Amberian Dawn / Pythia
28 March 2009
Camden Underworld, London

An evening of female fronted, operatic styled metal awaited us at the Camden Underworld with the UK’s own Pythia taking the stage first. Opening with Sweet Cantation, with artificial flame pots either side of Marc Dyos drum kit, singer Emily Alice Ovenden appeared from the back of the stage. Unfortunately she couldn’t find the microphone and missed her cue as she comically searched for it. Making light of the false start, Pythia were soon running through Sarah (Bury Her) and despite not having released their debut, Beneath the Veiled Embrace, there were many voices joining in for the chorus.

That new album features a guest appearance from Brian Blessed and his spoken introduction was played before Army of The Damned. The energetic song saw Emily Alice bouncing around the stage flanked by the beards of guitarists Ross White & Time Neale and bassist Andy Nixon-Corfield. No Compromise wrapped up the set to a warm response and was followed by a flurry of activity around the merchandise stall indicating Pythia already have a following in place.

Pythia set list:
Sweet Cantation / Sarah (Bury Her) / Eternal Darkness / WYWF / Army Of The Damned / Tristan / Ride For Glory / No Compromise

Finally making it to the UK after a last minute cancellation last September due to flight issues, Finland’s Amberian Dawn kicked things off with Curse from their debut album, River Of Tuoni, which was played almost in its entirety tonight. Noting the previous mishap, singer Heidi Parviainen proclaimed “This time we made it!”. With a good sound the harmonies of guitarists Emil Pohjalainen and Kasperi Heikkinen rung clear through Sunrise before it was time to introduce some new material from the forthcoming The Clouds Of Northland Thunder. As the member with the best command of English, bassist Tommi Kuri was left to do much of the between song banter and his quirky comical delivery raised many laughs.

Kokko-Eagle Of Fire and forthcoming single He Sleeps In A Grove hinted a good things with the latter featuring terrific solos from both Pohjalainen and Heikkinen. My Only Star takes the pace down sounding like something that could appear in an Andrew Lloyd Webber production.

Heidi’s stage presence was much more understated than Pythia’s Emily Alice, though her voice no less powerful. With a gentle demeanour she sought to get the crowd waving their fists as she crooned across the bands wash of power metal. With the sound swathed in Tuomas Seppälä’s keyboards, take away the operatic vocal and fellow Finns Sonata Arctica sprung to mind at times.

With a curfew due to a following club night Kuri offered a choice of closing songs with River Of Tuoni easily winning the vote. Where their luck had been against them on their last attempted visit, tonight was a success for Amberian Dawn and the timing of their visit meant a late addition to Kamelot’s bill the following night due to Serenity having to drop out.

Amberian Dawn set list:
Curse / Sunrise / Kokko – Eagle Of Fire / He Sleeps In A Grove / My Only Star / Evil Inside Me / Fate Of The Maiden / Sons Of Seven Stars / Willow Of Tears / My Wings Are My Eyes / Lionheart / Valkyries / Passing Bells / River Of Tuoni

Amberian Dawn