Take A Chance — A Metal Tribute To ABBA

rating icon 6 / 10

Track listing:

01. Super Trouper
02. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
03. SOS
04. Head Over Heels
05. The Day Before You Came
06. Angeleyes
07. That's Me
08. Mamma Mia
09. Under Attack
10. Like An Angel Passing Through My Room
11. Lay All Your Love On Me

Cards on the table: if you tend to listen to raw black metal demos that sound like they were recorded in a bucket, by a madman, then the prospect of an album of impossibly glossy ABBA covers performed by a Finnish symphonic metal band is unlikely to have much appeal. For a sizeable majority of the rest of us, however, "Take A Chance" can be easily processed as a bit of harmless fun that will drown out the sounds of racist grandparents at Christmas.

ABBA are one of the few legendary pop acts to get a pass from most non-pop people, metalheads included, because their frankly extraordinary arsenal of stone-cold bangers is simply part of the cultural fabric at this point. As far as pop music goes, ABBA are still the gold standard. As far as metal albums go, "Take A Chance" is both thoroughly ridiculous and hard to resist.

Ultimately, you absolutely need to love ABBA to love this. AMBERIAN DAWN play most of these songs straight, and with some fairly polite and persistent chugging as the only consistent change from the originals. Selling the whole thing with utmost charm, vocalist Capri nails the pop legends' vocal harmonies and sings with the same conviction that enabled ABBA to embed some often-feeble lyrics into brains the globe over. On deep-ish cuts like "Under Attack" and "That's Me", she gives the very real impression that she has waited a long time to bring these songs to life on her own terms. On "The Day Before You Came", Capri delivers the deadpan melodrama with a large twinkle in her eye, while the eerie synth soup of "Like An Angel Passing Through My Room" captures her in the throes of a powerhouse, musical theatre performance. For those who share the Finn's obvious delight at this whole enterprise, there is much fun to be had.

This pre-Xmas detour into Scandi-pop karaoke all began when AMBERIAN DAWN recorded a cover of "Lay All Your Love On Me" for 2020's well-received "Looking For You" album. It reappears here and still sounds like the perfect springboard for a more comprehensive covers set. "Take A Chance" completes the picture with plenty of enthusiasm and polish. Some people will adore it. Others will express a preference for drinking bleach.

Author: Dom Lawson
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