Amberian Dawn - River Of Tuoni
30 January 2008

01. River Of Tuoni
02. Wings Are My Eyes
03. Lullaby
04. Valkyries
05. Fate Of The Maiden
06. My Only Star
07. The Curse
08. Passing Bells
09. Sunrise
10. Evil Inside Me
11. Dreamchaser [Japanese bonus]

When River Of Tuoni was released, it turned out to be a well-received album. Amberian Dawn themselves were listed amongst the few promising new female-fronted metal bands of 2008. Their debut album could be described as Power-orientated Symphonic metal which combines speed, melodies and operatic vocals. Adding to all this tales of Scandinavian mythology and some male vocals, we get the final result of yet another ambitious female-fronted metal band ready to conquer the metal scene.

Apart from the fact that Amberian Dawn may actually sound Nightwish-alike, their music shows unarguably the talent of its performers. Singer Heidi Parviainen's well-trained voice is evident in most of the songs off the record, especially on those where a wide variety of keys and quick switches of tonalities are being used. Something that could be called an advantage of the vocals is the rare use of high-pitched ones that is otherwise too common in the world of Symphonic metal. Heidi is aware of how to use her voice without constantly trying to prove her abilities as a professional singer. Unlike other famous Symphonic metal acts, Amberian Dawn do not seem to obey to the obsession of demonstrating their own performing skills.

As for the compositions themselves, they each follow the same classical pattern. Amberian Dawn is not the type of band that relies on fast, long guitar solos and massive choir parts. However, these musicians are able to create powerful and melodic music throughout more simple instrumentals and by adding strong operatic vocals to it. The combination of male and female vocals that is often being described as "Beauty and The Beast" does not work that well for the band, though. This could be clearly heard on "Lullaby" where the male voice simply does not match with Heidi's one.

On this record, keyboard parts and orchestrations often remind of the ones by other famous Finnish metal bands, including Nightwish and Sonata Arctica. Guitars and drums are well synchronized and, together with the vocals, they can give many listeners the impression that the band members articulate pretty well with each other. Whispers and other sound effects add to the mysticism of the music.

If it comes to lyrics, though, River Of Tuoni lacks some originality. Tales of valkyries, distant lands, bravery and other overrated power metal themes have already started getting old. Another quite big disadvantage of the record is the repetitiveness of the songs. One has to listen to the album quite a few times in order to figure out their favourite tracks and actually start to differentiate them from each other.

All in all, River Of Tuoni was a good start for the career of the band. Some outstanding songs are "The Curse" , "Valkyries" , and the title track, as well with their catchy melodies and haunting spirit. I would recommend the name Amberian Dawn for every one who is into female-fronted metal. This album will especially feed the needs of the ones who enjoy epic, fresh and lively songs accompanied by a classical voice.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Band profile: Amberian Dawn
Album: River Of Tuoni


written by Elodie Artour | 15.08.2010

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


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vezzy - 15.08.2010 at 13:47  
Learn to use band tags.
Besides that, awesome review.
Uirapuru - 15.08.2010 at 18:00  
Yeah Elodie... you just forget to put the ''/'' in the second [band] The text is looking a bit weird.

But its a well-written and most of all fair review.. wonder if Amberian Dawn will manage to escape this vault of common bands with the new album this year..
Edmund Fogg - 15.08.2010 at 21:15  
Hmmm.Will definetly reccomend that to my gf
Elodie Artour - 15.08.2010 at 21:24  
Thank you all, guys! That thing with the band tags is a bit difficult to me.

Otherwise, I tried to be as detailed and objective as I could.

EDIT: Tags edited by Promonex. Thank you!
Seth - 19.08.2010 at 23:38  
Thanks for the great review!
Elodie Artour - 19.08.2010 at 23:46  
Thanks, you're welcome!
GT - 20.08.2010 at 12:45  
A nice review indeed. Good argumentation for your opinions.
Almagest - 29.08.2010 at 04:15  
Hmm ... funny how perceptions can differ, to say the least! It's always been my impression that both when it comes to instruments and vocals, AD are considerably more technical than your typical female-fronted band (including their famous countrymen, whatever the "era"). Your argument reads as if such bands regularly featured even faster and longer guitar solos than AD, which I find to be quite the opposite of my experience. Also, the most common complaint about Heidi's voice I've encountered is that it is so constantly high-pitched! But perhaps you could argue that the debut album conforms to your description well, their sophomore less so.
Troy Killjoy - 29.08.2010 at 05:50  
A long review but you definitely back up your opinion. Well done!
Elodie Artour - 29.08.2010 at 23:08  
@Almagest: AD's situation is that they're technically very good but their debut was definitely quite unoriginal and a bit boring, to say so. I mean, you can hear the difference on their second record. As for Heidi's voice, she uses her high-pitched vocals, let's say, quite often, but really precise. It's not like Tarja's era in Nightwish when Tuomas kept on boasting what a wonderful female vocalist he had in the band by writing painfully difficult songs for her to perform. Heidi is good, she sings even better live and she is aware of how to use her voice in a proper way, fitting perfectly in AD's music direction.

@Troy: Hehe, thanks. I'm also used to writing shorter works but I always feel like writing longer ones.
Luneth - 20.10.2010 at 15:46  
6.5?? 8 at least...

Lullaby, Valkryies and if you were lucky enough the Japanese bonus 'Dreamchaser' are all 8+'s oon their own xD
Elodie Artour - 03.01.2011 at 18:36  
Written by Luneth on 20.10.2010 at 15:46

6.5?? 8 at least...

Lullaby, Valkryies and if you were lucky enough the Japanese bonus 'Dreamchaser' are all 8+'s oon their own xD

Their second album is way better than this one. Anyways, thanks for the advice - I haven't listened to 'Dreamchaser' yet, so I guess I should.
Luneth - 03.01.2011 at 23:31  
Written by Elodie Artour on 03.01.2011 at 18:36

Written by Luneth on 20.10.2010 at 15:46

6.5?? 8 at least...

Lullaby, Valkryies and if you were lucky enough the Japanese bonus 'Dreamchaser' are all 8+'s oon their own xD

Their second album is way better than this one. Anyways, thanks for the advice - I haven't listened to 'Dreamchaser' yet, so I guess I should.

Yeah there's no doubt about that in my mind either, that's their best album in my view, End of Eden...wasn't all that...
Elodie Artour - 03.01.2011 at 23:46  
Today, I listened to "End Of Eden" for the first time and I have to admit, I was pretty much disappointed...

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