and some heavier guitar work at points. It’s an excellent track overall and probably the better of the two ballads. After that, we have the closing title track, which also happens to be the second part of “Symphony Nr.1”, the epic sequence the band started on Innuendo. Where part 1 was an epic, complex symphonic metal track, with many twists and turns, this track is a pure ballad throughout, with some nice classical piano serving as the main focus, though there are also some nice orchestral elements in the background. Capri does a wonderful job as always, and it’s a nice track overall, but because part 1 was so epic and especially because this one serves as a title track, I was expecting a bit more from the track overall.

And that about sums up my feelings towards Darkness of Eternity on the whole: It’s a nice enough album, which at times has some big standout moments that equal some of the band’s best works, but overall it’s simply a messy, inconsistent album that left me wanting a whole lot more. Power metal fans, in particular, are likely to have mixed feelings, as “I’m the One” and “Dragonflies” are sure to get them excited, while many of the more pop-infused tracks are likely to frustrate them just like they frustrate me, and the overall focus on bouncy keyboards over epic symphonic arrangements on many tracks here is a rather puzzling choice, as is the decision to end an already oddly paced album with two ballads. Overall, longtime fans are sure to find some songs here to be satisfying, but I consider this to be Amberian Dawn’s weakest album to date, and I have a hard time recommending it to my fellow metal fans.

originally written for myglobalmind.com: https://myglobalmind.com/2017/11/12/amberian-dawn-darkness-eternity-review/

AMBERIAN DAWN Magic Forest

Album · 2014 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Finland's Amberian Dawn is not a band that I've followed in the past, but it's my understanding that 2014's Magic Forest is an important album in their discography. As their first album of wholly original material without longtime vocalist Heidi Parviainen, Magic Forest serves as a proving ground for new singer Capri. Though she has previous experience in the music industry, her presence in Amberian Dawn marks her first appearance as a frontwoman in a metal group - and even though I'm currently unable to compare Capri to her predecessor, I know that she does a damn good job on Magic Forest.

As a matter of fact, I would say that she even elevates this record from a fairly average symphonic metal outing to something worth hearing for fans of the genre. Comparisons to bands like Epica, Within Temptation, and Nightwish are inevitable when listening to Magic Forest, but Capri's powerful and "rock-inspired" vocal performance serves as a nice contrast from the more operatic styles heard from popular frontwomen like Simone Simons or Tarja Turunen. The music itself is well-written and meticulously arranged, though nothing totally stands out to my ears. While catchy enough, Magic Forest doesn't pack the same punch that recent Epica outings have (perhaps because of this album's general lack of aggression and preference for mid-tempo grooves) and doesn't stand out enough from the crowd to make for a stunning observation.

That being said, Amberian Dawn have absolutely put together a solid collection of tunes for Magic Forest, and fans of symphonic metal will find plenty to enjoy here. As a well-produced, well-performed, and catchy album that features some truly terrific vocals, Magic Forest has enough going for it to warrant a listen from fans and newcomers alike.

AMBERIAN DAWN Magic Forest

Album · 2014 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Magic Forest (2014) is the sixth full-length album by Finnish symphonic power metal act Amberian Dawn. Although Magic Forest is the second album by feature the vocals of new singer Capri it is only the first to feature new material as Re-Evolution (2013) was a re-recordings album of songs from the band's first four records to introduce their new singer. Magic Forest is therefore Amberian Dawn's first new material since Circus Black (2012).

I've actually followed Amberian Dawn since the time of their debut album River of Tuoni (2008) and I was quite surprised when it was announced that after four albums together original vocalist Heidi Parviainen (now in Dark Sarah) was parting ways with the band. Though never a stable band in terms of its personnel it had seemed clear to me that no matter how many line-up changes they had Amberian Dawn could still be Amberian Dawn so long as Heidi Parviainen and Tuomas Seppälä were still there, so the former's departure had me concerned. I did not like her replacement Capri at first at all and I do not think that what the band did on Re-Evolution was really the best way to go to win concerned fans like me over. Fortunately by the time of Magic Forest's release (or rather, my receiving a promo copy of it), thanks in no small part to this album's excellent title track, Capri has won me over.

