The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
CD TARJA COLOURS IN THE DARK REVIEW

TARJA

COLOURS IN THE DARK

SHOCK RECORDS

2013

 

 

THE VOICE RETURNS

 

 

Following up on the success of the multi-platinum and gold awarded previous records My Winterstorm (2007) and What Lies Beneath (2010), Tarja finally returns with her long-awaited new rock album: Colours In The Dark.


It may have been out in Europe since late August but Shock has finally secured a domestic release for Tarja’s new album ‘Colours in the Dark’. While her former band Nightwish has seemingly gone from strength to strength since her departure fortunes have been rather different for Tarja whose undoubted vocal talents have been rather blunted by the material on her solo albums so far, though 2010’s ‘What Lies Beneath’ was certainly a marked improvement on what preceded it.


‘Colours in the Dark’ may well be Tarja’s best album to date but it’s certainly not without its flaws and they largely come down to one thing – the song-writing which is variable at best. The sad thing is that her vocal performance is again impeccable and at times that almost allows her to get away with some less than memorable compositions that in truth vary from solid to forgettable.


Opening track ‘Victim of Ritual’ though is one of the best here – all fiery blast and bombast and very ‘Nightwish’, it bookends the album along with the other highpoint – ‘Medusa’ where her vocal duel with Justin Furstenfeld shows you what Tarja is capable of.


In between there are highs and lows – the highs being ‘500 Letters’ an eighties rock song given a shot of operatics; and the Nu-Metal of ‘Never Enough’ and ‘Neverlight’.    

   
The ‘almost there’s’ though are here in numbers on ‘Colours…’: ‘Lucid Dreamer’ starts of great which a slab of Melodic Power Metal before it loses focus in the middle of the song and never quite regains its composure.  It could easily have been the best here if not for that.  ‘Deliverance’ too is more like you might expect from Tarja but on these and other tracks you feel her stubbornness to ‘not sound like Nightwish’ and ‘move on’ is actually a detriment to the finished product that displays flourishes and embellishments we didn’t ask for and aren’t necessary. If she can find that balance or maybe acceptance then we might one day get that killer album we’re all waiting for.


The lows? Well nothing’s irredeemable but there are a few that don’t quite work as well -  ‘Mystique Voyage’ and ‘Darkness’ just don’t quite work but the moody direction is a new and interesting one; the big ballad ‘Until Silence’ too is a little Mariah Carey…


Having said all of that this is certainly the best we’ve heard from Tarja so farand a promising step in a far more powerful and interesting direction despite a few misteps – hell at least she’s trying something different, and with a voice like hers at times you can almost forgive her anything…

 

 

Mark Diggins

 

CD TARJA COLOURS IN THE DARK REVIEW 2013