Amberian Dawn - The Clouds of Northland Thunder

A band like Amberian Dawn could only come from the cold and sunless Finland. I mean, the Finns seem to have a soft spot for symphonic power metal, exuberant, pompous and with neoclassical tendencies. Truth be told, the Dutch are also spawning a great deal of groups treading on such overbeaten musical trail lately, yet the biggest and most successful purveyors of the style originate from Finland and are called Nightwish. And there’s a considerable flow of bands coming out of those shores trying to follow in the footsteps of Nightwish into worldwide adulation like this sextet called Amberian Dawn. ‘The Clouds of Northland Thunder’ the band’s second full-length work reveals a flagrant paucity of fresh and individual ideas as sole composer, keyboardist and guitarist Tuomas Seppälä is clearly enamoured with all things Nightwish fronted by Tarja Turunen. Like their compatriots, Amberian Dawn plays epic and symphonic metal with female operatic vocals, laced with lush orchestrations and classical references. Throughout twelve songs, the Finns don’t break out from the winning characteristics that led Nightwish into stardom. It’s all here; soprano singing provided by the classical trained Heidi Parviainen, sporadic duets with male vocalizations, Helloween-type power-metal riffing and Yngwie Malmsteen’s guitar-leads virtuosity, pompous and bombastic keyboard melodies.
Sure, the song writing is sufficiently solid and Amberian Dawn seem to be highly proficient musicians, yet their music is completely unchallenging, and perhaps only provoke some enthusiastic reactions on Nightwish’s fans still mourning the departure of Tarja Turunen from the band.

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  1. So you say that as there exist one symphonic, female fronted metal band in Finland there's no room for another?

    But if you were talking about a male fronted thrash or death metal band, there wouldn't be a slightest of problem having a dozen of those, right? And giving you all these dozen bands, you couldn't tell which is which, but still every single one of them would be ok and entitled to its existence!

    What's your problem with female fronted metal bands? Why you don't speak of male fronted metal bands? You can't find a thrash metal band that doesn't copy Slayer to some extent. But that's only good for them, isn't it?

    This band is very much different from Nightwish. Amberian Dawn has their own special and recognizable sound. Way different from Nightwish. They only happen to have one thing in common - a classically trained female singer (Heidi vs. Tarja). Anette is a pop singer.

  2. Well, I see your point there, but I never mentioned that Amberian Dawn can’t co-exist with Nightwish, being both from Finland or not.
    There’s however an obvious and excessive influence from Nightwish on Amberian Dawn, which is understandable to a certain point as Nightwish set out new standards in a style of music they certainly gave a major contribution to shape and chisel.
    Just like Slayer as you mention whose influence on the thrash scene is undeniably strong, but how many Slayer-clones have you seen succeeding and building a strong and noteworthy career?
    Amberian Dawn are not a carbon-copy of Nightwish but their guidelines are definitely ingrained in their country-mates’ music. And I’m definitely not the only person that thinks that way.