I’ve seen so many floorball and ice hockey battles between Finland and Sweden – one of the most classic local rivalries in sports. Nonetheless, there is the Scandinavian heart and you sometimes just have to accomplish the positive sides of the neighboring country. Like Amberian Dawn. The Finnish metal released their new album Take a Chance on 2nd December 2022. The album is featuring metal covers of ABBA songs. Let’s have a listen into this Finnish-Swedish musical project.
Amberian Dawn – About The Artists
Amberian Dawn are a Finnish symphonic metal band, which is active since 2004. They were a follow-up of the broken up band Virtuocity. During the first two years, the band was named Atheme One. The band is combining metal with a classic female voice – a not too unusual concept in the Scandinavian country. This role has been taken over by Heidi Parviainen initially. Since 2012 Päivi Virkkunen is the lead singer of Amberian Dawn. The other band members are guitarist and keyboarder Tuomas Seppälä, Emil Pohjalainen, Kimmu Korhonen (both guitar), Jukka Koskinen (bass) and Joonas Pykälä-Aho (drums). Take a Chance is already the tenth studio album of the Finnish band.
Amberian Dawn – Take a Chance – Track by Track
The eleven song album lasts 43 minutes.
1. Super Trouper
The album starts with the cover of the (very likely) most popular song ever written about stage lightning. Super Trouper has also been the last single release before the album has finally been published. The song feels cool. The Finnish guys definitely made a more rocking version of the song, Virkkunen illustrates her vocal strength and the keyboard parts feel like the in the 1970’s. I just miss… Metal. The electric guitars and the bass feel not to dare the Swedish song icon too much. Bad luck.
2. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
The second song is one of my favorites on the album. Again, the Finns give their own touch. Virkkunen sounds a bit too close to the original girls here and there – luckily, she is falling back to a more rocking voice quickly.- Anni-Frid and Agnetha feel to meet Bonnie Tyler in this song. The song has a nice rock drive, but I am still looking for the metal in this metal tribute. To shorten that one: I will look for it for most of the album. Nice bass solo in here, though.
SOS promisingly opens with some smashing guitar chords, but the verses are finally too close to the original to me here. Bad luck, as the chorus has a nice decent metal texture.
4. Head Over Heels
One of the nice features of the Take a Chance album is that it is also going for some of the less well-known ABBA songs – like this 1982 release, which “just” made it to the top of the charts in the Netherlands. A great showcase for Virkkunen, but you also see in Head Over Heels how strongly the quality of these covers depend on the quality and memorability of the original.
5. The Day Before You Came
The fifth track lasts 5:50 minutes, which feels very much like an average metal song – but in fact, the original The Day Before You Came lasted exactly the same time. The 1982 synth pop anthem simply does not give too much opportunity to let the bass and the guitar speak out loud if you don’t want to divert too far away from the originals – and Amberian Dawn does not dare to go that way in here. I wouldn’t have chosen this track for a cover. We already got a demonstration of the band’s vocal strength in other songs.
Angeleyes has been the 1979 ABBA single release right after Voulez-Vous and before Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! – quite an unfortunate position to write music history in the sandwich of these giants. The song was majorly successful in the U.K. only. and it also does not lead to a highlight on an album in 2022. Sorry.
7. That’s Me
That’s exactly I how I would imagine the song to sound alike… When it was part of the London ABBA Voyage hologram show setlist. You cannot listen to during the very special ABBA showcase – and again I struggle to feel too much added value in the Finnish cover version.
8. Mamma Mia
They named a musical and two movies after that – Mamma Mia is one of ABBA’s greatest. Again, I feel too much respect for the original in here. The recording is still a good one, but a “good” version of this music legend is to me not sufficient to favor it over the 1975 original.
9. Under Attack
Under Attack nicely illustrates how much strumming electric guitars suit to the typical synth-pop-ish ABBA song sound. The guitar solo part is a great sound. Thus, the ninth song is rather on my list of favorites.
10. Like An Angel Passing Through My Room
The tenth songs is the emotional highlight of the album. I would even say that I prefer this 2022 piano ballad version over the original from the The Visitors album. Good recording – which is, of course, not even adding a tiny notch on the metal-o-meter of the album.
11. Lay All Your Love On Me
The first single of the album – and 4.5 million streams on Spotify so far: the album closes with Lay All Your Love On Me, which is the masterpiece of Take a Chance to me. The song sounds electronic like ABBA, the vocals have their very own character and with the chorus latest, you have to bang your head slightly to the rhythm. Bell-bottoms are allowed in Amberian Dawn shows, exceptionally.
Amberian Dawn – Take a Chance – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Amberian Dawn – Take a Chance – My View
First of all: Take a Chance is a nice album. It is a well-recorded tribute to one of the greatest pop bands of all times. But… I just don’t get it. This is not a metal album at all. Didn’t they get the rights to do what they really wanted to do? Or is that the level of “rock hardness” Amberian Dawn is able to deliver in 2022? The previous releases have already been a bit more synth-alike… This release leaves me with question marks in my head. It’s a shame – this band and this tribute idea could have been a perfect blast.
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