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Tuomas Holopainen: The Life And Times Of Scrooge

Nightwish mastermind unleashes a solo epic

Nothing about this album will surprise Nightwish fans; after all, Tuomas has been talking about making it for more than a decade. Inspired by Don Rosa’s comic compendium The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck, this prog-a-thon is packed with orchestral sections, rambunctious choirs and Celtic overtones that’ll have ’Wishettes squealing with delight.

It’s not symphonic metal but it has the Holopainen hallmark stamped all over it. With guest performances from Sonata Arctica’s Tony Kakko and Nightwish piper Troy Donockley, …Scrooge is ambitious, with its meandering styles and occasional poppy moments, but it’s also far more than just a frivolous interlude between Nightwish albums.

Particular mentions go to the folkish Into The West and atmospheric The Last Sled, both of which could happily sit back-to-back with some of the Finnish band’s mellower material. This is a brave and bold work from an extremely talented musician whose creativity apparently knows no bounds.

Natasha Scharf
Natasha Scharf

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.