Vocalist Heidi Parviainen returns with her alter ego and musical project Dark Sarah and new album, The Puzzle. The former Amberian Dawn singer brings another recording of symphonic and cinematic power metal, with her classiclly trained and operatic voice at the forefront. The story in a very small nutshell (go to the website for more detail): Jilted at the altar Sarah reverts to her meaner and darker ego, Dark Sarah. When we last heard of her she was between two worlds, life and death. With The Puzzle she's drifted along the River of Death to come upon an island, where she discovers she's alive. You'll need the lyrics, which I did not have, to discover the rest of the story and the "puzzle" as it were.
And with that paragraph, I gave everything away. If you liked the 2015's Behind The Black Veil, then this is more of the same and you will probably want to indulge yourself. As it is, musically, The Puzzle is grand and bombastic, larger than life symphonic power metal. Also, as expected, whether by the crush of the music or by her high pitched operatic style, you only understand Ms Parviainen with some difficulty. Another reason to have the lyrics sheet handy. But all the preceding is as expected from the genre. There's nothing new under the sun, so to speak. Mostly, I enjoying the ripping guitar solos, but after that, again, Dark Sarah and The Puzzle is pretty derivative stuff. Some mention should be made of the guest appearances by like-minded musical peers including former Xandria singer Manuela Kraller on Rain, Delain's Charlotte Wessels on Aquarium, and Harmaja's Juha-Pekka Leppaluoto on Dance With The Dragon (and he's not doing death vocals). In summary, to be repetitive myself, if you liked Dark Sarah in the past or simply enjoy female-fronted operatic symphonic and melodic power metal, you will likely enjoy The Puzzle Nuff said.
If you liked Dark Sarah in the past or simply enjoy female-fronted operatic symphonic and melodic power metal, you will likely enjoy The Puzzle Nuff said.
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