REVIEWS ROUND-UP: Week 45 Part 2 – Sinsaenum, Impureza, Scour, Amberian Dawn And More

 

 

The Ghost Cult album round-up is back in town, for your vulgar delectation… Continue reading

Amberian Dawn – Innuendo

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While it may be harsh to put it so bluntly, Finnish metal act Amberian Dawn, to all intents and purposes, spent the first four albums of their recorded lives fannying around with varying levels of success playing pretty generic symphonic metal with all the requisite frippery. Though competent, they walked in Nightwish’s long shadow.

Yet last year, seeds of individuality began to truly blossom, as, with the induction of new vocalist, pop artist Capri, their enchanting fifth album Magic Forest (Napalm) brought together the symphonic, the musicale and the downright ABBA. An endearing album, it serves as the power metal equivalent of the Disney film Enchanted, a mix of fairy tales and mild peril interwoven with upbeat earworms that saw Amberian Dawn begin to truly define themselves for the first time.

Facing that all too prevalent a dilemma, to stick or twist, to super-size the formula, or take a darker turn on it, Amberian Dawn have chosen to return to their previous, more “serious”, musical theatre roots; leaving the joyful jigs and uplifting arias behind, symbolized on the album cover by the moon overlapping the sun. As they embrace the more considered approach of the likes of Kamelot it’s hard not to feel a sense of disappointment as they dive back once again into a pool filled with similar fish, no longer mermaid or something a little sparkly or different; baby, or at least childish individuality, particularly during drab synth-overloaded ballad ‘Angelique’, pretty much discarded along with the bathwater.

Innuendo (Napalm) is, though, expertly constructed “serious” power metal, with Dark Passion Play (Spinefarm/Nuclear Blast/Roadrunner), a strong reference point.  But that sense of cheekiness, naïvety and fun has been replaced, like the child who acts much older than their years, by interring the one thing they should treasure most. The strong ABBA influences they’ve tried hard to bury are allowed only on track eight, ‘Knock Knock, Who’s There’, to escape the restraints of the rest of the albums cloying maturity to play freely.

Never growing up didn’t do Peter Pan any harm…

 

6.0/10

 

STEVE TOVEY