Pre-release Review of Tarja’s “The Shadow Self”

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Review by Jessica Clingempeel
© Ethereal Metal Webzine

With each album we can see Tarja maturing and getting
better. She has proven once again that she does not need Nightwish to succeed
in the metal genre. Time and time again, we have seen comments from the
worshipers of Nightwish saying Tarja is nothing without the band, but I am sure
The Shadow Self is going to shut quite a few of those haters up. This has got
to be Tarja’s greatest yet! For those of you who have fallen in love with The
Brightest Void, prepare yourselves for an even greater experience because that
was just a warm-up for the epic show to come.

I do not want to give too much away so I will highlight just
a few of my favourite songs. A more detailed track by track review will be
written later, after the release.

The album starts off with the song “Innocence”. I am not
going to say too much about this song as you can read my review of the song on
the site. It is definitely a great starter to what is to come on this album.
Please read my other review for more details to this song. