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The Brightest Void

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Album Review

Finnish soprano powerhouse Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish) never does things halfway. This "prequel" to The Shadow Self, her upcoming full-length, comprises new songs, covers, and a new mix, with some guest appearances tossed in. While some of the music is excellent, the project ultimately feels cobbled together rather than purposefully presented. Single and opening track "No Bitter End" is the video version. Slick, anthemic, pop-oriented metal, it has an irresistible hook. Tarja's stacked lead and backing vocals imbue it with a studied emotion that stands in contrast to its passionate melody. Michael Monroe lends his voice, guitar, saxophone, and harmonica to "Your Heaven and Your Hell." It's a fine, bluesy hard rock vehicle for the former Hanoi Rocks frontman, but ill-suited to Turunen's more classically oriented gothic singing. Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith adds his drums to "Eagle Eye," a pop-metal cut that the vocalist imbues with a theatrical presence. Tarja gets points for her choice of covers here. Her rendition of Paul McCartney's "House of Wax" contains more drama than the original but doesn't sacrifice nuance in the imaginative melody and arrangement. Buoyed by a large string ensemble, the singer delivers the song with authority. It's her brand of symphonic metal at its best. Even stranger is the reading of the theme from "Goldfinger" immortalized by Shirley Bassey. The contrast between the fat, crunchy guitars and symphonic strings and horns comes off kitschy but cool, leaving the more sultry jazz presentation of the original in the dust. Yet Tarja's singular voice pulls it all together in the end. Unfortunately, her "An Empty Dream" contains all-too-icy electronics and sounds like a rejected outtake from a Sarah Brightman session, while the Dead Can Dance-esque musical abstraction in "Witch-Hunt" goes on for far too long to maintain the listener's interest. Tim Palmer's bombastic new mix of Within Temptation's "Paradise (What About Us?)" — which originally featured Turunen as a guest — sounds like a heavy metal Jim Steinman production, but that's far from a bad thing. The guitar breaks are killer, and the vocal contrast between Sharon den Andel's powerful alto and Tarja's soaring soprano harmony is arresting. Ultimately, The Brightest Void doesn't sound like a stand-alone document as much as a product to sell on tour while awaiting the album's release. In other words, it's for completists only.

Customer Reviews

Can't wait :)

Tara's voice is awesome

Not That Bright

I love Tarja's voice. I have everything that she has done, including all of her classical music. I just wish that she would collaberate with better song writers, because the songs are getting worse with every passing CD. She also needs to stop with the covers: Poison was pitiful and Goldfinger is the worse thing she has ever done. If Tarja would collaberate with someone of Diane Warren's caliber she would be a household name and surpass anything Adele and Celine Dion has ever done.

This CD is the low point of her career. Your Heaven and Your Hell is the worse non-cover she has ever done.

She is always fantastic

I cannot wait for the album to drop.

Biography

Born: August 17, 1977 in Kitee, Finland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known as the female vocalist for Finnish gothic/symphonic metal act Nightwish, Tarja (full name Tarja Soile Susanna Turunen) was born on August 17, 1977, in Kitee, Finland. Her prowess as a soprano landed her a place studying classical voice at the Sibelius Academy in Kuopio, where fellow student Tuomas Holopainen took on Tarja as vocalist for his musical project, which was to be christened Nightwish in 1996. Tarja continued to pursue solo interests during her time recording and touring with...
Full Bio

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The Brightest Void, Tarja
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