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From left, Sami Salonen, Rude Rothstén, Heidi Parviainen, Erkka Korhonen, JP Leppäluoto, and Thomas Tunkkari
Dark Sarah is a Symphonic Metal/Gothic Metal band from Kerava, Finland. It was formed by lyric soprano Heidi Parviainen in 2012 after leaving her former band Amberian Dawn.
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Parviainen wrote a song called "Save Me" about a woman named Sarah who is left at the altar by her fiancé, which turned into a crowdfunded Concept Album about Sarah's dark side, Behind the Black Veil, released in 2015. This story continued on into the succeeding albums, describing Sarah's continuing supernatural misadventures. Beginning in 2016's The Puzzle, Sarah was joined by a new character, The Dragon, voiced by JP Leppäluoto (Charon, Harmaja, Northern Kings). Leppäluoto reprised the role as a full member of the group in 2018's The Golden Moth, but left the group following this album.

2020's Grim begins a new Story Arc.


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Members:

  • Heidi Parviainen — vocals (2012–present)
  • Sami Salonen — guitars (2014–present)
  • Erkka Korhonen — guitars (2014–present)
  • Thomas Tunkkari — drums (2015–present)
  • Rude Rothstén — bass guitars (2014–present)

Former members:

  • Jukka Koskinnen — bass guitar (2014)
  • Lauri Kuussalo — drums (2014–2015)
  • Juha-Pekka "JP" Leppäluoto — vocals (2017–2019)

Discography:

  • Behind the Black Veil (2015)
  • The Puzzle (2016)
  • The Golden Moth (2018)
  • Grim (2020)

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Tropes:

