Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
The Beautiful Paivi "Capri" Virkkunen
There are vocalists in the heavy metal genre that have not gotten enough exposure or recognition and one of those vocalists is Paivi “Capri” Virkkunen, known simply as Capri. Fans of the band Amberian Dawn will know that she is the vocalist that replaced Heidi Parviainen in 2012. But rather than providing just a straightforward biography of this woman, we will also discuss her role in Amberian Dawn’s 2017 studio album, Darkness of Eternity.
A Brief Look at Capri's Life and Career So Far
Born on February 28, 1972, in Vaasa, Finland, Virkkunen started to sing in front of audiences when she was just three years old. When she was a teenager, she started to play the piano and she also focused on singing and this approach included doing classical and rock vocals. It was at the age of 19 that Capri started to take singing lessons so that she could become a vocal coach. Capri was also a singing coach for the Tampere Workers’ Theatre in the famous musical Chicago. It was in 2013 that Capri also portrayed the role of Frida Lyngstad of the famous pop music group ABBA when she took part in a stage musical about the group. It would be in 2014 with the release of the album Magic Forest in which guitarist and keyboardist Tuomas Seppala called it symphonic metal. Magic Forest would also be the first official full-length album for Capri.
Amberian Dawn Introduces Capri Virkkunen
But even more important than what Capri does with a metal band and the style of its album Darkness of Eternity, Capri can also provide the next generation of metal fans with a vocalist that they can hopefully relate to and see that her vocal range is pretty diverse. In 2012 at the age of 40, I can say that she got a sort of fresh start and she really got immersed in the rich Finnish metal scene and the music scene in Finland will be even better for her contributions.
Capri Has Made Amberian Dawn A Stronger Metal Band
Capri’s vocal style can be described as a power metal style without having total operatic influences. In other words, her singing style isn’t even like current Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen. She can still hit the high notes and make it sound melodic without overdoing it which is why she is so underrated in the vocal department. She is even more soothing as a vocalist than Elisa Martin and even though you can tell that Capri has an accent, that accent actually helps her singing skills which is an asset in music. She also does not have that pop-metal vocal style that Tanja Lainio did.
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In discussing the life and career of Paivi “Capri” Virkkunen, it is also necessary to provide additional perspective so that the world can see how she has influenced the genre of heavy metal. Bands such as Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, and Stratovarius set the tone for the development and growth of Finnish power metal but Amberian Dawn came onto the scene to provide what I would call a brand new type of power metal and Capri has seen a resurgence in her career starting in her 40s and this sort of occurrence means that she became sort of a late bloomer in the genre of heavy metal but her entry into Amberian Dawn has only made the band stronger.
How Strong Is the Album Darkness of Eternity?
Let’s discuss the strength of the album Darkness of Eternity which was released in Capri’s 45th year of life and this is significant because the album shows a sort of musical evolution that we might not have seen before from Amberian Dawn. The album starts off with the thundering power metal song "I’m the One" as Capri sings “I’m the one please pick me.” If she asked me to choose her as a top 10 female metal vocalist I’d be inclined to do so. Is it the best or worst album of the career of Amberian Dawn? It is neither of those and the only thing that can be said is that this album is a step of growth for Amberian Dawn as they incorporate symphonic power metal infused with touches of Yngwie J. Malmsteen and Stratovarius all in one album.
The song "Abyss" has a very important message in it and that message is that time will heal a broken heart as time goes by. It is said that time heals all wounds but is this always the case? It is one of those philosophical questions that we may not know the answer to. "Ghostwoman" is a song that features nice harmonic singing when the words “beautiful magic river” are uttered. "Breathe Again" is a ballad style song about a person that wonders where they are headed to. They are struggling to get back up and they wonder if they are reaching their final destination.
Capri Talks About the Significance of Her Singing Style
In July 2014, Kenta Press interviewed Capri, asking her several questions and one of them was if she had met former Amberian Dawn vocalist Heidi Parviainen and she had not met her yet. Capri was also asked about how she would define her voice and Capri described it like this: “For me singing is not a pre-decided style, it is about the story. If the story needs opera I sing like that.”
Final Thoughts About Paivi "Capri" Virkkunen
It is a rather interesting way that Capri describes her voice and it makes you think that perhaps each song tells a story such as the song "Maybe." Lyrically, the song is about a woman that wonders why the one that she loved hurt him so much. So there is a look at the life and career of Capri Virkkunen of the band Amberian Dawn, and it is my hope that she will become more recognized in the genre of heavy metal.
Kenta. “Kenta Interviews Finnish Singer Capri From Amberian Dawn.” Kenta Press & Agency. July 25, 2014. Accessed on September 26, 2020. https://kentapress.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/kenta-interviews-finnish-singer-capri-from-amberian-dawn/
© 2020 Ara Vahanian