We’ve been looking forward to new material from Dark Sarah ever since enjoying the project’s debut album Behind The Black Veil, and The Puzzle has definitely taken things up a notch.
Whilst I commented on Behind The Black Veil relying fairly heavily on the vocals to progress, it feels like there’s a better balance between the vocals and the instrumentation, and subsequently feels like a more natural release as a result of this. There’s still plenty of absolutely stunning vocal work of course, but they’re no longer the sole focus and it makes for a more enjoyable listen.
The Puzzle is another concept album, following on from where the previous album left off, but it feels like so much more than simply a follow-up – everything just sounds so much more tighter and together, and it’s definitely a stronger and more varied listen. Second track Island In The Mist has a bit of a heavier vibe thanks to the chugging guitars throughout, and is followed up nicely by Little Men, which is a lighter and very melodic number that will definitely be stuck in your head after a few listens of it.
The album also features some guest vocalists, but the strongest of the duets is certainly the one with Charon’s JP Leppäluoto as his voice seems to pair up beautifully with Heidi’s. The darkness of his vocal performance juxtaposes beautifully against the softness and light of Heidi’s, and the epic instrumentation that accompanies them helps the song to stand head and shoulders above the crowd.
As a whole, a beautifully stunning album. It’s always good to hear progression between one release to the next, and The Puzzle is definitely an album that shows Dark Sarah has stepped up its game!