  • Album Title Drop:
    • For the first album, in "Memories fall," there is the line, "I see your world fades, behind the black veil."
    • For the second album, in "Ash Grove," there is the line, "How can I solve the puzzle he just didn't mention when he spoke in riddles here!"
    • For the third album, in "Golden Moth," there are the lines, "Like a ghost / From its host / The golden moth flies from the innermost."
  • All There in the Manual: The story behind the three albums is explained in "The Chronicles" written by Heidi Parviainen.
  • And I Must Scream: "Fortress" is about Sarah feeling trapped in her own mind.
    I lie awake, no one can hear me, no one can hear when I scream
  • Ascended Extra: JP Leppäluoto was a guest vocalist on "Dance with the Dragon" from The Puzzle before joining the band permanently in 2017. Then Demoted to Extra when he left the band to focus on his solo career between Golden Moth and Grim: he only appears on one song.
  • BSoD Song: "Hide and Seek" is about Sarah almost having a mental breakdown.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: One way to view "Golden Moth".
    Like a ghost
    From its host
    The golden moth flies from the innermost
    Where has it gone?
    Towards the sun
    Dropped her wings one by one
  • Caged Bird Metaphor: In "For the Birds," Dark Sarah wants to escape the misty island and compares herself to a caged bird.
    The caged bird sings for freedom
    hoping with a tear that springs,
    to fly and leave behind the prison and feel the wing
    under these wings
  • Concept Album: More like a Concept Group: the band's albums tell a continuous story about Sarah as she falls into darkness and encounters various fantastical creatures and scenarios as she tries to escape from that hellish dimension.
  • Cop Killer: Sarah's last victims in "A Grim Christmas Story" are two police officers who came looking for the milkman she killed earlier in the song.
  • Dance Battler: Dark Sarah and the Dragon in the "Trespasser" video. Flynning and dancing go together well.
  • A Darker Me: The whole concept, as explained by Heidi:
    Behind the Black Veil tells a story about a young woman called Sarah. She is left at the altar by her husband and she almost has a mental breakdown but instead something wakes up inside her and she changes to another person, her meaner half: Dark Sarah.
  • Dark Is Evil: Downplayed with Dark Sarah. She is certainly meaner than her good self, she is responsible for the villainous and vengeful songs on the first album, but she has good reasons to be like this. Still, her banishment in tne end of the first album is presented as a good thing. Then, the next two albums chronicle her journey through the underworld and the upper world as she tries to survive. She is kind and supportive towards the Dragon even when she doesn't have to be. But she believes Love Is a Weakness and says that her good self "needs to go".
    Dark Sarah: I need to get back and find my other half that was separated of me. She needs to go. We can't live in the same body. I still feel her sometimes and I hate her feelings, they make me weak.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "Violent Roses," Dark Sarah poisons someone who ruined her beloved garden.
  • Downer Ending: The Golden Moth. The Dragon betrays Dark Sarah and the gods kill her.
  • Dramatic Irony: In The Golden Moth, while Dark Sarah begins to trust him, the Dragon withholds the vital information: the goods will kill her for setting her foot in the upper world, and he needs her keys for himself. She even goes out of her way to cheer him up as he frequently sinks into his dark thoughts about that.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: "Promise". At the end of The Golden Moth, after some inner turmoil, the Dragon betrays Dark Sarah. Dark Sarah, who came to trust him and like him, is naturally shocked and devastated.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Heidi does it in "Violent Roses" and "A Grim Christmas Story".
    • The Dragon does it in "Dance with the Dragon".
  • Flower in Her Hair: Heidi as Dark Sarah in the video for "Little Man" and on the cover of ''The Golden Moth''.
  • Flynning: Dark Sarah and the Dragon in the "Trespasser" video don't seem to be trying to hit each other, only each others' weapons.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: In The Golden Moth, the Dragon is after the keys that would let him turn back time and get his wings back, but Dark Sarah needs the keys as well, and he forms a bond with her. Still, he chooses the keys in the end.
  • Ghostly Goals: In "Promise", Dark Sarah promises to become a ghost and haunt the Dragon wherever he goes.
  • Gratuitous Latin: The last line of "The Chosen One" from Grim is "Ave nox, ave luna, ave mors et resurrectio noctuae noctis", meaning "Hail night, hail moon, hail death and the resurrection of the owl of night."
  • Guyliner: JP Leppäluoto rocks his eyeliner as the Dragon.
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: "Save Me", "Memories Fall", and "Evil Roots" are about her shifting into Dark Sarah.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: The refrain of "Golden Moth" has the line, "I'm cold, I'm cold". The song is a bit vague but story-wise, Dark Sarah dies at this point.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: The shift to the Dark Sarah persona is caused by her fiance leaving her at the altar.
    I used to look at the world with blue eyes, I used to love with an open heart but I was naive, the world needed to show it to me. I got angry for my weakness and angry with the world. In the darkest swirls of my mind I got stronger and meaner and started to change. I worked with my fear and I became Dark Sarah. I'm not bitter. I'm just bitter sweet.
  • Kill It with Fire: "Hunting the Dreamer". "This is the dream, purifying fire." In the video, Dark Sarah burns something like a voodoo doll of her Runaway Groom.
  • Large Ham:
    • The Dragon is so over the top, you can't even see the top from there.
    • Dark Sarah is rather full of herself too.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Dark Sarah says that sometimes, she still feels her other half and hates her feelings: they make her weak.
  • Macabre Moth Motif:
    • The eponymous golden moth is Sarah herself, after the Dragon betrays her and the gods seemingly kill her.
