ALBUM REVIEW: Dark Sarah – Grim

Gather around, get comfortable and prepare yourselves. There is a new story that is about to bestowed upon us. Cinematic Metal story tellers DARK SARAH are about to bring forth a new horror, fantasy story titled Grim. This tale will take you away to the mythical world involving orbs, ravens, rabbit-headed people and new nemesis Mörk. Once you enter this surreal dreamscape, it will never leave you. Are you ready? You ought to be.

Those who are die-hard fans of the band will know that DARK SARAH are more than the music, they have a story book with every one of their albums so far. This story follows on from a trilogy of stories featuring the character Dark Sarah, their last album The Golden Moth reached a tragic conclusion.

From the Melancholia lyric “I truly feel I’m in a different time”, I wondered if the character Luna was really Dark Sarah but in a different universe. This was confirmed when I spoke to vocalist Heidi Parviainen, she told me that Luna is a reincarnation of Dark Sarah. Onto Grim, the brand-new story.

The album opens with a combination of two tracks. You have the atmospheric intro My Name Is Luna that gives you the first taste of the new story that is about to be told. The Chosen One is different to previous DARK SARAH material, there is more Sci-Fi elements to this and it works for them.

Some of the songs off Grim are different to their previous material. Luna is a reincarnation of Dark Sarah so there are still elements of their previous sound that fans have come to know and love. Below are a few examples of tracks that stood out to me.

Iceheart is a beautiful stripped-down ballad that showcases Heidi’s beautiful voice. It gives us a break from the heaviness and hard impact. If this were a film, this would be the part where a character reflects upon their destiny before stepping into the next part of the adventure.

If the soundtracks for Edward Scissorhands and Mars Attacks merged together, the beginning of La Folie Verte should give you a rough idea of how that would sound. This comes before being treated to a bombastic and majestic melody that would make Symphonic Metal icons NIGHTWISH proud.

Since The Puzzle, JP Leppäluoto has become apart of the DARK SARAH family so it was great to hear his voice as The Wolf (a reincarnation of The Dragon) in the track The Wolf And The Maiden. It can be said that this track is very reminiscent of previous DARK SARAH material. This track has similar vibes to Trespasser and Sky Sailing.

One of the most notable differences can be heard in the tracks All Ears! and Mörk. Newcomer Jasse Jatala gives his raspy vocals and fierce growls as Luna’s nemesis Mörk. You first hear these in the single All Ears! This was a fantastic addition to the track. Mörk is a very different sounding track and an interesting one, like the character projects pure evil. It’s a track that takes you on many unexpected twists and turns.

It ends with The Dark Throne that gives you one last taste of this new development of DARK SARAH. Will this new development stay? Who knows but I personally hope it does.

DARK SARAH are about to give us a different tale yet but a powerful one. Like the previous stories, Grim contains that same power of escapism that is reinforced by majestic melodies and cinematic landscapes. This will reassure die-hard fans their sound is still strong and it will entice new seekers looking for a new adventure.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

Grim will unleashed this Friday via Napalm Records.

Find DARK SARAH on Facebook.

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