Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Amberian Dawn - Magic Forest (2014)

It is almost a shame that the Finnish symphonic power metal band Amberian Dawn has been heavily compared to Nightwish, but there are reasons to why these bands has been compared to each other. Just like Nightwish, Amberian Dawn quickly grew a reputation as a fast playing band that mixed heavy riffs and melodies with the female opera singer Heidi Parviainen behind the microphone. But in 2012, Heidi left the band and was later replaced with Päivi "Capri" Selo, who is a "normal" singer. Most of us know what happened to Nightwish when they went through the same phase, Anette Olzon replaced Tarja Turunen, and even though the two albums she was involved in was some of the band's strongest works, she herself was heavily criticized by the fans of the band.

Checking around in some various metal sites and such, I get the feeling like the fans are a little hesitant about the new singer and that most of them wants Heidi back. Even though Capri is a good singer, I can actually agree with these fans, but mostly because it is hard to accumulate from one style of singing to another. We already got some heads up with the best of album "Re-Evolution" where Capri sings on some old Amberian Dawn classics, and she did a pretty decent job, but it was pretty clear that it was not at the same class as the original versions.

Anyway, how is Capri doing in "Magic Forest", the band's 5th studio effort? Well, she is doing a good job and it is clear that the band has succeeded in writing songs that fits Capri's voice while still maintaining the typical Amberian Dawn sound. I still miss Heidi though, but that does not take away that Capri is a great replacement for the band.

The music itself is nothing surprising, solid and melodic power metal at its finest. However, I do miss some of the craziness that the band usually brings in the guitar department, especially in the solos. Sure you can do a great solo without shredding until your fingers bleed, but it was one of the trademarks of Amberian Dawn in their early career and one of the things that made me a fan of the band. There are however very little in the music I can complain about, even if most of the songs in "Magic Forest" has been done before in any other of the band's albums. I also feel that the album starts of good with strong songs like "Cherish My Memory" and "Magic Forest", but it becomes weaker and more anonymous the longer it goes.

But in the end, "Magic Forest" is just another solid album by the band, and it is definitely a step forward from the lackluster effort known as "Circus Black". The band has made it as easy as possible for Capri to fit in the Amberian Dawn formula, and she is doing a wonderful job fitting in. So do not mourn over Heidi's departure, be happy over that Amberian Dawn still creates highly enjoyable melodic power metal.

Songs worthy of recognition: Magic Forest, Cherish My Memory, Sons of The Rainbow

Rating: 7,5/10 Warnings

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