Amberian Dawn – Magic Forest

Metal:
Amberian Dawn
Version:
MP3
Price:
£11.83

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On August 19, 2014
Last modified:September 3, 2014

Summary:

Overall, this is a good effort. Each band member is giving it their all here but there is nothing that pushes this beyond being a good stab at the genre.

Still, it is worth listening to for the truly excellent moments throughout.

The melodic symphonic power metal genre is a tough one to nail creatively; there all so many bands out there that all are doing the same thing. Or at least, sound like they are. Then there is the other challenge of remaining open to the public and bringing in non-melodic symphonic power metal fans.Amberian Dawn - Magic Forest

Amberian-Dawn-Magic-ForestPower metal is divisive, female fronted symphonic power metal is very divisive. Nightwish would be the best example of perfect crossover ability and mainstream success. Due to them being the most successful at it, and also, setting the standard for this genre. I’ve played in a female fronted melodic symphonic power metal band myself. I know first-hand that there is not much love for bands of the genre. Why? Well, it is due to a number of factors. And these range from rather random to well founded. The big ones to avoid: Über long songs, poor overly exposed production and grating female vocals. Everything else can be, and very often is, undone if these are within the core make up of a band or a band’s release. With that said, let’s look at the new release from the Finnish Band, Amberian Dawn. “Magic Forest” is the group’s sixth release and the first with new singer Capri Virkkunen. This genre is very different to grow or really sound unique. If it’s good, you sound like Nightwish. While one the other hand, if you sound bad, you get mocked for sounding like a bad Nightwish. This cripples this release. Amberian Dawn are a very technical and talented group but their choosing genre really hurts them. I love the production of this record; everything sounds crisp and it is a credit to the sound engineer. At times, it sounds like “Once” far too often, but again, that is the side effect of this style of music. I guess that’s a “good thing”? “Warning” shows a lot of promise; it’s fast paced with a great pumping bass line married with the guitar. Everyone kills it on this track. The solo in “Cherish My Memory” is excellent, as is the chorus. This is a cracking and fun way to open an album.  I just love it and you will too! “Son of Rainbow” is another fast one and it continues to underline where this band excels. Fast, catchy tunes need to become this band’s MO.

The title track and single “Magic Forest” starts of well (it’s very Nightwish) but then dips into The “Phantom of the Opera” in the verses for some reason. Literally, I think it’s even in the same key. Sadly, there is not much here outside of a good start and a catchy chorus. Songs like “Endless Silence” and “Dance of Lies” don’t help show off what this band can do, in my humble opinion. They’re the duds on the album. Finally, “Agonizing Night” has some nice riffs, sounds beautiful and packs a serious punch but the vocals are lacking and it pulls you out of the song entirely. A true shame. Overall, this is a good effort. Each band member is giving it their all here but there is nothing that pushes this beyond being a good stab at the genre. Sadly, at its best, they sound like 2005 era Nightwish. Still, it is worth listening to all the same for the truly excellent moments throughout.

“Magic Forest” was released on July 7th via Napalm Records.
Tracks:
01 – Cherish My Memory
02 – Dance Of Life
03 – Magic Forest
04 – Agonizing Night
05 – Warning
06 – Son Of Rainbow
07 – I’m Still Here
08 – Memorial
09 – Endless Silence
10 – Green–Eyed

Amberian Dawn are:
Tuomas Seppälä – Keyboards
Joonas Pykälä-aho – Drums
Emil “Emppu” Pohjalainen – Guitars
Kimmo Korhonen – Guitars
Päivi “Capri” Virkkunen – Vocals

Links:
amberiandawn.com
twitter.com/amberiandawn
www.facebook.com/amberiandawn

Overall, this is a good effort. Each band member is giving it their all here but there is nothing that pushes this beyond being a good stab at the genre. Still, it is worth listening to for the truly excellent moments throughout.

About Darragh O'Connor

Writer/Reviewer @SunWrestling and freelance journalist. Bassist for hire. Check out my passion black metal project Horrenda: https://horrenda.bandcamp.com/