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) who turned out to be a perfect match - not only can she sing, she can also write intriguing lyrics and performs her craft effortlessly both on the stage in the studio. Amberian Dawn was finally born! After a
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Thanks to Stooge for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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AMBERIAN DAWN Discography

AMBERIAN DAWN albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.48 | 2 ratings
River of Tuoni
Power Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
The Clouds of Northland Thunder
Power Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
End of Eden
Power Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 4.02 | 2 ratings
Circus Black
Power Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 3.48 | 2 ratings
Re-Evolution
Power Metal 2013
.. Album Cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Magic Forest
Symphonic Metal 2014

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 boxset & compilations

AMBERIAN DAWN singles (2)

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

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AMBERIAN DAWN Reviews

AMBERIAN DAWN Magic Forest

Album · 2014 · Symphonic Metal
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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
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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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adg211288
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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adg211288
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))

AMBERIAN DAWN End of Eden

Album · 2010 · Power Metal
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adg211288
End of Eden is Amberian Dawn’s third album, keeping up with their one album a year output since 2008’s debut River of Tuoni. The band has always played a brand of neoclassical influenced symphonic power metal and Eden of Eden breaks no new territory in that regard, as most of the album follows this same formula as their previous two efforts. The band tries to break some new territory, such as by including an entirely classical piece, Virvatulen Laulu, on the album. Unfortunately that song doesn’t do them any favours, sounding out of place entirely. In all honestly elsewhere on the album Amberian Dawn isn’t exactly providing anything that breaks any new ground in their sound, but fortunately what End of Eden does give the listener is some of the band’s best songs to date, even if as a whole, End of Eden isn’t as solid as River of Touni or The Clouds of Northland Thunder, and may with time be seen as a bit of a stumble on their musical journey.

Two good examples of Amberian Dawn’s best songs are actually the first two tracks on the album, Talisman and Come Now Follow, especially the latter which is one of the album’s best songs overall. There is some really excellent neoclassical guitar going on here (think Yngwie J. Malmsteen style). If you looked at them you’d be forgiven for thinking that Amberian Dawn would be just another Nightwish clone, since all the key elements are present – soprano singer, keyboardist, some heavy guitars, you get the picture. But Amberian Dawn as a band is so much more. Yes, they have those elements of the typical symphonic metal band but they’ve honed that sound to perfection and expanded on it. True, End of Eden isn’t exactly something new for them, so what we really have to look for here is a solid album from a band who promise better to come.

With that said, End of Eden is probably their weakest album to date, and tracks like the aforementioned Virvatulen Laulu and lead single Arctica are the reason why. If you put Virvatulen Laulu aside as an experiment that didn’t really pay off (though it must be said it would sound so much better with just Heidi Parviainen’s vocals and not with guest male vocalist Markus Nieminen), Arctica may just be the band’s weakest song to date. Though it has its moments overall it just generally bores me that sometimes I want to skip it. Why the band choose this track as their lead single I’ll never know. In all honestly after hearing this for the first time I was severely worried about End of Eden being terrible. Fortunately it isn’t, far from it, but this and Virvatulen Laulu really drag down my enjoyment of the album as a whole.

Other highlights include Ghostly Echoes, Sampo, Field of Serpents and City of Corruption. The good does far outweigh the bad on End of Eden, but overall it is just a solid album and very far from a masterpiece, which after two strong albums I was hoping for on their third effort. They do however save one of the really best for last, the seven and a half minute War in Heaven. There is another guest singer here, Peter James Goodman, who has appeared on every Amberian Dawn album to date, but this time with some less clean vocals. Not growls, but somewhere in between. He’s a much more welcome guest than the opera singer from the previous track. Noted keyboardist Jens Johansson also provides some guest keyboard lead here and on the earlier track, City of Corruption.

Despite a couple of dud songs, the band is generally on top form with their performance, especially singer Heidi Parviainen and the guitar work. In fact if it wasn’t for those duds this album probably would be exactly what I had hoped for, but as it is Amberian Dawn still haven’t quite delivered us their masterpiece. Close, but no cigar. It's still worth a fan of the band owning, but I wouldn't advise it as the best starting point for a new listener.

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