Tarja at Islington Academy
Finnish soprano Tarja Turunen, known as Tarja, was one fifth of the metal group Nightwish before leaving the band in 2005 to concentrate on a solo career. The classically-trained soprano was the band’s trademark sound and it is her impressive vocals that dominate again here.
It is hard to deny that Turunen’s vocal range is nothing short of stratospheric, but despite its power, it doesn’t often gel with the heavy guitars and thumping drums that crash underneath and sometimes feel like two tracks layered on top of each other.
The vocals at first seem more about power than accuracy but by Never Enough, she settles into a sound that is piercingly precise. It is these soaring vocals that characterise both Tarja and her shows but some seriously impressive guitar solos can’t fail to be a highlight.
There are some classical influences in the instrumentals as well as the vocals, harking back to the kind of sound Nightwish were recognised for. Some of the tracks from Turunen’s latest album Colours of the Dark are less heavy and more mainstream in direction, which don’t make much of an impact and come across as jarring with her classically-led vocals.
The overall metal-classical crossover sound is all a bit melodramatic and even the hair flicking and theatrical lighting unfortunately don’t win over. Having said that, Turunen hasn’t garnered the amount of fans she has for nothing, and it is safe to say that the loyal legion that packed the Islington Academy to its rafters were certainly not disappointed.
Photos: Helen Parish
For further information and future events visit Tarja’s website here.
Watch the video for Until My Last Breath here: