Amberian Dawn - Magic Forest
Napalm Records
Symphonic Metal
10 songs (39:00)
Release year: 2014
Amberian Dawn, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Joel
Magic Forest is the brand new disc, from the Finnish band, Amberian Dawn, and the first with new material featuring Capri on vocals. She made her debut last year on Re-Evolution, a collection of songs from their previous discs, arranged for Capri's vocals. I was really looking forward to hearing her on this disc, after her strong debut last year. Many will consider this disc to be a change from, their earlier works with the soprano vocals of Heidi Parviainen. Many will compare this change to their country-mates in Nightwish, when Annette Olzon took over. On the surface that would be a very fair comparison, but it is not true.

Cherish My Memory starts off the disc, with a mid-paced rocker, that is very melodic and very early on highlights Capri's vocals. The guitar and keyboard interplay in the verses is well blended together, though some may consider this to be somewhat poppy, I actually enjoyed this song a lot. With varied vocal styles and some attitude thrown in Capri's establishes the fact, she is their singer, and not a replacement. Dance Of Life musically starts off where their last disc of new music, Circus Black left off. Again in the verses Capri throws out another vocal style, that differed from what you heard in the first song. While subtle, she has the ability to change her tone and emotion, to fit the song perfectly. A very symphonic mid to fast past song, that is fun to listen too. The song is definitely dominated by more keyboards than anything else, but it fits the song perfectly. Near the last minute, the signature guitar pyrotechnics that the band is known for, shows up. The first single, is the title track , and it is a mixture of Folk and Power Metal, that you can see here. The song is one of the strongest on the disc, and I like how Capri's vocals at points harmonize with each other. Agonizing Night is another mid-paced song with an infectious melody carried by both the guitar and keyboards Warning is a little faster, and more of a straight ahead melodic rock/metal song. Nothing new compared to the songs before it, but a solid song, nonetheless.

The lead guitar intro work on Son Of Rainbow, is some of the best guitar work on the entire disc. Again a solid song, but much like what came before it. I'm Still Here, opens with a keyboard melody before the band joins in, and is much like Magic Forest in its intro melody. The frenzied stop and go guitar melody throughout the verses is a nice change of pace, and the slower parts, where Capri goes into a high falsetto prior to the chorus, is a great example of using vocal dynamics in a song. The song also features my favorite guitar solo near the end of the song. Memorial is a song I really wanted to like, but honestly would have been better with the previously mentioned, Heidi Parviainen. With a male operatic vocalist joining in, in my opinion does not mesh as well Capri's vocals. I love her vocals on the song actually, it's one of those things, where the male voice(Markus Nieminen, who was featured on the band's End of Eden disc.) actually detracts from the overall experience, though he is very talented. On a positive note, at least its not the usual beauty and beast, singing versus growling vocals this genre has been accustomed too. A better voice would have been, someone like Timo Koltipelto of Stratovarius who was heard on Circus Black. Speaking of the previously mentioned disc, Endless Silence has a Circus Black like feel to it in the verses, while the chorus features a faster tempo. Green-Eyed, is an absolutely beautiful symphonic/orchestral song, which features Capri showing exactly how talented she is. Her voice is absolutely beautiful(Yes, beautiful!!) on this song. I love how this song builds up, and how the drums and then the twin lead guitars join. It's the perfect finishing song, to a very solid disc.

My only gripe, is that the disc is just under forty minutes long. While there are ten songs here, I just wish there was at least two or three more. This is a minor gripe, and better this way, than having a few songs that are fillers. Amberian Dawn may not have the same popularity worldwide as their country-mates, but they are among the best in Symphonic Metal genre. With Magic Forest, they have solidified that status, along with sharing a new vocal powerhouse, in the form of Ms. Capri.

Amberian Dawn is:
Capri - Vocals
Tuomas Seppälä - Guitar & Keyboards
Emil Pohjalainen - Guitar
Kimmo Korhonen - Guitar
Joonas Pykälä-aho - Drums

Killing Songs :
All but Memorial
Joel quoted 89 / 100
Alex quoted 76 / 100
Other albums by Amberian Dawn that we have reviewed:
Amberian Dawn - The Clouds Of Northland Thunder reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Amberian Dawn - Rivers Of Tuoni reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
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