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Tarja - 'The Brightest Void' http://mail.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f7/63/d1/Tarja-The-Brightest-Void-74-1471291906.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 15, 2016    
 
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A prequel to the August release of 'The Shadow Self'.

arja (Turunen) presents 'The Brightest Void' as a prequel to the August release of 'The Shadow Self', with nine tracks showcased; these include a studio version of 'Witch Hunt' (her 'Beauty And The Beat' song with Mike Terrana and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra), two covers from Shirley Bassey and Paul McCartney and a new mix of 'Paradise (What About Us' – her duet with Sharon den Adel on Within Temptation's 'Hydra' – alongside five other original songs.

One of the most interesting for me is her duet with Hanoi Rocks front-man Mike Monroe on 'Your Heaven And Your Hell', a straight-ahead Rocker with Monroe also contributing harmonica and sax, particularly in the Jazzy mid-section, and Tarja singing in an unbelievably low register devoid of all her trademark pitch, tone and timbre – although the (studio) switch to her high Soprano in the song will probably be difficult to do live. It's an incredibly brave attempt at a contemporary Rock 'n' Roll tune, and has Monroe's stamp all over it, and for the most part it works very well.

'No Bitter End' is the first video release and should be familiar to fans. A dark, heavy down-tuned guitar sound in keeping with previous solo albums with a soaring voice that embellishes a good melody on the chorus.

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McCartney's 'House Of Wax' is also interesting as its temperate beat meshes with a piano ostinato that bears a slowed down resemblance to Gary Jules' version of 'Mad World'. It's a beautiful, haunting piece with a typically gorgeous vocal. Tarja's cover of 'Goldfinger' has a slightly dark edge to it and is considerably different. She's created her own intro and what I particularly like is the very subtle mimicking of Bassey's clipped delivery in places, whilst putting her overall unique stamp on the song.

As for the new mix of 'Paradise...', the guitars have been turned down and the bass appears to have been taken out to give more clarity to the vocals. The resonance of the Toms has been pared back too, whilst a single violin has replaced the orchestration in places when the instrumentation is at rest, with just the vocals A Cappella.

There are a multitude of musicians involved in both projects but for the most part Tarja's regular band are the main protagonists, although it's also worth mentioning that Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith played drums on the ballad 'Eagle Eye'.

Carl Buxton

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