Released By: Napalm Records
Release Date: October 23, 2015
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Tuomas Seppälä – Guitar/Keyboard
Joonas Pykälä-aho – Drums
Emppu Pohjalainen – Guitar
Capri Virkkunen – Vocals
Jukka Hoffren – Bass
01. Fame & Gloria
04. The Court Of Mirror Hall
06. Rise Of The Evil
07. Chamber Of Dreadful Dreams
08. Knock Knock Who’s There
09. Symphony Nr. 1, Part 1 – The Witchcraft
10. Your Time – My Time
Bonus tracks (digipak)
11. Fame & Gloria (instrumental version)
12. Sunrise (re-recording)
Over the past few years, my Metal subgenre preference has evolved where I have now fallen madly in love with Symphonic Metal. My excitement for a new album in this particular style, adds an extra spark to my eyes and an automatic smile of enthusiasm, while my heart rate skips a beat as I anxiously wait to listen. When I found out that the Finnish Symphonic Mettalers, Amberian Dawn were up to their seventh studio album, Innuendo, I couldn’t wait to get a hold of it. Since their formation in 2008, musical creativity by composer mastermind, Toumas Seppälä has poured out new material nearly every 1-2 years. Innuendo is no different, since it is the follow up to 2014’s Magic Forest. Produced by Seppälä himself, along with Mikko P. Mustonen, who is known for working with immaculate artists including Ensiferum and Sonata Arctica. In addition to this artistic recipe, this marks the third album that includes the latest Capri on vocals, which the band as a whole has moved into a theatrical direction since she joined the Symphonic cast. Sensing what was in store, I blasted this album to my ears and I was hooked from the start.
Opening with one of my favorite tracks, “Fame & Gloria,” riots in with a delicious guitar solo that dissolves into a fantasy driven world once Capri vocalizes in. Remaining on the heavier side as the haunting keys prevailed made this an excellent placement as an introductory track. Moving along on a poppier and lighter note with “Ladyhawk,” as this fairtale-esque track transcended into an effortless beauty about healing one’s own broken heart. As the album continued to flow in a multitude of directions, I couldn’t stop listening to it. The titled track, “Innuendo” crawled in on a darker and speedy note where a story about the search for closure was told through Capri’s serene vocals.
I enjoyed “The Court of Mirror Hall,” however, at parts it felt a bit too repetitive for my liking. Matching the perfect title, for this soft track of “Angelique” shined in with alluring animation. Reaching the half point of the album, “Rise of the Evil” sliced in with thunderous drums and flashing bass lines. Rightfully fitting the revengeful mood of this tune, where one will learn how to let go of loneliness and regrets. “Chamber of Dreadful” staggered in with a dreamlike tone, as Capri’s vocals aggressively moved in along with the keys being a main focal point to this track. I was stunned how each song expressed an individual story of their own, where nothing sounded alike.
Moving to a fun and lighthearted mood with “Knock Knock, Who’s There,” reminded me of a Rock Opera similar to Ayreon’s 2013’s Theory of Everything. “Symphony nr 1, Part 1 – The Witchcraft,” marches in with string-esque keys as the melody picks up towards an enjoyable and enchanting tune. This witchery magical track, is one of my personal favorites as it includes an infectious guitar play. Closing in on a dramatic note with “Your Time – My Time,” was quite fitting as it included glowing atmospheric keys with nice guitar coordination.
Knowing that Amberian Dawn is different than other Symphonic Metallers, including Nightwish, Epica and Xandria, their style could disappoint a few. You have to appreciate Classical and Theatrical music in order to fully grasp and embrace it. If you enjoy Rock Operas, then this will be for you. Don’t go into this album, expecting to hear Heidi Parviainen days, especially 2008’s River of Tuoni. Stylistically changed over the years, where we have to accept it and enjoy it for what it is, a well produced fantasy expedition.
Written by: Zenae Zukowski