I’m not sure what it is about Finland and symphonic metal, but it must be something! For not only is the tag line «symphonic metal band from Finland» as usual as Norwegians getting sunburned on holiday, the quality is also world class! And Dark Sarah is not an exception. Now the band is ready to release their third album, and PowerMetal.no asked Heidi Parviainen a few questions about just that (but forgot to ask about Finland and symphonic metal, though…)
Congratulations with the new album! How does it feel?
Heidi: It feels great! I’m really happy with the album.
You left your former band, Amberian Dawn, in 2012 to start working on Dark Sarah. Could you tell me the story about Sarah and how it first came into your mind?
Heidi: «The chronicles» trilogy tells about a young woman called Sarah and her evil alter ego Dark Sarah who is sent on a quest through three worlds.
The character Sarah was born when I was writing the first lyrics for Dark Sarah. It was «Save Me» [Behind The Black Veil, 2014] where a woman in her wedding dress wanders in the woods and finds her fiancé binded. There she meets her alter ego the first time. Then I decided that I needed to write more about this woman and her story.
The concept around Dark Sarah is very visual; with characters, music videos, and of course the story around it. How important is that for you and the music?
Heidi: For me music has always been very visual. When I listen to songs I see stories, like small movies. I wanted to include all this; music, visuals and story, to the Dark Sarah concept. And because every element is supporting each other in my opinion, the listening experience becomes wider. There is more or less something for each sense.
Where do you find inspiration for the story and the concept in general?
Heidi: I love fantasy movies and books and they inspire me a lot. Also, the human mind is fascinating; it can be really confusing from time to time – I guess we all can agree on that. So I wanted to combine these for «The Chronicles». It is a growth story, but also a fantasy adventure. I have a wild imagination!
Review: Dark Sarah – The Golden Moth
The story on the new album, The Golden Moth, is a continuation on the previous albums. In short; what happens now?
Heidi: «The Golden Moth» is the last part of «The Chronicles» trilogy. On «The Puzzle»  album Dark Sarah met The Dragon and now they meet again in a new world, The Upper World, a deserted waste land where the gods rule. Dark Sarah and Dragon team up and try to find their way to the gods.
And music wise: how does this album fit with the previous albums?
Heidi: Musically it follows the same path as the two previous albums, but more theatrical and symphonic. Rhythmically more 3/4 than on any other album – they do steal an air ship where almost the whole story takes place.
One significal change to the other albums is that JP Leppäluoto joined this album as a second vocalist. That brings a new sound.
Can you tell me a bit about the work behind an album? How do you write the music?
Heidi: I Write the story line first and at the same time I start composing the songs too. They walk hand in hand. The lyrics are made after the final arrangements are made.
About the guest musicians: how do you pick each musician?
Heidi: I have the guests already in mind when the roles are being made. The arrangements are made for each voice so they can use their best potential in the songs.
How many albums do you have planned With Sarah as the main character?
Heidi: I don’t know. As many as I feel there are stories left to be told.
Let’s hope there are a lot more stories left.
The new album, The Golden Moth, is out September 21st. Check out the brand new music video for «Sky Sailing», the third single from the upcoming album.