Despite that I have to say that my experience with Magic Forest as a whole is that Amberian Dawn have served up their weakest album to date here. As I said previously, the title track Magic Forest is brilliant, but it's rare that the band keep things up to that level on the album. The album feels more like a typical symphonic metal album than the neoclassical influenced symphonic power metal sound that I've come to expect of an Amberian Dawn album. I don't detect any neoclassical elements here and the power metal elements have been greatly reduced. They still appear in most songs but only usually in shorts bursts, feeling more like seasoning than the actual flavour of the dish though some songs like Endless Silence are still power metal songs while others including Dance of Life mix symphonic power metal with more traditional symphonic metal ideas. While I do enjoy more straight-forward symphonic metal (and indeed the title track counts as that) the sound of Magic Forest simply feels toned down compared to their older work, like an Amberian Dawn Lite.

The best songs aside from the title track would be Dance of Life (which features Jens Johansson), Endless Silence and Son of Rainbow though I'm Still Here is also pretty good. There's an unfortunate tendency for the rest of the album to feel a bit bland by comparison though. The songs are enjoyable is general but are not the attention grabbers those I singled out are. The real downer though is Memorial where Capri duets with opera singer Markus Nieminen. This singer has featured with Amberian Dawn before on End of Eden (2010) where he sang with Heidi Parviainen on a purely classical based track. I didn't like that song either and having him and Capri together in a metal context doesn't make me enjoy his contribution to Amberian Dawn's music any more, in fact I like the song even less. Memorial simply sounds messy, delivering a real blow to an already below par album.

Magic Forest (the song) got my hopes up for Magic Forest (the album) so it's definitely a disappointment to find that the compositions aren't up to the standard I've come to expect from the band, especially since Capri won me over after my earlier scepticism. I actually ended up enjoying her vocals the most out of everything on this album. 3 Stars because the album is not horrible except for the one exception that I pointed out, but it does come over as very mid-range for the genre with too many ups and downs in quality to really earn even an extra half star.

64/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/amberian-dawn-magic-forest-t3593.html)

AMBERIAN DAWN Re-Evolution

Album · 2013 · Power Metal
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Having released four full-length albums as of 2012, including that year's Circus Black, Finish symphonic power metal act Amberian Dawn surprised their fanbase with the announcement that they were parting ways with their lead singer Heidi Parviainen. The Amberian Dawn line-up has never been exactly stable but this was one change I don't think anyone, especially not me, was expecting. For me there had always been two key figures that made Amberian Dawn what they were, and Heidi Parviainen was one of them (Tuomas Seppälä being the other) due in part to being the group's lyricist, but also because her voice had a non-typical tone for female singers in this genre, which instantly set Amberian Dawn apart for me when I first heard them in 2008 and the debut album River of Tuoni. Although I did think Amberian Dawn needed to up their game after four albums, a singer change wasn't the thing I expected to see.

Re-Evolution is the first album to be released by the band with new singer Capri (real name Päivi Virkkunen) on board. It's one of those ambiguous albums where it's not really clear if it should be considered a full-length or a compilation, because although all new recordings, the contents of the album are all songs that were released before with Heidi across the previous releases. Consider it their fifth studio album or just a special compilation as you like, I for one go into this album with some trepidation either way.

Like with Heidi, Capri has a voice which is non-typical for this genre of metal. She's also very different to Heidi, who was operatic, whereas Capri tends to sing in a much rocky manner despite being classically trained herself. There's actually shades of Nightwish in this singer change although without the drama of that band. Capri is actually pretty good but much more of an acquired taste to my ears than Heidi ever was. I have to admit I didn't like her at all when the band first announced her with some samples of Re-Evolution, but she has grown on me somewhat now that the actual album is here.

I think the real problem with Re-Evolution as an album is not so much that the band has a new singer, but that introducing her by getting her to sing the songs written and sung by her predecessor isn't always the best approach to win existing fans over. I haven't been able to help myself thinking a few times during the course of the album "Who's this girl doing karaoke to Heidi's songs?". That's unfair, I know, because there are moments in re-Evolution that Capri does a good job as Heidi's songs, in fact I quite like her renditions of tracks like Valkyries and Incubus, but there are also songs where she just sounds wrong, such as River of Tuoni or Lily of the Moon.