    • According to the liner notes, at the start of Grim, a moth alights on the brim of a witch's hat in the city of Grim; the witch transforms her into a human who takes the name Luna. It's implied but not confirmed that the moth is the same one that used to be Sarah.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Golden Moth: the hopeful, flirty, funny "Wish" is followed by the epic and dramatic "Gods Speak" where everything falls apart.
  • Multilingual Song: The verses of "Hunting the Dreamer" are in English and the refrain is in Finnish.
  • Murder Ballad:
    • "Poison Apple":
      Down in the cellar I'm making my poison for you
      This venom is, my love, the last gift I'll give to you
    • Parodied with "A Grim Christmas Story", which tells how Sarah killed her cheating husband, then the milkman when he came over to have a beer with her husband, then the milkman's wife, then her husband's mistress, then some random guy who wanted to talk to her husband, and finally two cops who came looking for the milkman. All to the (modified but easily recognizable) tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The band describes itself as "cinematic metal". It's chiefly Symphonic Metal, but several songs use entirely classical instrumentation, and the darker lyrical themes and tone of Heidi's singing are more emblematic of Gothic Metal.
  • No Name Given: The Dragon.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Poison Apple," "Violent Roses," "Hunting The Dreamer," "A Grim Christmas Story," "For the Birds," "Dance With The Dragon," "Trespasser," "Pirates," "Gods Speak."
  • Never Be Hurt Again: Part of her transformation into Dark Sarah is giving her soul to the Queen of No Good for "the power to be cold" and never fear, or feel sorry, or feel anything at all.
    She had become another person, Dark Sarah, who no one could hurt because she was the complete opposite of her, without fear or any emotions. That kind of woman was what she wanted to be.
  • The Power of Hate: "Save me" has this line:
    Stronger by anger, I'll make it
  • The Power of Love: The second riddle of The Puzzle is, "What power is greater than death?" Dark Sarah thinks about why she is in the underworld instead of her good half and realizes that, unlike her, Sarah had the power of love in her. This turns out to be the answer: "Love is stronger than death." This doesn't stop Dark Sarah from believing Love Is a Weakness.
  • Protagonist Title: For the whole band. Dark Sarah is the main character of the story told through the band's albums.
  • Putting on the Reich: In the video for "All Ears!" Heidi wears a costume resembling an SS uniform, but with hotpants and a badge on her hat of two crescent moons.
  • Revenge Ballad: In "Save me", "Poison Apple", and "Hunting the Dreamer", Dark Sarah is getting back at her Runaway Groom. Or Was It a Dream?
    • "Save me":
      Now you'll pay for my heart
      Revenge is much sweeter than your love
    • "Hunting the Dreamer":
      I'm hunting your dreams, I'm taking them down
      Destroying your heart by draining your love!
      Now you will feel how my life has been
      Living a dream as a living dead being
  • Rousing Speech: "All Ears!" is Luna's as she tries to rouse the beastfolk of Grim to march on the fortress of the villain Mörk.
  • Runaway Groom: The story begins with Sarah's fiance leaving her at the altar.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Fortress".
    I follow my footsteps wet on the floor
    They're changing to blood trailed marks
    What I've done, you must tell me
    Because I'm losing it, I don't dare to find out!
  • Ship Tease: Between Dark Sarah and the Dragon. They tango in "Dance with the Dragon", and he calls her "my dear". The Golden Moth begins with them forming an Enemy Mine, and they act almost like a Battle Couple, they laugh at each other for looking funny in goggles, she sleeps in his embrace and tries to comfort him and cheer him up when he sinks into his dark thoughts.
    • From "Trespasser":
      Dark Sarah: Stay...
      The Dragon: You'll see we share the pain right here
      Dark Sarah: The heat is here to stay, it burns our way
      • Technically, the last line refers to them crossing the desert, but still.
    • From "Sky Sailing":
      The Dragon: So many of my few smiles / Begin with you / You're one of a kind
      Dark Sarah: So many of my few happy days / I have shared with you / I love how you're so dark
    • And then, he betrays her in the end.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sirens Are Mermaids: The character Dark Sarah meets in the ocean in "Aquarium" is called Evil Siren Mermaid.
  • Song of Many Emotions: "Save me" expresses sorrow and anger at her Runaway Groom, angry joy and some apprehension about her transformation.
  • Special Guest: A lot of singers from other metal bands appear on the albums.
    • Behind the Black Veil: Manuela Kraller (ex-Xandria) sings on "Memories Fall", van Canto's Inga Scharf and Stefan Schmidt appear on "Evil Roots", and Sonata Arctica's Tony Kakko appears on "Light in You".
    • The Puzzle: Manuela Kraller returns for "Rain", JP Leppäluoto (Charon, Northern Kings) appears on "Dance with the Dragon", and Delain's Charlotte Wessels appears on "Aquarium".
    • The Golden Moth: Zuberoa Aznárez from Diabulus In Musica, Marco Hietala of Nightwish and Tarot, and Netta Skog from Ensiferum.
  • Take Away Their Name: In "Evil Roots", it's another mark of Sarah's transformation:
    You've lost your name
    In the fight against the night
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: In "Violent Roses", Dark Sarah bakes a pie of poison apples and feeds it to the person who ruined her beloved garden.
  • Terms of Endangerment: The Dragon addresses Dark Sarah as "my dear".
  • Villain Song:
    • "Violent Roses". Someone ruined her beloved garden, and she'll make them pay for that. With their life.
      How I always loved to cook, make you a supper
      (the poisonous pie)
      This time you will be surprised but only for a while
      (now take a bite)
      Cause once you swallow a piece of this pie of poison apples
      (just swallow the bite)
      I will just watch while you are squirming in your pain
    • Aforementioned "A Grim Christmas Story".
  • Woman Scorned: Sarah transforms into Dark Sarah to seek revenge on her fiancé who cheated on her and left her at the altar.

 
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"Dance With The Dragon"

In the second half of "Dance With The Dragon", there is a moment that implies that the Dragon (Juha-Pekka Leppaluoto) and the Woman (Heidi Parviainen) have a deeper relationship other than "Captor and Captive".

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