Amberian Dawn

River Of Tuoni

Written by: PP on 11/08/2008 08:58:48

The gothic metal genre is and has been one of the most oversaturated genres in the world aside from metalcore, thanks in part to the mega success of bands like Nightwish, Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil across Europe, and Evanescene in North America. With these bands selling hundreds of thousands of records, plenty of musicians figured that having a high-range female vocalist fronting would thus be an instant recipe for success, but as history tells us today, few (if any) bands were able to match the symphonic godhood of the heavyweights. We\'ve seen bands like The Dogma, Trail Of Tears, Tristania and others waste away due to unoriginal songwriting only attempting to clone others in the genre. But seems like that pattern is changing with Amberian Dawn and their debut album \"River of Tuoni\".

Lets spend a moment analyzing Nightwish before getting into the record. As most readers of this zine will know, their previous album was a fantastic peak at artistic creativity, merging a full-scale orchestra with a power/heavy metal landscape with singer Anette Olsson doing a great job replacing Tarja. But as good as that album was, I bet most of us still miss those ultra-operatic vocal moments that only Tarja was capable of delivering, from \"Century Child\"-era and before. So it seems only appropriate that the one band (and vocalist) claiming her previously uncontested throne also comes from Finland. Amberian Dawn\'s vocalist Heidi Parviainen is the first vocalist I\'ve heard come even close to Tarja\'s operatic heights, and one quick listen to the opening title track or \"Lullaby\" will show you why. Whilst most other gothic vocalists merely have a fragile, silky voice carefully floating above the music, Heidi\'s voice has the same power and ability to impress on first listen as Tarja\'s. The resemblence between the two singers is so close that every time I play \"Valkyries\" to someone new, they always ask \"is that Nightwish?\". I don\'t wonder why either, considering the song, like many others on the album, resembles mid-career Nightwish in every respect, from the tight, hard hitting rhythm section to the ailing power metal hooks and the bombastic melodies.

Some might call this plagiarism, but in a day when Nightwish has become more and more ambitious in a similar vein as Metallica did with \"S&M\", I personally only welcome a band sounding like the Nightwish that doesn\'t exist anymore. \"River Of Tuoni\" is without the doubt the best non-Nightwish gothic metal album released in the last couple of years. You only need to listen to the incredible \"Fate Of The Maiden\" to agree with me on that. As the promo sheets bluntly puts it: \"Amberian dawn is the new symphonic metal sensation from Finland\". Expect this band to be really big in the coming years, if they keep it up.

Download: Fate Of Maiden, Valkyries, River Of Tuoni
For the fans of: Nightwish
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.04.2008
Ascendance Records

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