Thursday, August 08, 2013

Tarja-Colours In The Dark


There is irony to be found in the the title of the latest work from former Nightwish member Tarja. This 10-track release (or 12-track if you opt for the iTune's version of the album) is hardly what one would call "colorful". Mixed and mastered by Tim Palmer (Pearl Jam, U2) in Austin, Texas (who did a phenomenal job all around) Tarja's forth full-length solo LP, which is actually my first experience with this Finnish soprano, comes across as more of a darkly-tinged release then the overly colorful (and frankly a tad bit obnoxious) album art work might suggest. On her new album, which clocks in at just over 1 hour (without the 2 bonus iTune tracks!) the beautiful Tara indulges in both symphonic metal and heavy rock. From reading up on her older albums, including Metal Mark's review of her 2008 album, "My Winter Storm", I get the sense that this is the general direction she wants her music to go and, as it obviously works so well, I say kudos to her for taking on what can be a daunting endeavor. It's not like your regular Joe or Jane metal fanatic (or at least not the bulk of metal fans and collectors that I personally know) automatically embraces .
things like orchestra and choir arrangements with open arms. In order to make something like this work (if you want it to appeal to more then just your niche fan-base) you're going to need for the material at hand to reach out towards the listener before pulling them back in by their emotional coattails. To that extent this 10-track release does a good job of making you feel as if you are a part of the album. That is achieved through it's many different emotional layers and it's beautifully assembled movements. And of course it doesn't hurt any that Tarja has such a provocative voice to begin with that it easily makes this atmospheric LP all the more intriguing! She most certainly enchants the listener as she gracefully tip toes through the musical equivalent of a fully loaded minefield. Even as I'm not usually into this kind of symphonic metal (it's just not my cup of tea) this proved to be one of those cases where the emotional appeal (and substantial grandiose nature) of  "Colours In The Dark" were too much to simply ignore. 

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