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Review of the Album "River of Tuoni" by Finnish Neoclassical Power Metal Band Amberian Dawn

Updated on November 8, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

About Amberian Dawn and Their Musical Style

The band Amberian Dawn is a band that I only had a brief experience with at the first writing of this review but I heard the song called River of Tuoni and I was instantly mesmerized and left in awe! Amberian Dawn is a Finnish neoclassical power metal band similar to the band Nightwish. Vocalist Heidi Parviainen sounds like Tarja Turunen and Heidi has a pretty powerful voice too!

A Photo of the Album Cover for River of Tuoni

On the album cover for River of Tuoni is the very beautiful singer Heidi Parvianen.
On the album cover for River of Tuoni is the very beautiful singer Heidi Parvianen. | Source

Other Band Members for The 2008 Album River of Tuoni

  • Tuomas Seppala: lead guitars and keyboards
  • Kasperi Heikkinen: guitars
  • Tom Sagar: keyboards
  • Tommi Kuri: bass guitars (note: he died in 2014 due to illness).
  • Joonas Pykala-aho: drums

The Song Called "The Curse"

The First Two Songs Are the Best of the Album River of Tuoni

Amberian Dawn’s album River of Tuoni deserves a review because of Heidi’s vocals! The title track River of Tuoni can make some listeners cry because of the power and mood of the song. The song is about a mother that approaches a river that is known as a black river of death, The mother wants to find her son because she feels that he may be in that river. She realizes a while later that the river known as Tuoni in this song has taken her son. The next song called Wings Are My Eyes is a melodic song about someone that wants to use their wings and fly away to a better place. They want to fly to this better place because they have spent much of their life feeling like they were trapped in a cage. They felt fearful and they were in a rage but now that they are using their wings, they are free from that torture they were facing before. As we write, this writer who has been bothered by so much now feels liberated enough to write about the beautiful Heidi Parviainen and Amberian Dawn. However, as of 2012, Heidi is no longer singing for this band.

A Photo of the Beautiful Heidi Parviainen


"River of Tuoni"

Analyzing More of the Songs In "River of Tuoni"

The next song Lullaby sounds a little bit like Lacuna Coil’s song called Our Truth. The song has a powerful, catchy symphonic riff along with some low growls which may be hard to hear but the beauty of this song will take your mind off that minor detail. Valkyries is a song that starts off with a brief piano part (think about the band Insomnium) and then Heidi’s powerful operatic vocals come in. The song is about maidens with shields and warriors going out to do battle. However, as in any battle or war, there will unfortunately be some slain heroes. Fate of the Maiden has some old English style lyrics in it. The tempo is fast and so are Heidi’s vocals so the music is not that simple in this song. The interlude style playing is similar to Italy’s Rhapsody of Fire and the thundering drums are there but this album is well produced. The song called My Only Star is about someone that is willing to do what they can to shine their light of love to those who need it. The star can be seen in people’s dreams and guide them along a journey of love and peace even in real life. I love Finnish metal bands so that’s the main reason I decided to review this album. The song called The Curse sounds somewhat like German power metal band Edguy in the beginning. Heidi’s vocals powers continue as the song returns to the main riff for a short while. This song is about trying to do what we can to escape when the weather consists of rain, ice, and wind. We would be foolish to stay outside in these conditions. Nights in winter can be harsh as well just like the song says. The song called Passing Bells is significantly slower than the other songs. The song is about someone who knows that they will be executed at dawn so they are awaiting to be free, to be liberated.

Final Thoughts About the Album River of Tuoni

The song Sunrise is a song about a person that is waiting for the morning to come so that the sun can shine on her and restore a sense of normalcy for her. She has been wounded by the long night. It is no coincidence that so many people enjoy living in warm, sunny climates. The song ends with the keyboard influenced song Evil Inside Me. Overall, River of Tuoni is not a perfect album but since I wasn’t a huge fan of Nightwish during the Tarja Turunen era, this album will do just fine.

I don’t mean that to say that I hated Nightwish but Amberian Dawn is more than suitable for me now at this time in my life. Remember to appreciate the beautiful vocals of Heidi Parviainen as you listen to this album!

"Wings Are My Eyes"

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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