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Dark Sarah - The Golden Moth Award winner

Dark Sarah
The Golden Moth
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 01 October 2018, 11:57 AM

DARK SARAH is a Finnish cinematic metal band led by classically trained singer/songwriter Heidi Parviainen. After parting ways with AMBERIAN DAWN in late 2012, she started to build up a new project called DARK SARAH. Their music combines metal, film music and theatrical elements. The albums are concept albums telling a continuing story of a young woman called Sarah and her evil half - Dark Sarah and a mystical journey through three worlds. All the three albums have been crowdfunded by the fans on Indiegogo. From their Facebook page, “"I used to look at the world with blue eyes, I used to love with an open heart but I was naive, the world needed to show it to me. I got angry for my weakness and angry with the world. In the darkest swirls of my mind I got stronger and meaner and started to change. I worked with my fear and I became DARK SARAH. I´m not bitter I´m just bitter sweet."

“The Golden Moth” contains twelve tracks. The story tells about Dark Sarah leaving the Underworld with the Iron Eagles and entering the Upper World, a deserted waste land where the Gods rule. The Dragon has sneaked into the new world by following Dark Sarah. First Dark Sarah thinks he wants to harm her, but soon they team up. Together they try to find their way to the Gods that live on an island floating upon the desert.

“Desert Rose” is a mood-setting opening piece, with ominous tones, and vocal harmonies. The entirety of the song has an Egyptian feeling to it. “Trespasser” has sweet and melancholy opening tones, as Heidi croons softly. The Dragon answers back, in equally hushed tones. Then the melody rolls in, bright and feisty. From there, the song reaches out with emotions, searching for something. “Wheel” has a little bit more going on. The epic touches are still there, but not as wide-open. Instead, more focus is on the melody of the song and the interplay of the vocals. “My Beautiful Enemy” opens with wondrous cinematic elements and that French horn is absolutely majestic. The melodies in this song are sublime and out there for you to grab a hold of, with grace and refinement.

“I Once Had Wings” is like a folk tale of things lost, with clean guitars and piano telling the tale of a man who once had wings, but now lives alone in the dark. It builds into a lamenting crescendo of hope. “Pirates” opens in the still of the desert…crickets are chirping while something looms in the silence. The voice warn of something coming, as they plot. “Sky Sailing” has more positive tones. The harmonies build throughout, until the interlude just past the half way mark, ending in an all-out chorus. “Wish” is a brief little affirmation of what happens when you dare to dream…a sweet little song with light Symphonic elements that keep the focus on the vocal interplay. “The Gods Speak” is about as foreboding as the title sound. The Gods talk about why they took away The Dragon’s wings, as doomed and premonitory elements build, until all is gone.

It segues into “Promise,” a tentative tale of something sworn sacred between two people. The Symphonic elements are sharp here, and the vocals expressive. A beautiful guitar solo is crafted here as well. Then we come to the title track, “A Golden Moth.” It opens with light tones, and the thoughtful and poignant vocals of Heidi Parviainen. She croons sweetly, and with a lot of power that is aptly subdued here. Just beautiful. “The Gate of Time” closes the album, talking about the moth fleeing from its host, flying towards the sun, as the subject reminisces.

Overall, this was a very well-done concept album. The tale was easy to follow, and the music tightly matched up. The Symphonic elements were present, obviously, but did not take over the main sound. Indeed, the main focus was on the vocals, and rightly so, as they were absolutely charming. Sometimes sad and other times hopeful, it was the perfect closer to a three-part concept album that was fully realized, and crafted with detail.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Desert Rose
2. Trespasser
3. Wheel
4. My Beautiful Enemy
5. I Once Had Wings
6. Pirates
7. Sky Sailing
8. Wish
9. The Gods Speak
10. Promise
11. The Golden Moth
12. The Gate of Time
Lineup:
Heidi Parviainen – DARK SARAH – Vocals
JP Leppäluoto – DRAGON – Vocals
Sami-Petri Salonen – Guitar
Erkka Korhonen – Guitar
Rude Rothstén – Bass
Thomas Tunkkari – Drums
Record Label: Inner Wound Recordings
     


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