Amberian Dawn – “River of Tuoni” (2008)


Label: Suomen Musikki

Review by John Davies

Amberian Dawn’s debut release is one of the most anticipated albums to come out since Nightwish’s “Dark Passion Play”. I know a lot of people have been waiting anxiously for this album. Coincidently, this band is also from Finland and I really think they are on par with Nightwish as far as the quality of their music goes. Amberian Dawn have put together an outstanding collection of symphonic power metal songs that will leave everyone more than delighted when they finally get their hands on a copy of this CD. I pre-ordered mine by the way and promptly received it only a few days after the official release date, and I’m way over here in North America. Everyone has probably already heard the opening track “River of Tuoni” on the band’s MySpace site, but it’s nice to hear it at better quality. It’s a strong, well crafted song, and it certainly sets the tone for the rest of the album, which is loaded with wonderful, enchanting melodies carried by superb metal guitars and intricate keyboards. Vocalist Heidi Parviainen gives a flawless performance throughout, and sings almost entirely in an operatic style. In the future, I would perhaps like to hear a little more variety in range from Heidi. Most of the songs are fairly lively and upbeat, with staccato rhythm guitars and a lot of double kick drums. I found the kick drums a little too busy at times but they do help to keep the level of excitement on a high level. The guitar and keyboard solos are very impressive, showing the strong musical abilities inherent in this band. Most of the songs have very stirring instrumental intros. There is actually very little evidence of any orchestral components. In fact, I don’t think there are any, other than some kettle drums. There are some choir parts, but they are very subdued and hardly noticeable. Their songs are not written on as grand a scale as some other bands of this genre might do. There are no epic masterpieces, most songs being roughly three and a half minutes long. But the quality is certainly there. And the sophistication is such that each track is almost like a little mini epic. The guitar and keyboard parts are very detailed, breathing life into each of the rousing tracks. All the music is written by guitarist Tuomas Seppala and Heidi Parviainen writes all of the rather poignant lyrics. Basically, between the excellent musicianship and the beautiful caressing vocals, this is a total winner and an exceptional debut release that the band should be very proud of. I can’t imagine anyone into symphonic/gothic style metal not being very impressed by this album. I will be looking forward to more exhilarating music from this band in the future.

Rating – 90/100



  1. River of Tuoni
  2. Wings Are My Eyes
  3. Lullaby
  4. Valkyries
  5. Fate of the Maiden
  6. My Only Star
  7. The Curse
  8. Passing Bells
  9. Sunrise
  10. Evil Inside Me


Line Up

  • Heidi Parviainen – Vocals
  • Tuomas Seppälä – Lead Guitar, Keyboards
  • Kasperi Heikkinen – Rhythm Guitar on tracks #7 #9, Guitar Solo on track # 9
  • Tom Sagar – Keyboards
  • Tom Joens – Bass 
  • Heikki Saari – Drums, Percussion 
  • Joonas Pykälä-aho – Drums, Percussion 



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