Amberian Dawn - The clouds of northland thunder 4.5/5
1. He sleeps in a grove
3. Kokko - Eagle of fire
4. Willow of tears
5. Shallow waters
6. Lost soul
7. Sons of seven stars
11. Morning star
12. Birth of the harp
Many of you know that I'm a big fan of Amberian Dawn's debut 'River of Tuoni', which I reviewed last year. Containing influences from early Nightwish (both musically and vocally), as well as other female fronted bands, it's simply a CD that's suited perfectly to my tastes. So I've been greatly anticipating the release of their 2nd CD 'The clouds of northland thunder', and not surprisingly, I like it even more.
With this 2nd CD, everything remains in the same musical style. We still get symphonic/neo-classical power metal with plenty of fast songs and some wonderful slow songs too. I totally love the slow "Willow of tears" actually, which is one of the better slow songs I've heard in a while. The fast songs are fantastic as well, complete with smooth yet catchy rhythms, and there are also some excellent guitar solos, sure to impress power metal fans. The CD seems to bounce around regarding tempo, in an extremely successful manner, and it never comes close to becoming monotonous.
Vocally, Heidi Parviainen returns with her soothing, heavenly and mesmerizing voice, which of course is of the soprano/operatic type. Simply put, I think her performance is flawless and I can't get enough of her. In fact, I recently had an unusual experience. My commute from work to home is normally a 35-minute drive, but a few weeks ago it turned into well over 2 hours (there was a high-speed pursuit and accident on the highway between work and home). Luckily, the one CD I had with me was this one, and as I kept it playing over and over, not once did I become tired of Heidi's vocals. Like I said, I just can't get enough of her, and she's easily becoming one the top vocalists for me.
So as a whole, Amberian Dawn has taken what they started with the debut even further. One minor complaint I had with the debut is that it's too short at just 36 minutes, but with 12 songs and a more normal running-time, this CD is more impressive. My favorite song is from the debut ("Lullaby"), but this is still better as a whole. I realize that just like with the debut, this CD is totally my thing, but the bottom line is, if you're a fan of female fronted symphonic/neo-classical power metal (especially bands like Kapel Maister, Operatika, Arya, Wildpath, Caravellus, etc.) and are usually in agreement with ratings I hand out for bands like this, you'll be happy with this CD and looking forward to this Finnish band's future.
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