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Tarja Turunen – The Shadow Self album review

Finland’s famed chanteuse Tarja Turunen hits a high note with new album, 'The Shadow Self'

Tarja Turunen album cover, 'The Shadow Self'

Since going solo a decade ago, Tarja Turunen has often struggled to find a balance between classical and metal overtures, but on The Shadow Self, she has got it brilliantly right.

This album drips with melodically soaring vocals, but also has some concussive, aggressive rhythms. This is clear on Demons In You, where she duets emphatically with Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz.

Tarja maintains the high standards throughout, with her inimitable operatic voice sounding a little more earthy than previously on the driving No Bitter End, and the interplay between vocals and orchestration on Innocence and Love To Hate brings out the passion and power in both songs. There’s a strongly absorbing cover of Muse’s Supremacy, which admirably suits her voice, while The Living End is a ballad with depth, and Diva is humorously self-deprecating. Every song has been carefully put together, but without any loss of spirit. Sometimes there’s a strong nod towards her Nightwish past, as on the intense Undertaker, but that’s to be expected. However, the overall impression is of a supremely confident singer who, on her fourth rock album, has finally found her own sound. The Shadow Self sees Tarja weaving together the strands of her talent.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio, which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.