Label : Grailight Productions

Review by Vard Aman

Ambehr was founded in Armenia in 1995 and moved to Russia in 1998, first to St. Petersburg and then to Moscow where they are still based. “Amber Dreamland” is their fourth full length studio album. Describing Ambehr’s sound is a no easy task – they are one of the most unique, original and diverse bands around. They play a variety of styles, but none of the styles they play are typical in any way, and yet it all comes together in a sound that is unmistakably Ambehr. Their roots are still noticeably Armenian (providing you know what “Armenian roots” sound like so that you can notice it – otherwise they’ll just be a band unlike any other you would have heard before – which they are anyway). The term “Amber Metal” has been used before, so let’s stick with it. Think Folk Metal mixed with Power Metal mixed with Progressive Metal but not like any of the kinds of Folk, Power and Progressive you’ve ever heard before – now add to it bits of Traditional Metal, Death, Thrash, Glam and Hard Rock. Sorry, I just cannot do better than that – you’re just going to have to buy the album and listen to it yourself. One of the most noticeable elements of Amber Metal is the dual vocal style of Art and Marina. Most of the time they sing together, complimenting or harmonizing with each other, with some occasional solo vocals from one of them. Both vocalists are very accomplished and very versatile, which they’d need to be to pull off this kind of music. Marina’s singing style ranges from folk to operatic soprano, and everything in between; and Art’s from standard clean vocals to a more Power Metal style of singing and to growls… and everything in between. “Amber Dreamland” is a concept album, with all the songs covering the topics of fairy tales and childhood dreams (or their “dreams of Amber Land” as Marina put it in my recent interview with her). All the songs are in English (with an occasional Armenian passage – in “Nothing to Die For”) except for “Garnan Aravot” (“Spring Morning”) which is sung entirely in their native Armenian. The songs are catchy, melodic and generally upbeat – as one would imagine songs about the dreams of Amber Land would be. The production on “Amber Dreamland” is crystal clear and the songwriting is excellent. This album also features some outstanding guitar work (you can substitute “outstanding” with “blazing” or “killer” if you like – you get my drift). All the tracks on “Amber Dreamland” are really good, but the diversity of the music on this album will no doubt mean that everyone who listens to it will pick different favourites. I can mention mine: “Proud Heart”, “Prince”, “Oriental”, “All Goes”, “Garnan Aravot” and most of all, the titletrack  – it is the slowest track on the album with almost doom-like progressions and melodies, it creates a slightly brooding retrospective atmosphere but with an almost ecstatic and climatic feel to it. It’s a beautiful piece of music indeed! There is not much more I can really say here, other than that you need to buy this album! It would be a good idea to hunt down their previous releases as well; and their new Russian album “Bezdna” (which was recorded at the same time as “Amber Dreamland”) is due for release in a few months at the time of writing this review.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Proud Heart
  2. Prince
  3. Love Story
  4. Amber Dreamland
  5. Oriental
  6. All Goes
  7. Let’s Go Down
  8. Nothing to Die for
  9. A Day in Gehard
  10. Garnan Aravot
  11. Magic Wand

 

Line Up

  • Marina – Vocals
  • Igor – Guitars
  • Art – Bass & Vocals
  • Hrant – Drums 

 

Links

MySpace