When you hear the name Tuomas Holopainen, those of us who haven’t closed our eyes and ears the past 15 years automatically think ’Nightwish’. Holopainen wants to be more than just the Nightwish guy, which he showed with his Scrooge project a couple of years ago, where he explored the world of film scores with some success.
During his time off from Nightwish in 2017, the busy Finn has crafted a long-time-planned, but until now not realised album with multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley (who’ve aided Nightwish since 2007) and singer and solo artist Johanna Kurkela. The result is by no means a metal album, but it is not so far from Nightwish as some would perhaps expect.
As any Nightwish fan knows, the back catalogue contains a myriad of beautiful, bombastic compositions, deeply inspired by both symphonic music and folk. If you listen to the compositions on Auri, they are very, very similar to the Nightwish tunes many of us enjoy greatly, the only difference being that the electric guitars are gone. Despite this fact, the music is just as bombastic, but in a more, well, quiet way. I’m thinking a mixture of Nightwish and Clannad.
You’d expect no less than perfection from someone like Tuomas Holopainen, and Auri is by and large perfect. Everything is put together brilliantly, and Kurkela’s elfish voice is an excellent match for the music.
Music for moshing this certainly ain’t, but for an evening where you feel like pondering over the meaning of life and relax in general, this could easily be a sound choice.
1. The Space Between 4:58
2. I Hope Your World is Kind 5:00
3. Skeleton Tree 4:17
4. Desert Flower 6:01
5. Night 13 4:22
6. See 5:11
7. The Name of The Wind 3:48
8. Aphrodite Rising 5:31
9. Savant 4:25
10. Underthing Solstice 7:06
11. Them Thar Chanterelles (feat Liquor in the Well) 5:21
Playing Time: 56 minutes
Johanna Kurkela - vocals
Tuomas Holopainen - keyboards, backing vocals
Troy Donockley - guitars, bouzouki, uilleann pipes…