Almost two months ago, the Finnish soprano come heavy rock diva Tarja Turunen released a warm up album for her ‘real’ 2016 album, ‘The Shadow Self’. ‘The Brightest Void’ was a mixed pleasure, missing a red thread. It had great moments, there’s no need denying that, but there was little consistency.
I’d hoped that ‘The Brightest Void’ was like that because, well, because it wasn’t the proper album, but a little extra for the fans. I’d expect otherwise for ‘The Shadow Self’. I am disappointed.
The classical beginning of Innocence is lovely and makes sense for someone like Tarja. The rest of the song is not that interesting. Demons in You has more dimensions to it and offers real, thought-through diversity, especially with the addition of Alissa White-Gluz’s vocal. No Bitter End was also on ‘The Brightest Void’ and was one of the strong tracks from that release. Love to Hate moves from classical to Rammstein. Semi alright tune.
The Muse cover Supremacy is musically cool, but for once, Tarja’s voice is getting on my tits for some reason.
The Living End starts out as an acoustic guitar ballad and grows to be a bombastic piece with drums and pipes. I like it.
The cabaret feel attempt that is Diva is not me, on the other hand.
Eagle Eye is another re-used tune from ‘The Brightest Void’, another fine tune, featuring her brother, Toni. Undertaker is a filler in my humble ears. Doesn’t go anywhere. Calling from the Wild has a certain something, but, again, not consistently cool. Concluding track is Too Many, and that’s kind of appropriate. With 66 minutes, ‘The Shadow Self’ could have been at least ten minutes shorter and have come across crisper and more focused.
Tarja has an amazing voice, she’s clearly surrounded herself with great musicians. But it takes more – it takes the material that shakes us. ‘The Shadow Self’ doesn’t shake me, sadly, not the way ‘Oceanborn’ or ‘Wishmaster’ did back in the day.
2. Demons in You (feat. Alissa White-Gluz)
3. No Bitter End
4. Love to Hate
5. Supremacy” (Muse cover)
6. The Living End
8. Eagle Eye
10. Calling from the Wild
11. Too Many
Release date: 5th of August, 2016
Playing time: 66 minutes