Label : Spinefarm Records

Review by Tony Cannella

The Finnish symphonic metal band Amberian Dawn has come a long way since their inception in 2006 and their debut in 2008. With their 4th and latest album, “Circus Black” the band continues to emerge from the shadow of fellow Finns Nightwish and maintain a steady path to move onwards and upwards.The bombastic, beautifully lush “Circus Black” starts things off and is followed by “Cold Kiss”. For this song lead vocalist Heidi Parvainen is joined by Stratovarius front man Timo Kotipelto for an amazing duet. For the next song “Crimson Flower”, the band is joined by Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson for a song that really revolves around the remarkable operatic vocals of Heidi. Guest keyboardist Jens Johansson is allowed to go off on his own for a bit in this song, he was also once upon a time a member of Yngwie Malmsteen’s revolving door of musicians and the guitar solo and keyboard part remind me a bit of the Swedish guitar wiz. “Crimson Flower” would make a great video track from this album. “Charnel’s Ball” is a slower paced song with a huge operatic/symphonic feel to it. “Fight” is just a fast paced power metal tune, which once again recalls the past glories of Yngwie as well as Stratovarius. Of course the operatic vocals are what set it apart from those two bands. Other highlights include: “Letter”, “I Share With You This Dream” and the excellent instrumental “Rivalry Between Good and Evil”. I am not really a fan of instrumentals but this is one of the better ones I’ve heard in a long time, and it is a great moment where the musicians are left alone to show their phenomenal talents. “Circus Black” is another strong achievement for Amberian Dawn and may be their most ambitious effort yet. Is it their best? That’s hard to say, each album has its own charm and “Circus Black” is a great addition to their catalog. Time may tell if this is the album that pushes Amberian Dawn over-the-top.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Circus Black
  2. Cold Kiss
  3. Crimson Flower
  4. Charnel’s Ball
  5. Fight
  6. Letter
  7. I Share With You This Dream
  8. Rivalry Between Good and Evil
  9. Guardian
  10. Lily of the Moon

 

Line Up

  • Heidi Parvainen – Vocals
  • Kasperi Heikkinen – Guitars
  • Kimmo Korhonen – Guitars
  • Tuomas Seppala – Keyboards
  • Jukka Koskinen –Bass
  • Heikki Saari – Drums

 

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