Scintillating, enigmatic Dark Sarah, a Finnish cinematic metal band led by classically trained singer/songwriter Heidi Parviainen, is back with the Final leg of her chronicles, with “The Golden Moth”. The album is going to be released on the 21st of September 2018 in Europe and North America under the label of Inner Wound recording, and is the brainchild of Heidi Parviainen, former Amberian Dawn’s vocalist. Dark Sarah ́s music combines metal, film music and theatrical elements. I reviewed “The Puzzle” back in 2016, I have been waiting for the final leg of the journey, without a doubt with tremendous curiosity.
The concept albums tells the story of a young woman called Sarah and her evil half – Dark Sarah and a mystical journey through three worlds. Dark Sarah’s first album “Behind the Black Veil” introduces the listener to the main character Sarah, a young woman left at the altar by her husband. When she is on the verge of breaking down, something wakes up inside and changes her into her meaner half, Dark Sarah. While her Second album “The Puzzle” we embark on a journey where she’s sent to Underworld, an island where the banished souls live, and solve a puzzle to come out it.
With “The Golden Moth”, she takes us on a journey from the netherworld to the Upper world, a deserted waste land where the gods rule. The Dragon sneaks into the new world following Dark Sarah. And as they team up together they try to find their way to the gods that live on an island floating upon the desert. All the three albums have been crowdfunded by the fans on Indiegogo.
Without much ado, I queue up the record and as it opens with “Desert Rose” it immediately paints a splendid soundscape with plenty of ambience setting in, reminiscing me once again of the grandeur that is Dark Sarah. What starts off as a Dialogue turns into a duet and before you know it sets up a beautiful yet eerie backdrop giving one the impression of the ascend from the netherworld to the Upper World. “Trespasser” starts off on a heavier note while clean vocals gives the song a soothing effect, the drums build up to a point when the guitars barge in and Heidi stuns you with melodic vocal delivery.
“Wheel” hammers on with rugged guitars chugging accentuated with choppy drum beats, as Heidi brings in the melody with her voice the song takes on catchy chorus and is disrupted by a blitzing guitar solo before the song takes an interlude. Heidi as always showcases an impressive vocal range and holds up her scales well. “My Beautiful Enemy” starts off grand with cinematic soundscapes, as the guitars and the synth carry the song forward, Dark Sarah weaves her magic and the output is nothing short of an audio visual scape where you get to visualize the song like it’s a motion picture.
JP Leppäluoto takes the lead starting off with a funky and groovy beat in “I once had wings” and as Heidi joins in, her vocals are seconded with piano keys making it all the more Epic. The song sort of continues it melody to “Pirates” which has a beautiful acoustic guitar piece and the usual discourse between Dark Sarah and the Dragon, (I just love JP Leppäluoto baritone) as the two vocalist interchangeably switch between singing and exchanging dialogues (something I observed in “Promise” too).
“Sky Sailing” rings like a familiar tune in the head, the interlude has a beautiful piano composition and Heidi modulates her voice and brings out a vibrato effect showcasing tremendous prowess and versatility. “Wish” sounds like a lullaby, has dramatic changes with the dual discoursing and has a happy vibe to it. “The God Speaks” starts off with marching drums, chugging guitars and introduces the listener to Zuberoa Aznarez and Marco Hietala. The song is progressive, fast paced with Heidi hitting pretty high notes.
“The Golden Moth” is filled with heart-warming melodies, an electronic drum pad has been used, with its eclectic song arrangements you may enter in a trance. “The Gate of Time” culminates the journey, with JP Leppäluoto delivering the final verses of the moth as it flies to the Sun, the music truly fits the context and amazes the listener as this tremendous album comes to an end.
Production – The song compositions are remarkable, and are produced with all the tones in place, and all the instruments getting their fair share in the limelight.
Conclusion – The song writing has hit a peak. The songs have been crafted and structured so well that at no point is the listener distracted and remains spellbound and hooked. If you have heard the previous albums you would know what to do, but if you haven’t I highly recommend you give this mammoth work of art a spin.
Written by: Ankit Sood
“The Golden Moth” track listing
01. Desert Rose
04. My Beautiful Enemy
05. I Once Had Wings
07. Sky Sailing
09. The Gods Speak (feat. Marco Hietala & Zuberoa Aznarez)
11. Golden Moth
12. The Gate Of Time
Dark Sarah line-up:
Heidi Parviainen (as Dark Sarah) – vocals
JP Leppäluoto (as Dragon) – vocals
Erkka Korhonen – guitar
Sami Salonen – guitar
Rude Rothstén – bass
Thomas Tunkkari – drums
Zuberoa Aznarez (Diabulus In Musica)
Marco Hietala (Nightwish)
Netta Skog (ex. Ensiferum)
Video for ‘Sky Sailing’
Video for ‘Trespasser’
Lyric video for ‘The Gods Speak’ (feat. Marco Hietala & Zuberoa Aznárez)