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By the name Dark Sarah, Heidi Parvianein, ex-Amberian Dawn vocalist, releases her debut album ‘Behind the Black Veil’ on May 8th in Europe and on May 12th in North America. Cinematic metal, ‘Behind the Black Veil’ brings us Dark Sarah’s adventures between two sides of herself. Torn apart by being left at the altar, Sarah discovers her twisted side, which is explored in the songs in a varied display of great vocal aptitude. Along with well-known collaborators, Dark Sarah walks around in her psychological challenge alongside Manuela Kraller (ex-Xandria), Inga Scharf (Van Canto) and the perfect “Beast” of duets - Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica).

Moody and fairy-tale like, ‘Save Me’ introduces us to the desperation of a wounded woman heading to a possible release within herself. Sarah is saved, by Dark Sarah with arms wide open, a new self is born. Great orchestrations accompany this inner evolution where all the emotions can be shown and felt in perfect synchrony with Heidi Parvianein’s voice. ‘Poison Apple’ follows, displaying the rage and need for revenge that this once nearly destroyed woman needs. This song could easily be in a movie dedicated to Snow White’s Evil Queen. Yet our Queen still struggles with Sarah, ‘Hide and Seek’ brings us back to her sensitive side, with an emotional ballad filled with beautiful keyboard demonstrations, orchestration clearly made to give us the theatrical ambiance.

However, this doesn’t last long as Dark Sarah seems to be stronger, following the emotional breakdown; she rises back with displays of a desperate need of forgetting what Sarah once was. ‘Memories Fall’, featuring Manuela Kraller, starts our evil journey through her Kingdom ready to be set. ‘Evil Roots’, one of my personal favorites on the album and undoubtedly one of the most balanced between metal and symphony, presents us with a powerful chorus surrounded by well-written guitar riffs and perfectly blended keyboards.

Disney comes back again with ‘Violent Roses’ - a completely maniac dialog accompanied by some very well placed drums and insane, almost Alice in Wonderland crossing Snow White Queen, type of atmosphere. The struggle is evident and the inner fight is even clearer. This themed album follows the same line with songs such as ‘Hunting the Dreamer’, ‘Fortress’ and ‘Silver Tree’. The madness is there in every single chord played and sung. With ‘Sun Moon and Starts’, some light is given to us, a bit of what sounds like a cathartic journey, we explore some more guitar playfulness and lightness in Heidi’s voice. It seems that Sarah is not completely gone after all.

Tonny Kakko comes to save Sarah in a beautiful, soothing ballad, full of power, which could be easily called one of the best duets/dialogs performed in the past few years in this genre. This kind of sound was missing and there is no better person to perform a song like this - Sonata Arctica’s frontman. In a place where hope seemed to be gone, Sarah is reborn and this is where our story comes to an end - “Sarah’s Theme’. A beautiful album, perfect to those who are not afraid of their “dark fairytale” obsession. A magnificent piece of art that could easily be turned into a movie.
Inner Wound
Review by Salomé Sequeira
8th May 2015
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
14) A Grim Christmas Story
"A magnificent piece of art that could easily be turned into a movie."