Tarja Turunen & Harus: In Concert – Live At Sibelius Hall

Metal mayhem.

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Maybe they have a different definition of metal in Finland. Tarja Turunen, classically trained soprano and one-time singer with Nightwish, is variously described as opera metal, symphony metal or classical metal. Excuse me, Tarja Turunen is metal like Katherine Jenkins is metal.

And only the guitarist in her backing band, Harus, could claim any metal connections. Not that he is about to. He never even raises a riff in anger. A Mike Oldfield-styled solo is as cross as he gets.

The concert (‘recital’ would probably be a better description) consists of a series of operatic hymnals sung by Turunen with controlled emotional intensity, accompanied by a church organ that ranges from Bach to Messiaen and ambient guitar noodlings. The applause at the end of each number is more subdued than you’d get at the Royal Festival Hall.

Parental warning: contains Ave Maria, Silent Night and Walking In The Air.

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.