Dark Sarah - The Puzzle
Inner Wound Recordings
Cinematic Metal
10 songs (48:12)
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Joel
The Puzzle is the sophomore follow up from Dark Sarah, the cinematic metal project of former Amberian Dawn singer, Heidi Parviainen. Her familiar voice added with some broadway-esque dramatics and symphonic metal was the foundation of the debut Behind the Black Veil. Cinematic metal is a proper term to describe what is present here as well, with elements of classical, musical theater and of course METAL

After the intro Breath, Island In the Mist starts things off with a sound that sounds like a continuation of their debut. To review each song, would take away from the conceptual element of the disc, if you know who she is, you will enjoy this disc very much. You can hear Little Men, HERE. It has a great mix of groove riffs during the verses and a big majestic Parviainen chorus I have come to expect. In a lot of cinematic and symphonic music the guitars get drowned out, in this case they don't and the riffs are damn good, and will stick with you after the song is over. The awesome riffage continues with Ash Grove and the mid paced For The Birds.

The story while to some may seem cheesy, to me it is no different then seeing a musical live. The pure production of the album and the ability to emote feelings as well as tell a story is expertly done. At the midpoint of the disc, the story gets darker, first with the speedy yet majestic and melodic Deeper and Deeper. The following song is the dramatic, over the top, bombastic, and any other adjective that fits, Dance With The Dragon, features JP Leppaluoto of Charon fame and you can see the over the top video, HERE. A band that I got into many years ago, just before they broke up. After the climatic duet things slow down and all the focus goes to Parviainen. While the song does speed up, this song is all about the beauty, that is her voice. Speaking of favorite female voices, the next track Aquarium features Charlotte Wessels of Delain. A speedy duet with a nice vocal harmony between the two of them. Again the guitar riffing is just awesome, and this song goes for the jugular just before it slows down for the chorus. The dynamics are high on this song, and combination of Wessels and Parviainen and one hell of a guitar solo makes this one of my favorite songs. One last duet on the last song, with previous Dark Sarah contributor and ex-Xandria singer, Manuela Kraller. Two operatic singers, one slow intro, and the longest song on the disc. The song is slow for the first three minutes, the rest of the song is more mid paced, and a great way to end the disc.

Again Ms. Parviainen has put together a great disc, with great musicians and guests. It is the logical continuation of the debut. For those who find this kind of music boring, well there is not much I can do for you there. Those who appreciate symphonic and theatrical music, will enjoy this greatly. Easily one of my top ten releases this year. Top production, amazing music, and a voice in a genre with many great singers and pretenders, that stands out all on her own!

Killing Songs :
Little Men, Ash Grove, Dance With the Dragon and Aquarium
Joel quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Dark Sarah that we have reviewed:
Dark Sarah - Behind The Black Veil reviewed by Joel and quoted 86 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:14 am
View and Post comments