THE DEMO CORNER
Amberian Dawn is a difficult band to figure out. They’re from the same country as Nightwish (Finland), utilize a female vocalist (Heidi Parvainen), and play a similar style. So, why haven’t they experienced the success that Nightwish has had? Exhibit A is the new Amberian Dawn album Circus Black, where energy goes to die.
Where Circus Black goes wrong almost immediately is when the songs fall flat. The title track is uninspired and the vocals simply don’t have the energy needed to get a listener into the music. Not even the appearance of Timo Kotipelto on “Cold Kiss” and “I Share With You This Dream” can elevate the band’s sound. Seemingly, the “Stratovarius Effect” is in play as much of Circus Black is Stratovarius worship, right down to the incredibly cheesy guitar solos. Because of the album title, one would expect something circus-themed and, unfortunately for Circus Black, that comes in the form of the incorporation of the most-cliched circus sounding music you can find.
Midway through the album, Amberian Dawn finds some life on “Fight” and “Letter,” which are unsurprisingly Parvainen’s best efforts on vocals for the album. However, things head right back south with the overindulgent instrumental “Rivalry Between Good and Evil” being the low point, as it accomplishes nothing other than provide a four-minute break. While the vocals get a little better as the album goes on the music simply doesn’t, as it goes through the motions without really trying to expand its repertoire.
Amberian Dawn is a band with potential; unfortunately, that potential has yet to be fully realized, as evidenced by Circus Black. Yes, the vocals are there…sometimes, but without that consistency the musical flaws get exposed in a hurry. More work must be done if Amberian Dawn is to be anything more than a curiosity.
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1. Circus Black
2. Cold Kiss
3. Crimson Flower
4. Charnel’s Ball
7. I Share With You This Dream
8. Rivalry Between Good and Evil
10. Lily of the Moon
Total playing time: 40:45
Release Date: February 29, 2012
Label: Spinefarm Records
Amberian Dawn - Circus Black
May 19, 2012