Power of Metal.dk Review

Tarja Turunen & Mike Terrana
Beauty & the Beat
Style: Rock/Classical
Release date: 30 May, 2014
Playing time: 97:48

This is an interesting new twist. It's often surprising to people who aren't in to metal when they discover that so many metal musicians have their roots in classical music. Tarjas classical routes are very well known but in my view those routes have never been displayed so masterfully as with this album.

It is much more classical than it is rock. People expecting something along the lines of Nightwish will not get what they are looking for but nor will they be disappointed.

It's 4 tracks until we here the more rocky elements come in, most notably the albums main collaborator, Mike Terrana. He plays rock and metal style heavy hitting percussion to some of the most well known classical pieces. The result is a surprisingly refreshing sound that, to be honest, could easily have gone wrong. I say that because such blends are risky, especially as there is unfortunately more elitist snobbery among metal and/or classical fans than most other genres. I'll catch myself for a second, for I am guilty of a little bit of this myself: I can't hear a Freddie Mercury song by anyone else and appreciate as much. A bit hypocritical I know, but

The title of the album is spot on to illustrate the blend that this album creates between contemporary rock drumming and classical masterpieces. The balance created between the 'beauty' and the 'beat' gives resonance to the title of the album

I am not a classical music critic, I just know what I like. To me, it sounds fantastic. There are some elements within the album where the rock element is left out entirely. 'Song To The Moon' and 'Vijla Lied' simply cannot have a rock element. They stand out on their own.

The can-can is a particular favourite. Double bass pedals hammering it out. I half expected a lead guitar but the violins and horns hold it together. Likewise with the William Tell Overture.

The second disc moves to the modern day artists and includes parts from Zeppelin, Queen and Nightwish. I guess the latter was obvious. The Zeppelin medley, perhaps rather predictably, starts with 'Kashmir', but when it gets to 'Immigrant Song' the eerie wailing of Robert Plant is - dare I say it - surpassed by Tarja. I wasn't ready for that. It doesn't work quite as well in 'Stairway To Heaven' but that's easily forgivable.

This album made me want to pick up my guitar and plug it in and start blaring over the top of the classical stuff with an electric sound just to see what would happen. In fact, I'm off to do that now. This is lots of fun to listen to and thankfully this one is a hardcopy so it definitely stays with me. Bonus!

CD 1
1. Concert for Violin and Oboe
02. Blute Nur
03. Zueignung, Op. 10, No. 1
04. Barber of Seville
05. New World Symphony
06. Song to the Moon
07. Vilja Lied
08. O Mio Babbino Caro
09. Can-can
10. I Feel Pretty
11. William Tell Overture
12. Mein Herr Marquis
13. Ein Kleine Nachtmusik

CD 2
01. You Take My Breath Away
02. The Reign
03. Witch-hunt
04. Led Zeppelin Medley
05. Swanheart
06. Fly Me to the Moon
07. Into the Sun
08. I Walk Alone
Label: Edel Germany
Distribution: Playground Music (Scandinavia)
Reviewed by: Matt Fabi
Date: 25 August, 2014
Website: www.tarja-beautyandthebeat.com