Tarja – The Brightest Void


A feast for the soul…

Released by earMUSIC on 3 June 2016 and reviewed by Angie “I’ll name the album, got it?” K

If you are a fan, you know what to expect – and she delivers just that. If you don’t know Tarja Turunen’s name, then expect typically Scandinavian enchanting, mesmerising, powerful, brilliantly-presented symphonic rock. Best known for being the former lead vocalist of Nightwish and leaving her unforgettable imprint on the history of melodic heavy metal, as perfect as ever, with her new album The Brightest Void the Finnish soprano will capture your heart. She will make you listen to it intently and have you wondering how many more times you will have to spin it before you decide you have had enough of it. I for sure have not reached that point yet. Every time I listen to it, there is another dimension yet to discover. Multi-layered, varied, very interesting and, I dare say, highly addictive metal: that is what describes Tarja’s new album.

The album has it all: classical hard rock with explosive riffs and energetic heavy rhythm in ‘No Bitter End’ and ‘Shameless’; slow, dark, and epic tracks with ‘House of Wax’ somehow making your hair stand on end; lyrical and magical, fairy-tale-like tracks that draw on Asia’s best traditions such as in ‘Eagle Eye’; and rich, deep, multi-layered prog. A feast for the soul.

Featured in the album is also an epic duet with Michael Monro on ‘Heaven and Hell’: two different vocals counterbalancing each other – rough rock versus Tarja’s angelic voice, the track also having a magnificent duet between a soaring saxophone and gutsy guitar. Overall, though, the album is more of a melodic/symphonic project with a prevailing mysterious and magical taste to it. ‘An Empty Dream’ is lyrical, sending you off into a fairy tale dimension (think Hans Andersen’s ‘Ice Queen’).

Beautiful music that slightly gives you the chills at times – same feeling as in ‘Witch Hunt’, a truly classical, stunning piece. It would actually make a perfect soundtrack to a mystery movie. With a wink to Shirley Bassey with the 007 classic ‘Goldfinger’, Tarja says, hey, I can do it all. And yes, she can! And it’s a piece of cake. I would re-name this album as ‘The Brightest Voice’ because this is exactly what she has. Classical, crystal clear, soaring to impossible heights and making heavy metal sound angelic.

Tarja – The Brightest Void10 out of 10

Track list:

  1. No Bitter End
  2. Heaven and Hell
  3. Eagle Eye
  4. An Empty Dream
  5. Witch Hunt
  6. Shameless
  7. House of Wax
  8. Goldfinger
  9. Paradise