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Review: "Re-Evolution" the 2013 Studio Album By Finnish Neoclassical Power Metal Band Amberian Dawn

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Re-Evolution Is Not an Official Studio Album

Finnish power metal band Amberian Dawn has been bringing music fans around the world very good operatic power metal and sometimes a way to cope with life’s challenges since 2006. The question on the minds of some fans might have been how did Amberian Dawn cope after the departure of original vocalist Heidi Parvianen? That’s what this next article explores as well as a look at their 2013 studio album called Re-Evolution. This album is a collection of songs that were re-recorded from their first four albums with new vocalist Capri (also known as Paivi Virkunnen).

What This Article About Amberian Dawn Covers as of 2021

At first writing of this article the focus was on how Amberian Dawn coped with the departure of Heidi Parviainen but now, let us shift that focus to mainly a review of the band’s 2013 album called Re-Evolution. In this 2013 studio album Capri shows us with a more power metal kind of voice and she does not use the operatic style that Heidi did. With change of band members sometimes comes a change in vocal style and that’s a good thing in this case. At first listen, Re-Evolution might sound like some stale, cheesy power metal redone but that’s not the case. Capri sounds like Austria’s Sandra Schleret the former vocalist for the band Dreams of Sanity.

"Valkyries" 2013 Version

Why Did Heidi Parviainen Leave Amberian Dawn?

In an interview done in July 2013, vocalist Heidi Parviainen explained the reasons why she left Amberian Dawn to Kenta Press & Agency, an agency that promotes musicians worldwide. Heidi stated that there were many reasons that she left Amberian Dawn. She said that she was growing apart musically and personally from the members. She also feels that it was the best choice for both sides. We are discussing Heidi Parviainen’s departure from Amberian Dawn to give background on how Capri came into the band. Incubus is a song that sounds very much like 1998 era Blind Guardian. Heidi also mentioned that she was glad that the band found a singer than better suited their style.

A Photo of Amberian Dawn's New Singer Capri Virkunnen


Heidi Parviainen Versus Capri


Re-Evolution Has Had Both Criticism and Praise

As usual, especially with any album that has a collection of songs that have been re-recorded you will still have some people be overly critical of the work. One user on the website Metal Archives really criticizes Re-Evolution and particularly the vocals of Capri. The person says that Capri sounds like a 50 year-old cougar that has been a smoker her whole life. This statement is really ignorant and it shows that some people just don’t know what bad vocals really are. On the other hand, there is some positive feedback about this album. One other user on the same Metal Archives website Jonathan really dives deep into the subject and asserts that in order for a band to revamp themselves or their sound, they have to revisit their older material. That’s what Amberian Dawn did with a new vocalist at that time and it worked out well enough.

"River of Tuoni"

Rate the Album Re-Evolution

The Song Charnel's Ball Is a Good Way To End the Album

With every album, there is an ending musically. This album wraps up with the re-done edition of the song Charnel’s Ball. This song uses just a bit of symphonic sound and I hear a bit of Finntroll in this song. When night comes and the shadows come, the birds begin singing tunes and it is time for a sort of ball or party to happen. This classically influenced song is the exclamation point as to how Amberian Dawn coped with the departure of Heidi Parviainen. They coped very well even though this is not a perfect power metal album. The production isn’t much different than we heard on 2008’s River of Tuoni album but the first song ends with a thundering set of drums. The song Incubus starts with the quote of “It’s not a dream and it’s not your imagination.” And then the song builds up into a more modern version of the song Incubus and it sounds a little like the band Angra too.

The Bottom Line About Re-Evolution

For what it is worth, Re-Evolution basically is a musical statement from Amberian Dawn that sends the message that the band was ready to move in a different direction after Heidi’s departure. The album’s title can mean that the band wanted to re-evolve. Every band goes through a sort of musical evolution if they remain together long enough. The album is kind of similar to what Testament did when they re-recorded a few of their earlier studio albums and gave the album First Strike Still Deadly the benefit of modern production. There is always a risk involved when a band changes vocalists either through voluntary departure by the person or when the person is dismissed from the band. In this case, the vocalist change works out for Finland’s Amberian Dawn. You can also look at this album as a sort of warm-up vocally for Capri and she passes this initial test. It certainly isn’t a dream and it isn’t your imagination playing tricks on you. This album really is Amberian Dawn performing and you can look at it as a band getting a fresh start. Maybe these guys are more listenable compared to Nightwish because their songs aren’t as long and don’t drag on. This album certainly isn’t perfect as the drums sound too low or muted compared to what the other instruments sound. Amberian Dawn was faced with a challenging choice after Heidi’s departure in much the same way Nightwish was after the ugly and controversial departure of Tarja Turunen. Amberian Dawn went into their second wind musically and came out of it just fine. If you are open minded and flexible you will like this album for what it is.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2018 Ara Vahanian

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