The Finish symphonic metalers Amberian Dawn are presenting their fourth album entitled “Circus Black”… which has a very interesting artwork as well. There has been a real epidemic with lots of female fronted metal (symphonic or not) lately…
Everything here has been done very wonderfully… the production is superb, it was taken care by Teropekka Virtanen (mixing engineer) and Mika Jussila (mastering engineer) at legendary Finnvox Studios in Finland and they guys even used a real choir for the recordings… and the result is truly amazing. The choir was conducted by Mikko P. Mustonen from Pathos Music. He also arranged the choir and orchestral parts. It’s a big plus when you can afford a real choir than play the same parts on the synth. There are also some guest appearances on the album… Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius) is sharing the vocal duties on the song “Cold Kiss” (a very good song with some Myrath/eastern passages on the refrain), Jens Johansson (Stratovarius, Dio, Malmsteen) is playing a keyboard solo on “Crimson Flower”, and the singers Tuomas Nieminen (Throne of Chaos, Bride Adorned, Adamantra, Crowpath) & Nils Nordling (Dreamtale, Animal House) are participating on the song “I Share With You this Dream”.
Amberian Dawn has blended heavy/power metal music with the symphonic and neoclassical elements nicely… and believe me the real choir adds more points to the final result. The did avoid being called a Nightwish copycat but… this album isn’t so strong on the songwriting part as it should have been. It has some good songs but then again, the most of them are rather mediocre and follow the cliché music formula of the genre. I like “Cold Kiss” which has a different music approach and some new features… but I cannot stand the symphonic metal clichés from any band anymore. Thus, spoken fans of the genre will appreciate this album much better than I did.