For someone who’s long been regarded ‘controversial’, there’s very little in Anette Olzon’s (ex-Nightwish) new venture that could be considered so. Together with guitarist Jani Liimatainen (ex-Sonata Arctica), on The Dark Element the pair channel the power and melodrama of their former bands while doing away with orchestral complexity in favour of effervescent synths. Their approach is simply to craft the catchiest melodies possible, especially in the choruses of the title track, the scathing Dead To Me and Only One Who Knows Me. Anette’s powerhouse voice is a gem as always, especially on My Sweet Mystery, whose opening riff is deliciously close to sounding like a lost Nightwish track. There are no heart-stopping moments, but musically, Anette sounds like she’s exactly where she needs to be.