Getting a new singer is always a big occasion for a band, especially when, in the case of Amberian Dawn
, this only your 2nd singer after 4 albums with the previous one, Heidi
Parviainen. So with great fanfare the band have decided to showcase their new singer, Capri, by........making her sing 11 of the old songs in virtually the same way as the previous singer.
I suppose if I'm feeling generous it's a way around doing a best-of compilation and dressing it up as a new beginning, so good thinking from the band there. But due to their previous singer's equal talents, “Re-Evolution
” comes across as “This is our new singer Capri, she's just as good as the last one...yaaay...”. Also, as far as I can hear the songs arrangements haven't been particularly re-worked or re-arranged in any way, which is a bit of a shame. But does seem like a good moment to describe the band's sound for anyone unfamiliar with them, because to be fair, this is a good release to check the band out for the first time. Amberian Dawn
sometimes get labelled as Symphonic Gothic Metal
, which to be honest is rather misleading. The 'Gothic Metal
' tag, as always, is a lazy record company/media way of denoting that the band has a female singer.
If this release sported a male lead vocalist (a couple of tracks do include clean male vocals), there would be no doubt about labelling it Neoclassical Power Metal
. The kind that leans heavily towards virtuoso keyboardists and emerged in the late 90's to include bands like Majestic
, Space Odyssey and especially Stratovarius
– widdly guitars, twiddly jaunty keyboard solos and happy optimistic vocal lines. On the evidence of vocal lines alone, most of the songs on offer here could have lyrics about wonderful adventures in far-off fantasy lands...as long as they were happy adventures! Many of them do - and why not? Not every Metal
band has to sing about misery and death...
Really though, I think Amberian Dawn
's fans would rather have had an EP or at least one or two new tracks included that Capri could have showcased herself and her talents rather than being “the replacement”. The only particular interest I see in these re-recordings is the earlier tracks get a better, fuller mix. 'River of Tuoni
' is a prime example and ends up being the stand-out track, because it was from a time when the band were still experimenting, and the only song that really pushes Capri's vocals. I'd personally like to hear more of this braver style from the band in the future if this is indeed a new beginning for them. Unfortunately, I think Amberian Dawn
have settled into a bit of a safe niche on recent albums and “Re-Evolution
” does rather highlight this. I hope a new singer gives the song-writing a much needed push into a fresher, braver direction.