The Golden Moth
(Inner Wound Recordings)
I'll be the first to admit that when I became 'indoctrinated' with the Cinematic Metal genre, I initially found myself embracing the most obvious of brethren (most notably Epica, Rhapsody and Israeli behemoth Orphaned Land). While this certainly allowed me to embark on a novitiate exploration, it prevented me from experiencing a true crosssection of everything it had to offer. Accordingly, you can only imagine my delight upon discovering Kerava, Finland hybrid Dark Sarah. Formed by soprano vocalist Heidi Parviainen following her departure from Neoclassical/Power Metal icons Amberian Dawn, the group immediately appeared destined for greatness with the release of their “Hunting The Dreamer”-fueled full-length offerings Behind The Black Veil (2015). With the group triumphantly returning with a bloodthirsty vengeance courtesy of The Golden Moth (2018), the third and final chapter in their already much-celebrated trilogy, a question still remains unanswered: are you really ready?
On the brilliant The Golden Moth (2018), an expertly assembled twelve song collection of Gothic and Symphonic-infused Cinematic Metal, each track, beginning with the maddeningly infectious “Trespasser” and the “I Once Had Wings” lamentation, immediately commands the rapt and undivided attention of even the most jaded and unimaginative of listeners, myself most definitely included. Seamlessly blending a staggering array of various elements (e.g. the previously mentioned Gothic and Symphonic Metal as well as both the Neo-Classical and the Progressive Metal sub-genres) into a single cohesive expression of , the group wastes little--if any--time obliterating their few would-be detractors. Deftly laying the foundations for the ethereal, metallic onslaught that soon follows, the group flexes their creative muscles as the journies of the ficional Dark Sarah character (now free of the 'Middle World' and 'The Underworld' realms) resuming via 'The Upper World' where the Gods reside.
Continuing with the triumphant--and often majestic--“Sky Sailing” and the impossibly soarin, emotionally over-wrought apotheosis “The Gods Speak”, the airtight, to say the very least, combination of vocalists Heidi Parviainen (Agonia, Amberian Dawn, Iconfear) and Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto (Charon, Finnish 'unplugged' Rock icons Harmaja, Poisonblack), guitarists Erkka Korhonen and Sami Salonen, bassist Rude Rothstén and drummer Thomas Tunkkari steamrolls ahead like a well-oiled machine. Boldly building upon the successes of The Puzzle (2016) and Behind The Black Veil (2015), the group unleashes an initial sonic assault that easily exceeds even the most optimistic of expectations. Engulfing the proverbial average listener amid a lush, multi-dimensional, self-styled universe of near-operatic vocals, blistering fretwork and imaginatively punishing rhythms, the group delivers their proverbial goods early and often, resulting in can only be described as a legitimate creative vertex.
Sonically succeeding where many of their would-be contemporaries have repeatedly failed, other standouts, including the delightfully exhaustive “Golden Moth” and the equally impressive, otherworldly closer “The Gate Of Time”, only reaffirm the group's rightful place within the hierarchies of a genre they almost single-handedly pioneered. Precariously balancing the fruits of their more-than-considerable labors upon the crest of a bona fide auditory and musical game changer, the group now finds itself rather firmly entrenched as both groundbreakers and trendsetters. While obviously not for everyone (particularly those without a genuine and sincere interested in broadening their horizons), what ultimately separates the mighty The Golden Moth from the shamelessly manufactured 'pomp ja olosuhteet' of the few that have dared to gamely follow in their footsteps is a seemingly ceaseless dedication to honing their razor-sharp chops and expanding upon their shimmering lyrical vernaculars.
At the risk of once again repeating myself, the question remains: what, exactly, are you all waiting for? As a aficionado of all things Heavy and/or Metal, you do owe it to yourself to gleefully partake. With Parviainen, Korhonen and Leppäluoto quite obviously 'operating' amid a bona fide creative peak, the majority--if not all--of the decidedly all-consuming and intricate wares contained herein resonate with an occasionally awe-inspiring sense of uniqueness. Undeniably the most deftly-executed Cinematic/Symphonic release of the rapidly waning year, The Golden Moth (and, as a result, the group itself) effectively represents the true future of the genre(s). Needless to say, if you've once again found yourself in search of a refreshingly imaginative alternative to the blasé, paint-by-numbers atrocities that are so often the burden of our charts and airwaves, then this, my friends, might just be the high-octane counter-irritants for what it is that ails you. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
The Golden Moth (2018)
The Puzzle (2016)
Behind The Black Veil (2015)
Violent Roses (EP) (2014)
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