Seems I've focused a lot of this review on Capri alone, but that should be expected with a release of this nature. The songs themselves are an excellent selection of past Amberian Dawn work. In fact the music has a tendency to sound more powerful than ever at times. I'm not sure how much exactly is rerecorded here, the band advertised it as something like 75% which given the ever changing line-up sounds about right. There's a great energy in their power metal sound and they only included one song from career weak point End of Eden (2010) which is a bonus for the flow of the material.

I'm left with mixed feelings on Re-Evolution. As a fan of their prior work it's been an interesting experience but also only rewarding on an on and off basis. Given time to grow I'm happy with the way it turned out for the most part. It's a good album, but perhaps also an unnecessary one. I prefer Heidi so far out of the two singers Amberian Dawn have had, but I'm hoping that Capri really comes into her own when they release some material that Heidi hasn't already left her mark on. This one feels transitional for the band, moving away from the majestic sound of Heidi's era into something new and more aggressive. I'm more interested to hear the results of that than I initially was, but I have to be honest, Amberian Dawn haven't quite won me back over yet.

74/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/amberian-dawn-re-evolution-t3030.html)

AMBERIAN DAWN Circus Black

Album · 2012 · Power Metal
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Circus Black is the fourth full-length album from Finnish symphonic metal/neo-classical power metal act Amberian Dawn. The release features guest appearances from Stratovarius members Timo Kotipelto (on Cold Kiss) and Jens Johansson (on Crimson Flower). The album was released in 2012, making this the band’s longest break between studio albums, their last being 2010’s End of Eden, which I saw as their weakest album so far, something I personally put down to following an album-per-year cycle that ultimately resulted in a patchy release that contained both some of their best but also some of their weakest tracks. They’ve left it a bit longer between albums this time and thankfully Circus Black sees the band returning to the form of their first two albums River of Tuoni (2008) and The Clouds of Northland Thunder (2009).

In terms of style, nothing has really changed for Amberian Dawn. They still mix symphonic metal with neo-classical power metal, though perhaps not to the exact same extents as their earliest material. All that sets Circus Black above End of Eden is that the writing is more consistent throughout. There are no dud tracks as in the previous album. That’s satisfying for a fan of their past material, but with four releases under their belt I’d have liked the band to develop their sound a lot more than they have been doing by this point. I love Amberian Dawn’s sound, I really do, but even though it overall wasn’t as good, I can’t help feeling that End of Eden was actually a braver album than this one. Circus Black is as playing it safe as playing it safe gets. The lack of surprises is a double-edged sword, on one hand there’s nothing that will backfire on them as with End of Eden’s classical track Virvatulen Laulu, but there’s also nothing that breaks the band any new ground.

To elaborate further, I can’t really fault the songs on offer here for what they are. Circus Black is in all fairness a great album, and I’ll still grade it as such, but I can’t help feeling that the band could be so much more. Symphonic metal can be a very epic form of metal, but Amberian Dawn doesn’t seem prepared to exploit this to the best of their very apparent ability, instead favouring use of pretty standard song structures, most of which clock in with short durations (the longest here is 5:09). The band may flirt with some progressive ideas from time to time, as in The Rivalry Between Good And Evil, but imagine what they would be like if they went the whole hog and combined that and their strong symphonic sound with some longer tracks. They’d create something really special. It’s not that it isn’t epic at all, but it’s all mini-epics. The potential is all there but the tracks are over before it has much chance to get going. Even one or two compositions that pushed the boat out would have helped the album a lot.

This leaves me with concerns for Amberian Dawn’s continued viability within the symphonic metal genre. I remember when they first released their debut River of Tuoni in 2008, and thinking of them as a real contender to be among the genre’s finniest acts but since then they’ve done little to nothing to evolve their sound beyond just being a cut above most acts in the genre, and as much as I still like them, I can’t help feeling that they’re in danger of getting stale. Their next album could really make or break them.

But credit where credit is due it’s also clear after four albums that Amberian Dawn has decided on their sound and it looks like at this stage everything they deliver in the future will just be Amberian Dawn being Amberian Dawn, kind of like a new Motörhead album is Motörhead being Motörhead. That’s fine to a point, if you’re good at what you do and Amberian Dawn definitely are then there’s no shame in that, but at the same time I can’t really justify a score any higher than what I’m giving Circus Black in this review, and in some ways I feel over generous with this.

8.0/10

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

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