Tarja: Colours In The Dark

Former Nightwish chanteuse still working towards the big picture

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After almost eight years of going solo, it’s hard to know exactly where ex-Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen fits into the metal scene today. On her previous two solo albums it seemed at times that she was trying too hard to emulate her former band’s symphonic heaviness, and ended up sounding like a watered-down version.

Colours In The Dark, however, sees the Finnish singer experiment more with her sound. Her classical roots shine through more than ever on the orchestral-styled Victim Of Ritual and the lengthy Deliverance. It’s clear that this is where Tarja excels, with her rich voice lending itself perfectly to melodrama, but she’s obviously still keen to prove her metal credentials – to her detriment.

There’s an abundance of rather uninspired, plodding guitar riffs, lengthy narrative sections and too many processed drums that give the album a cold feel. Simpler songs like 500 Letters are much more palatable than the bizarre Lucid Dreamer, and Never Enough is the most convincing heavy track, but it still feels as though Tarja is trying too hard to prove herself.