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Dark Sarah
Behind The Black Veil
November 2016
Released: 2015, Inner Wound
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Back in late 2012 Heidi Parviainen parted ways with her band Amberian Dawn. It seemed to be a relatively mutual parting based on statements released to the media. Since then Heidi has launched her new project and perhaps alter-ego and identity make-over, reintroducing herself as Dark Sarah. She has been on a productive roll with an album every couple of years beginning with BEHIND THE BLACK VEIL in 2015. I also reviewed her new album THE PUZZLE this month as well as part of a set. Feel free to check out that review as well.

Although I was aware of their legacy, I only became acquainted musically with Amberian Dawn, after vocalist Heidi Parviainen had left the band. So at that time I started following both bands and decided to check out Dark Sarah.

It started as a bit more of a studio project and eventually morphed into a fully-fledged band. Using a kick-starter program and some help from some high profile European Metal musicians and vocalists, the project took flight. Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica), Mauella Kraller (ex-Xandria) and Van Canto make appearances on her debut. In a bit of a brave move she decided to do a concept album. The story revolves around a young woman who is left behind at the wedding altar, jilted by her fiancé who leaves with another woman. Desperate and alone, the woman flees into the forest and experiences a transformation and rebirth into Dark Sarah, a woman who explores the previously unknown dark side of her own nature.

Heidi put together a top-notch band and they got signed right off the bat to Inner Wound Records who just thrive on this style of female-fronted, symphonic Euro Metal. BEHIND THE BLACK VEIL is quite a dark album, perhaps not surprising based on the lyrical subject matter of betrayal. The album doesn’t really getting going in pace or tempo until the fourth track, ‘Memories Fall’ a swirling orchestral piece. Dark Sarah do quite a lot with the confines of the 3-4 minute songs, never getting too far off track of conventional song-writing structures. There certainly is a bit of a feel of solo album as her wonderful voice is certainly the centrepiece of each song. She does a lovely duet with Tony Kakko on the song, 'Light In You'. Anyone of these songs could fit on a movie soundtrack to a Tim Burton film. If anything, I’d like to see a bit more speed and more crunch to the guitars. To top it all off there are a couple of bonus tracks, an orchestral version of ‘Memories Fall’ and a grim little Christmas themed song.

BEHIND THE BLACK VEIL is dark, brooding, atmospheric and certainly not lacking in emotion. It’s epic soundtrack-like qualities are sure to attract new fans as well as fans of her original work in Amberian Dawn.
Track Listing

1. Save Me
2. Poison Apple
3. Hide and Seek
4. Memories Fall
5. Evil Roots
6. Violent Roses
7. Hunting the Dreamer
8. Fortress
9. Silver Tree
10. Sun, Moon and Stars
11. Light in You
12. Sarah's Theme
13. Memories Fall (Orchestral Version)
14. A Grim Christmas Story


Heidi Parviainen — Vocals
Sami Salonen — Guitar
Erkka Korhonen — Guitar
Rude Rothstén — Bass
Lauri Kussaloit — Drums



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