Scandinavian symphonic metal mostly hinges quite fundamentally on a dominant frontwoman, of which Amberian Dawn’s seventh opus ‘Innuendo’ is a prime example.
Fear not, this is not another carbon copy Nightwish-come-Delain. Amberian Dawn are bursting with attitude and self-assurance that accompanies Capri Virkkunen’s bewilderingly diverse vocals. With air punch-inducing, heavy as fuck backing, chaotic beauty seeps out of every pore, ‘Innuendo’ is an outstanding addition to their already incredible back catalogue.
The towering instrumentals of opener ‘Fame and Gloria’ demonstrate guitarist Tuomas Seppala’s talents from the onset. Followed by the aptly-named ‘Ladyhawk’, this dominant, determined and devastating ethos accompanies Capri’s commanding tones. “Is my life perfect?” she questions through the title track, as Jukka Hoffren’s trudging bass counts down the seconds in support.
The infectious guitars take centre stage for the renaissance decadence of ‘The Court of Mirror Hall’, followed swiftly by the glittering ‘Angelique’, serene and well worthy of a soundtrack. In contrast, the sassy independence of ‘Rise of the Evil’ proves as contagious and confrontational as you’d come to anticipate from the domination of symphonic infusions these days. Capri’s vocal range is outstanding throughout, but perhaps showcased at its most glorious through ‘Chamber of Dreadful Dreams’, accompanied by an impeccable solo to intensify its racing tempo.
‘Knock Knock Who’s There’ emerges as a wildly theatrical Eurovision-esque anthem, framed by nostalgic synth as contagious as a gothic Frozen soundtrack. Linking swiftly onto the equally infectious ‘Symphony 1’, the epic production adds truckloads of atmosphere, providing an appropriate backing to a rather less child-friendly movie.
Amberian Dawn’s ability to manipulate and inspire is fiercely dominant throughout ‘Innuendo’, producing a well-rounded collection of atmospheres and emotions laced with the professionalism owed to their near decade of experience.
Track Listing: Fame & Gloria, Ladyhawk, Innuendo, The Court of Mirror Hall, Angelique, Rise of the Evil, Chamber of Dreadful Dreams, Knock Knock Who’s There, Symphony nr 1 Part 1 – The Witchcraft’, Your Time – My Time.
Päivi “Capri” Virkkunen – Vocals
Tuomas Seppälä – Guitar & Keyboards
Emil “Emppu” Pohjalainen – Guitars
Jukka Hoffren – Bass
Joonas Pykälä-aho – Drums