- the brightest void-

release: 03/06/2016

rating: 8/10


If one has to name the best known female singer in metal, Tarja Turunen is a name that will came to the mind of many.

The Ex-singer of the symphonic metal band "Nightwish" started her solo carrier with "My Winter Storm“, followed by "What Lies Beneath" and "Colours In The Dark“. With every release, Tarja developed her carrier farther and  became heavier with time.

While her “heavy rock albums“ like she calls them remain her focus, she also does various side projects like "Harus" and "Beauty and the Beat“ where she stays true to her classical roots. Being a juror in the Finnish version of "The Voice“, Tarja has been working hard lately.

While the release of the regular fourth studio album called "The Shadow Self" is on the 5th of August 2016, fans of the Finnish Metalqueen got pleasantly surprised:

 

 

"The Brightest Void" is a prequel album that gives a first taste of "The Shadow Self". It consists of nine songs and has a running time of roughly over 40 minutes.

The first song "No Bitter End" starts right where "Never Enough" ends. It is a catchy pop-rock sound which is mixed up with 80’s metal. Followed by "Your Heaven and Your Hell" featuring Michael Monroe, the album has a fast start.

 

This continues with "Eagle Eye“, a song that's typical for Tarja. It rocks like hell with a catchy chorus. A nice bonus is that a small part of the song is sang by Tarja's brother Toni Turunen.

 

The first little gem is "An Empty Dream". Tarja-Fans may already know it as the main theme of the Argentinean horror movie "Corazón Muerto". Setting for a slower pacing and also including some electronic sounds, "An Empty Dream" and the next one "Witch Hunt" create a dark and melancholy atmosphere that is very different than the preceding songs.

These songs are where Tarja's voice unfolds her true potential.

The following "Shameless" is a drastic, but good change. It's a nice and well produced metal song.

And what is Tarja album without the obligatory cover song? With "House of Wax" and "Goldfinger" she keeps continuing her tradition. Both songs are well performed and stay true to the original.

"The Brightest Void" finishes with a new mix of the already known collaboration  "Paradise (What about us?)" with Within Temptation. This version is frankly the same as the original, only Tarja's voice is more emphasized.

While it certainly sweetens the wait for "The Shadow Self", "The Brightest Void" cannot rise as a conventional long-playing record. It's very clear that these are different songs that couldn't be included on the regular album. They range from catchy pop-rock to the dark and mysterious electronic sounds which are mixed with classic tunes and vocals. An overall harmony is missing, each song  functions on its own which is also the reason why I don't like to label it album. It's more like a sample of what is going to be released in august.

 

 

That being said, "The Brightes Void" is nevertheless a must-have for every Tarja-Fan.  With "The Brightest Void" Tarja proofs that she is constantly evolving, experimenting, and not limiting herself to one genre. 

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