Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, July 7, 2014

Amberian Dawn-Magic Forest

In my symphonic metal phase back in those heady days of ninth grade I had thought Amberian Dawn were essentially a better version of Nightwish. Now I sit here with their new record Magic Forest in my inbox and I'm left to wonder what I've done to get here. This is a symphonic metal record that gets it. The songs aren't long or obnoxious, and while they do have a white woman wailing, its tastefully done. Amberian Dawn understand how to put in musical pulses, shifts and changes, pure symphonic artistry that any ear can enjoy, why, even my mother was impressed when she heard this record roaring out of my laptops speakers.

There is a very impressive depth to the sound here. As on all of the bands records it's been proven yet again that these guys know how to compose great pieces. Note that word compose, Amberian Dawn is more than a group of songwriters, their tracks are layered and intricate. Interesting and engaging symphonic metal that leaves you asking questions beyond, do you think I have a shot with the singer? The shreddy guitar fills are also really fun, and certainly something you don't see enough of in metal these days. It certainly makes for a more interesting spin on things than a keyboard flourish or a drum fill. Amberian Dawn have mastered what it means to be a symphonic metal band and their star is only rising.

So turn on this record and fall into the beauteous voice of a lead singer who is more than a sex symbol. The way her voice trumpets over top of some of the coolest arrangements I have heard in symphonic metal in a good long while, it's simply transcendent. What more could you ask for from a band in such an overcrowded genre. Not only do they sound different, they have a level of fun, and passion behind them that sets them apart from legions of Epica and Nightwish hanger-ons. This is what this much maligned genre is all about, and if you don't get that, leave the hall.

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