When I hopped onto this bands wagon last year, the release of Amberian Dawn’s latest addition ‘Magic Forest’ marked the first studio album with vocalist Päivi “Capri” Virkkunen. At that time I was impressed by the high quality of the music, of the vocals and of the production. Most of the music was pretty catchy and the listener could easily be carried away by the beauty of Capri and her voice. Let’s see if ‘Innuendo’ can reach the pretty high standards the band put for itself.
The most difficult thing task for Amberian Dawn could easily have been the writing of original music. There are so many symphonic power metal bands that it’s very hard to be unique these days. The addition of an amazing female vocalist, Capri, helps a lot, but it remains a difficult thing. The main songwriter behind Amberian Dawn, guitarist and keyboard player Tuomas Seppälä, stated that he was influenced by Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio, while ABBA was one of his favorites as a youngster.
ABBA, exactly the band that I was thinking about when listening to ‘Innuendo’. When I thought that the Swedish Amaranthe was kind of like ABBA, the resemblance was there in the use of male and female vocals. Now, with Amberian Dawn, the comparison can be drawn between a couple of individual tracks. For example, ‘Knock Knock Who’s There’ is a heavier and faster ABBA track. Also ‘The Court Of Mirror Hall’ and ‘Ladyhawk’ are very much like pop inspired tracks.
If I’m comparing individual tracks, I should also mention that the opening track ‘Fame & Gloria’ is very similar to ‘Magic Forest’, the title song of the previous album. It’s a fast paced, pretty good track, but it’s way too much of the same when compared to ‘Magic Forest’. Of the ABBA tracks, ‘The Court Of Mirror Hall’ is definitely the best. It’s the ultimate catchy, fast paced power metal song, with an ABBA feel to it. A high quality track that’s high above most symphonic power metal bands standards.
The absolute highlights on ‘Innuendo’ are the ones that completely rely on Capri’s magnificent voice. One emotional, heartbreaking track is the ballad ‘Angelique’. It gives the vocals an amazing opportunity to really reach you with their delicate sound. The soothing piano sounds carrying her voice are as delicate and complete the track in the best way possible. Also, the classical ‘Symphony Nr. 1, Part 1 – The Witchcraft’ is relying a lot on the vocals, while the music is technical and atmospheric as if it was a classical opera.
It’s these particular tracks that save the catchy record that ‘Innuendo’ is. The true power metal tracks are soon to be forgotten and never really convincing. When compared to its predecessor ‘Magic Forest’, a lot of the power metal has been drained. Lots of popular influences, and more ABBA inspired music have been added. Not that these tracks aren’t fun, they just lack the power and class ‘Magic Forest’ had. The emotional ‘Angelique’ and the classical ‘Symphony Nr. 1, Part 1 – The Witchcraft’ keep the album above the average. Amberian Dawn has definitely chosen a path to go, a more popular way of making music. They one day might even end up as the new ABBA, who knows.
- Fame & Gloria
- The Court Of Mirror Hall
- Rise Of The Evil
- Chamber Of Dreadful Dreams
- Knock Knock Who’s There
- Symphony Nr. 1, Part 1 – The Witchcraft
- Your Time – My Time