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Amberian Dawn: Magic Forest

Finland's Amberian Dawn is not a band that I've followed in the past, but it's my understanding that 2014's Magic Forest is an important album in their discography. As their first album of wholly original material without longtime vocalist Heidi Parviainen, Magic Forest serves as a proving ground for new singer Capri. Though she has previous experience in the music industry, her presence in Amberian Dawn marks her first appearance as a frontwoman in a metal group - and even though I'm currently unable to compare Capri to her predecessor, I know that she does a damn good job on Magic Forest.

As a matter of fact, I would say that she even elevates this record from a fairly average symphonic metal outing to something worth hearing for fans of the genre. Comparisons to bands like Epica, Within Temptation, and Nightwish are inevitable when listening to Magic Forest, but Capri's powerful and "rock-inspired" vocal performance serves as a nice contrast from the more operatic styles heard from popular frontwomen like Simone Simons or Tarja Turunen. The music itself is well-written and meticulously arranged, though nothing totally stands out to my ears. While catchy enough, Magic Forest doesn't pack the same punch that recent Epica outings have (perhaps because of this album's general lack of aggression and preference for mid-tempo grooves) and doesn't stand out enough from the crowd to make for a stunning observation.

That being said, Amberian Dawn have absolutely put together a solid collection of tunes for Magic Forest, and fans of symphonic metal will find plenty to enjoy here. As a well-produced, well-performed, and catchy album that features some truly terrific vocals, Magic Forest has enough going for it to warrant a listen from fans and newcomers alike.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing:
1. Cherish My Memory (4:27)
2. Dance of Life (3:18)
3. Magic Forest (4:48)
4. Agonizing Night (3:59)
5. Warning (3:28)
6. Son of Rainbow (3:36)
7. I'm Still Here (4:00)
8. Memorial (3:56)
9. Endless Silence (3:49)
10. Green-Eyed (4:37)

Added: September 2nd 2014
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Amberian Dawn Official Website
Hits: 2182
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Amberian Dawn: Magic Forest
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-09-02 14:08:11
My Score:

Finland's Amberian Dawn reside in a pretty competitive landscape, being a female fronted symphonic power metal act who of course have to look up at the behemoths of this style, namely Nightwish, Epica, Within Temptation, and, well, the list goes on and on. Magic Forest is their first album with new lead vocalist Capri, and she does a fine job here, sounding not unlike former Nightwish vocalist Anette Olzon, as she adds more of a pop sheen rather than an overbearing operatic delivery to these upbeat, symphonic metal songs. Many of these tunes have instantly addicting melodies ("Dance of Life" and the title track immediately come to mind), and the keyboard work & guitar playing is top notch throughout the CD. As the band have just signed a new record deal with Napalm Records, it's easy to say that Magic Forest are certainly banking on this one to take them to the next level. Will it? That's probably up to the fans to decide; there is without a doubt a wealth of stellar material here, though for my money, I'm not sure there's enough of a unique identity in Amberian Dawn to separate them from Nightwish (who I think they most closely resemble). However, seeing as female fronted power metal has been rather hot these last few years, there's no reason in the world why this band won't pick up plenty of new fans once this album starts to infiltrate the market. It's certainly more than good enough.

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