Nightwish's Marko Hietala announces new solo album Pyre Of The Black Heart

Marki Hietala
(Image credit: Nuclear Blast)

Nightwish bassist and singer Marko Hietala will release his debut solo album Pyre Of The Black Heart through Nuclear Blast on January 24. Hietala describes the sound as "hard prog". He has also released a video for first single Stones.

"Well, let's put it this way: Nightwish is without any doubt my main band, and thanks to income from that direction, I don't have to be that commercially aware," Hietala tells Prog. "What I mean is that when I was coming up with the ideas for this solo record, I was able to do simply anything without limits. 

"So if I had a goal, it was to not have any kind of limits, but to prepare an unpredictable, spontaneous, adventurous, ferocious and intimate solo record. And now when I listen to the final album, I can say with my hand on my heart that I – or rather us – pulled it off... the record is a really diverse musical roller coaster ride that takes."

Pyre Of The Black Heart is an English language version of Mustan Sydämen Rovio, which was released in Finland earlier this year.

"Even if Pyre Of The Black Heart is definitely my solo album, I didn't compose everything on my own," adds Hietala. "When the song writing process was really in full swing, I kept sending all the ideas to my long-time collaborators Tuomas Wäinölä [guitar] and Vili Ollila [keyboards], and this ingenious twosome came up with great additions and arrangements, one after another. Drummer Anssi Nykänen – who is simply a wizard behind his set – completed the line-up like no other."

Hietala will undertake a solo tour in February (dates below). 

"Come February... We simply can't wait to get out on the road!" he says. "It will be amazing to perform these solo songs for all those multinational friends of my music. I strongly recommend coming out to see my band during this run, titled Tour of the Black Heart, as this will be my first and last European solo tour in a long time – or ever!"

Pyre Of The Blackheart can be pre-ordered now.

Pyre Of The Black Heart tracklist

The Voice Of My Father
Star, Sand And Shadow
God’s Son
For You I Am The Way
Runner Of The Railways
Death March For Freedom
I Dream
Truth Shall Set You Free

Marko Hietala tour dates

Feb 02: Hamburg Markthalle, Germany
Feb 04: Frankfurt Batschkappm, Germany
Feb 06: Munich Backstage, Germany
Feb 07: Leipzig der Anker, Germany
Feb 08: Wroclaw Centrum Koncertowe A2, Poland
Feb 09: Prague Roxy, Czech Repiblic
Feb 11: Budapest Barba Negra, Hungary
Feb 13: Stuttgart Im Wizemann, Germany
Feb 14: Pratteln Z7, Switzerland
Feb 16: Oberhausen Turbinenhalle, Germany
Feb 17: Amsterdam Melkweg, Netherlands
Feb 18: Paris La Machine du Moulin Rouge, France

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.