CD Reviews

Tarja - 'Colours In The Dark' Hot

Added by James Gaden     October 31, 2013    
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Simply stunning!

Finnish soprano superstar Tarja Turunen releases her fourth solo album to an expectant audience and continues in the same vein as ‘What Lies Beneath’ with a glorious amalgam of Metal and Opera, heavy guitar with soaring vocals, and meditative, melancholic passages that suck the listener into her surrealistic and imaginative world where all the colours of the rainbow hide waiting to magnify the aural landscapes that Tarja paints with her golden voice.

The Queen of Symphonic Metal has finally started to feel comfortable with her chosen path in music and has utilised her voice to a more Rock based thematic style by using less vibrato, whilst still keeping her classical training techniques. With this album, Tarja has reached a level of sustained maturity and dynamism with her song writing and singing whereby nothing is beyond her capability. That such a diverse album can capture the imagination and provoke such feelings within is testament to the talent and broad appeal of this magnificent artiste. Songs such as the bombastic ‘500 Letters’ with its fabulously catchy chorus as Tarja releases her soaring soprano to great effect nestle amongst the likes of ‘Neverlight’, full of heavy, ferocious guitar riffs from Alex Scholpp and Julian Barrett and Mike Terrana’s pounding drums as Tarja’s wonderful vocal melodies shine throughout. She even covers one of her idols’ Peter Gabriel’s song ‘Darkness’ and puts her own unique slant on it, combining an eerie beginning with industrial rhythms and distorted vocals in places. A very dark song, obviously, but a superb melancholic vocal from the lady in question and very different from the original.

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‘Never Enough’ is a song that Tarja has been performing live for some time now and even features on her indispensable CD/DVD ‘Act 1’ so fans will already be familiar – it’s a bombastic Metal opening with a glorious chorus full of guitar riffs with a piano refrain amidst Tarja’s soaring vocals – utterly fabulous! Tarja’s daughter even gets to contribute during the dream sequence in the mid-section of the impressive ‘Lucid Dreamer’, again, heavy riffs underpinning Tarja’s soaring voice as the chorus infiltrates your consciousness, whilst ‘Deliverance’ features an orchestral intro that builds into a stunning epic, almost film-score number, where Tarja stretches her voice in a breathtaking soprano masterclass! Elsewhere you have the hypnotic ‘Medusa’ and ‘Mystique Voyage’ featuring a lilting vocal underpinned by piano building to a climax, and the beautiful ballad ‘Until Silence’ which features the line ‘Colours In The Dark’ from whence the album title comes.

Most striking of all is the opening song ‘Victim Of Ritual’ which features an interpretation of Ravel’s Bolero on the intro and outro whilst combining bombastic heavy guitar and high pitched vocalizing, but the piece de resistance is the alveolar trill vibrato effect Tarja produces for the word ‘Ritual’ in the chorus – simply stunning!

Carl Buxton

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