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Dark Sarah – Attack Of Orym

Dark Sarah
Attack Of Orym
by Thomas Kumke at 15 January 2023, 3:54 AM

DARK SARAH were formed in 2012 by former AMBERIAN DAWN vocalist Heidi Parviainen. The cinematic symphonic Metal band are from Helsinki, Finland. “Attack Of Orym” is their 5th full-length album. It was produced and mixed by Mikko P. Mustonen (AMBERIAN DAWN; ENSIFERUM) at Pathos Music Studios, and it was mastered by Svante Forsbäck (AMORPHIS; DELAIN; LORDI) at Chartmakers. It has a length of approximately 45 minutes, and it was released via Finnish label Riena Productions and French Death Metal specialist Blood Blast Distributions.

All albums of DARK SARAH have one thing in common: they are concept albums. The concept of “Attack Of Orym” is a continuation of the concept of the 2020 release “Grim”. It is a modern horror fantasy story, where Orym is the king of the forest folk. DARK SARAH got Mark Jansen (EPICA; MAYAN) to sing the role of Orym, while long-term guest JP Leppäluoto (NORTHERN KINGS; RASKASTA JOULUA) sings the role of the dragon. Another guest is BEAST IN BLACK guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen.

The album starts with a bombastic cinematic intro to build up tension and atmosphere. The title song starts with powerful and heavy guitar riffing at a head-banging rhythm, before the vocals and orchestral arrangements join in. “Attack Of Orym” is a song with a mixture of dark melodies, but also with catchiness. The orchestral arrangements are more in the background during the beginning of the track and they become more and more central as the track goes on. Mark Jansen provides the growls during the break. The main vocals of Heidi Parviainen range between the medium and the high end of the vocal range and drive the song forward. “Attack Of Orym” is a great opening song and sets the conceptual scene of the album. “Invincible“ is an easy-to-listen song with catchy melodies. It is Pop inspired with a few 80s vibes, and there is a good mixture of orchestral arrangements and guitar riffing. The lead guitar solo of Kasperi Heikkinen is surely the highlight of the track, even though it could and should have been longer and have a more central role.

B.U.R.N.” starts at a measured tempo and then transitions quickly into mid-tempo. The orchestral arrangements are well-balanced with the guitars, bass, and drums. They are in the background during the verse parts and become more distinctive during the chorus part with the strings. Heidi Parviainen has background vocal support during the bridges and the down-tempo break. “Warning Sign” starts with a short keyboard pre-lude introducing the main melody of the track. The guitar riffing is powerful during the verse parts. The melodies are catchy, especially during the chorus parts leading to almost anthemic chorus lines. Again, the orchestral arrangements are very well built into the track in a way that they lead the melodies, but are not overly dominant. “Warning Sign” is the official video release, and the YouTube link is given below.

Goth Disco” starts with a short orchestral intro building up tension and then transitions into a mid-tempo song with catchy riffing during the verse parts and sing-along choruses. The orchestral arrangements are more in the background, with exception of the choir who is a focal point during the chorus parts of the track. There are a few 80s vibes again coming with the background vocals, which create a musical-like atmosphere. “Delirium” continues with pace and rhythm of “Goth Disco” and apart from that, there are a lot of other similarities in terms of the sound, the melodies, and the arrangements. A noticeable difference between both tracks is the greater cheerfulness in the melodies of “Delirium”. Highlight of the track is the lead guitar solo by Kasperi Heikkinen. “Piece Of My Heart” starts with heavy riffing and the strings. The song is a bit faster than most tracks of the album. The melodies are catchy, and the orchestral arrangements, being predominantly the strings, fit in nicely into the track. “Piece Of My Heart” includes a lot of background vocals and a guest contribution of JP Leppäluoto who, unfortunately, seem to go missing during the track.

Breaking Free” starts with powerful guitar riffing and crunching bass lines, but quickly goes back into the typical album textures. The song does not sound very different from many tracks on the album, and the best parts of “Breaking Free” are the riffing and the bass lines. The final song starts heavy with a mixture of keyboards, guitars, and electronic samples. “Hero And A Villain” has a lot of AMARANTHE vibes especially with the riffing and the interplay between the guitars and the keyboards. The song is a bit heavier compared to most of the album songs and one of the best songs on “Attack Of Orym”.

DARK SARAH deliver an album that is very much focussed on the concept. The sound on the album does hardly change throughout, with most of the songs being catchy and easy-to-listen to. The melodies have little variety, and the sound of many songs is easily predictable. The vocals offer little versatility, but they keep the songs very well together. The album included a few guest contributions in important conceptual roles and were in my opinion not sufficiently represented, which is a missed opportunity. The orchestral arrangements were very well composed and fit nicely into the songs. The album is well produced. “Attack Of Orym” is a solid album and many fans of symphonic Metal will dig the album.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Attack Of Orym
3. Invincible
4. B.U.R.N.
5. Warning Sign
6. Goth Disco
7. Delirium
8. Piece Of My Heart
9. Breaking Free
10. Hero And A Villain
Lineup:
Heidi Parviainen – Vocals
Sami Salonen – Guitars
Henrik Airaksinen ­ Keyboards
Thomas Tunkkari – Drums
Rude Rothsten – Bass
Record Label: Blood Blast Distribution
     


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