"Magic Forest", I had an uneasy feeling that the band's original personality was close to be extinct, and that the extinction would happen in any of the coming album. It certainly seems like I spoke too soon about that.
Released only one year after its predecessor, "Innuendo" is Amberian Dawn's 6th studio album, and it continues on the same road in which the band has been going on for quite some time. While the performance is stupendous as usual, I miss the technicality and speed that the band had in its early phases. No crazy guitar solos, no power songs a la "Lionheart", and no Heidi Parviainen and her opera voice. The only thing remaining is the symphonic aspect of the music, which even seems to be highlighted with the song "Symphony Nr 1, Part 1 - The Witchcraft", a interesting song that acts more like a play than a actual song, which is kind of weird.
Now, I will say this, the cover looks amazing, certainly my favourite cover from the band to this date. It got details, and it just fits the band perfectly. It also displays the music pretty well, those small touches of classical music takes you to some royal masquerade ball some time during the 18th or 19th century. I can imagine that it was a simple time to be alive, no worries about global warming and the phenomenon known as Hipsters had yet to be invented. Splendid!
But back to the music in "Innuendo", I rarely find myself disliking any of the tracks in this album, but I cannot really say that I love any of the tracks. During the short period of time Amberian Dawn has been around, they have created some amazing power metal, so I guess it is easy to compare this with the early material, which really makes it injustice. I tried to disconnect those thoughts, treating "Innuendo" for what it really is, but it just left me feeling the same way anyway. Not saying that the album pure out blows, but it does not blow me away either.
There is still some interesting music in this album, and it certainly meets the standard that the band has established during its existence. The opening act "Fame & Gloria" is one of my favourites with its great instrumentation and a structure that helps in telling the story. It is also one of few songs in which Capri excels with her voice. "Rise of The Evil" catches my attention with its heavy approach, and while the chorus may be tamer than what I want it to be, it is evened out with a terrific two part guitar solo, and the same can be said about "Chamber of Dreadful Dreams". For those who wants more classic AD, listen to "Ladyhawk" and the title track
"Innuendo" is a charming little album, with a nice old fashioned personality that fits the band as well as the fantasy did in the previous album. The music might not be as strong as one would hope, but it is certainly still enjoyable. With that said, I still find the early material to be better and more exciting, and no, it is not because of the opera vocals. Bring more insanity to the music please, and loosen up on being as fancy as a upper class citizen.
Songs worthy of recognition: Rise of The Evil, Fame & Gloria, Innuendo
Rating: 6,5/10 Ladyhawks