Amberian Dawn – “Innuendo” (Napalm Records)
After Nightwish and Battle Beast, female fronted metal bands might be considered de rigueur in Finland, and Amberian Dawn do little to suggest otherwise. Formed in 2006 by keyboardist and guitarist Tuomas Seppälä, this symphonic metal band have released an astonishing six albums, three alone in the last few years with their new singer, the mystical Capri. A former pop singer whose repertoire includes Eurovision, ABBA the stage musical as well as being a vocal coach, strangely enough I’d say that makes her the perfect match for Seppälä’s compositions on the very ABBA sounding ‘Court Of The Mirror Hall’! Although not as operatic as Nightwish, and certainly not as ferocious as Battle Beast, Amberian Dawn are far more melodic and dare I say it, poppy in their style with a lightened up commercial appeal to the mainstream. That’s not to say they don’t have mettle, which they do from Seppälä’s own virtuosic guitar playing and proggy keyboards as on their more neo classical material like ‘Symphony nr 1, part 1 – The Witchcraft‘, not to mention the dark and passionate closer ‘Your Time – My Time’ where Capri’s gentle vocals get the opportunity to show more of her femme power in harmony to Seppälä’s neo classical soloing. I guess the perfect balance can be found in the upbeat Angra like ‘Rise Of Evil’, which is essentially power metal accompanied by fast keyboard and guitar solos with Capri’s voice and harmonies once again adding their complementing shine. Whilst not everyone’s cup of tea, Amberian Dawn certainly have their fans and the accessibility of their very catchy material certainly makes it hard to resist!