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What A Shame... - 60%

Imperialtroll, May 1st, 2012

Amberian Dawn has been one of the most promising power metal bands of its time. Albums such as "The Clouds of Northland Thunder" and "River Touni" are a huge step in the genre, but lately they seem to have lost track of their true abilities with the album "End of Eden" and this record "Circus Black".

This record is completely unnecessary and unworthy of the potential they possess, it sounds very corny and unoriginal. Corrupted by the touch of a greater band, "Startovarius". this evil touch has been demonstrated in songs such as "Cold Kiss" with the appearance of Startovarius's vocal "Timo Kotipelto".

Another effect takes place in "Crimson Flower" and the keyboardist of Startovarius "Jens Johansson". And finally with the instrumental "Rivalry Between Good and Evil". which sounds a lot like many similar instrumentals done by Startovarius.

All these influences are completely inapropriate and unnecessary for Amberian Dawn. When you listen to their first 2 albums you realize that they found their own way and such influence would only destroy their name and originality, and makes the band sound like a bunch of armatures.

Beside the bad Startovarius-ish influence, the band managed to offer some good moments in the album. songs such as "Fight" and "Letter".Along other neoclassical elements and guitar and keyboard solos. but they are still boring and unworthy of their golden past.

What may annoy you more than anything is Heidi's vocals, they sound completely worn out as if she's too tired and bored to sing. They try to dress it up with the choruses, but it's still very obvious, seems she somehow lost her energy and motivation. She shines in some songs such as "Cold Kiss" but that was ruined by Timo's "Trolling" appearance. Also the song "Letter" brings back some of her old glory, but it's just not enough.

All in all, the album isn't all that terrible, but it could have been better, much better. The band has so much potential at hand, but they could use some time to figure out what they really are capable of.