Inner Wound Recordings
Words: Craig Hartranft
Dark Sarah is the pseudonym and project of Heidi Parviainen, the former vocalist for Amberian Dawn. She delivers her first album Behind The Black Veil, and it's a monster of an album.
This is not merely symphonic heavy metal. With the concept and story combined with the music, it's more cinematic and symphonic heavy metal opera. Being a classically trained singer and by her past experience with Amberian Dawn, none of the aforementioned should be a surprise from Parviainen. And it's a long album, with the bonus tracks, over an hour. Buckle up.
The story is quite expansive, told in three episodes, but boils down to this: abandoned at the altar by her future husband, Sarah turns to the dark side, becoming Dark Sarah seeking revenge, but later in the story she's redeemed and returns to herself. Greater details of the story can be read in this PDF document. As mentioned above, when set to music, it's put into the context lush and large atmosphere of symphonic and melodic heavy metal, complete with huge orchestration and immense vocal arrangements. The arrangements can range from something clearly more operatic, Save Me or Memories Fall to bombastic power metal with Hunting The Dreamer and Silver Tree. But the cinematic symphonic motif is never lost.
Parviainen is quite the classical and operatic singer throughout, on the scale of Tarja Turunen, only squared. While she sounds terrific throughout, operatic singers in heavy metal just aren't my thing, especially when that's the breadth of their expression on any album. (I think Nightwish sounded so much better after Tarja left.)
Basically, there's nothing small or limited about this album. If you want something grandiose and bombastic, your heavy metal more than just melodic and symphonic, but colossal, operatic and cinematic, then Dark Sarah's Behind The Black Veil will both devastate and entertain you. I'll give it a high score simply for being over-the-top and outrageous.
If you want something grandiose and bombastic, your heavy metal more than just melodic and symphonic, but colossal, operatic and cinematic, then Dark Sarah's Behind The Black Veil will both devastate and entertain you.
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