“Sky Sailing” with Dark Sarah [Helsinki]

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            A small crowd braved heavy snow to attend Dark Sarah’s January 17th set, the band’s first live performance of 2019. The six-piece cinematic metal group, which was recently added to this year’s Tuska festival lineup, recently released a full length album entitled “The Golden Moth”, which continues to tell the story of lead singer Heidi Parviainen’s alter ego, Sarah.

            Parviainen and male lead singer Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto (ex-Charon, Harmaja, Poisonblack) entered the stage with “Trespasser”, and the rest of the band followed suit shortly thereafter. Other band members include Sami-Petri Salonen (guitar), Rude Rothstén (bass), Thomas Tunkkari (drums), Erkka Korhonen (guitar), founder of the famed “Raskasta Joulua”, or “Heavy Christmas” annual holiday shows.

            Clad in steampunk-inspired outfits, both lead vocalists wandered the stage for “Wheel”, but circled back towards each other with arms outstretched, then sang back to back.

            The recipe for “Dance with the Dragon” was a dash of Nightwish and a taste of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, as Leppäluoto’s theatrical vocals kept him very much in the Dragon character. Arguably one of the band’s more memorable tracks, the orchestral arrangement translated well from recording to stage.

            The pinnacle of the set was “Sky Sailing”, whose subject matter evoked pirate-themed imagery from the music video. It was Dark Sarah’s most polished moment of the evening, and elicited fist pumps from the crowd as the audience swelled in number.

The stage’s uplighting cast a glow onto the band’s faces as they leaned in towards the crowd, pouring out a few more songs before passing the set on to symphonic power metal headliner Arion.

            Parviainen had thoughts to share with Metal Solstice regarding her sources of songwriting inspiration, as well as her promise to deliver a theatrical show to fans.

METAL SOLSTICE: “The Golden Moth” has been out for a little while now; what has been the response so far?

HEIDI PARVIAINEN: The response has been really great! It is so nice that so many have also found the written story on our website that clears up many questions and adds also an extra layer to the listening experience.

MS: This album was the third in Sarah’s storyline trilogy. It may be early to ask, but from where will you draw inspiration for a storyline for a fourth album and beyond?

HP: I have already started to make new songs and write the new story line to go with the fourth album. I draw inspiration from everywhere; it can be pictures, movies, or other music. I’m really excited about this new chapter!

MS: What can fans expect to hear and experience during your live performances?

HP: We have picked up songs from each album, but are concentrating on the newest material. And of course fans can expect an energetic and theatrical show in Dark Sarah style! 

MS: Have you performed with Arion previously? What are some other bands you’d like to perform with?

HP: Yes. They were our support on The Puzzle album release show two years ago. Nice to take turns this way. We also shared the stage with Within Temptation in Oulu, Finland. It was an honor and a big opportunity for us. Hopefully more like this will come!

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