Album Reviews

Tarja – What Lies Beneath

Released by The End Records

Release Date: August 31th, 2010

Genre: Metal/Classical/Pop Rock

Links: http://www.tarjaturunen.com

Links: http://www.myspace.com/tarjaofficial

Line Up:

Tarja Turunen – Vocals, Piano

Alex Scholpp – Guitars

Marzi Nyman – Guitars

Doug Wimbish – Bass

Mike Terrana – Drums

Christian Kretschmar – Keyboards, Hammond Organ

Max Lilja – Cello

Tracklist:

01 – Anteroom Of Death (Feat. Van Canto)

02 – Until My Last Breath

03 – I Feel Immortal

04 – In For A Kill

05 – Underneath

06 – Little Lies

07 – Rivers Of Lust

08 – Dark Star (Feat. Phil Labonte)

09 – Falling Awake (Feat. Joe Satriani)

10 – The Archive Of Lost Dreams

11 – Crimson Deep (Feat. Will Calhoun)

12 – We Are

13 – Naiad

14 – Still Of The Night

It’s been over 5 years since Tarja Turunen and Nightwish parted ways and at least for me even though the band still going strong, there are certain things that you just can’t replace with their original singer. I won’t call myself a Tarja fan, I respect her operatic vocals which gave Nightwish a unique sound and separated them from the countless symphonic metal bands in the genre. I wasn’t too hot after I heard heard “My Winter Storm” is was average at best and too many unequally varied songs to give a strong rating, but I did expect Tarja to bounce back with a solid follow up in “What Lies Beneath”.

The single “Until My Last Breath” is okay for a single picker, nothing over the top just your usual symphonic arrangement thumper with some nice melodies by Turunen. The more modern edgier “Dark Star’ is interesting to hear with a sublime oriental introduction and help from some backup metalcore growls which seem to be provided by Phil Labonte (All That Remains) and is the kind of track that may work for some and others may hate.  The ambiguous sound of “Little Lies” probably could of been arranged better, I mean I just don’t think her vocals here fit the metalcore riffs thrown around I wasn’t sure about this one it was a bit of a head scratcher. After a couple of lackluster tracks, the more mellowed and haunting ballad “Montanas De Silencio” appears which translates to mountains of silence, what we have here is a touching ballad in which Tarja sings in Spanish. An interesting song which works for me as the arrangements here are very deeply crafted. In a more resounding set of explosion, the crisp sounds of “Falling Away” should of set en example for some of the other songs on the record, it features a good mix of melodic and Tarja’s trademark vocals are pretty solid and it stands as one of the better tracks What Lies Beneath.

Even though the production is tight and sharp and also mixed by Tim Palmer, Colin Richardon and Slamm Andrews provide a group of talented professionals in the scene, the varied mix of tracks here just didn’t put the record over the top for me. I’m not sure if it’s an identity thing or just Tarja wanting to do her own thing, which is fine her longtime fans will dig this up and they should because her vocal performance is always solid, but in terms of quality songs here I think is a miss.  I don’t like the modern edgier riffs mixed with the symphonic vocals, it doesn’t work well, the slower ballads are fine and they shine brightly but overall I think there is still room for improvement.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   6/10


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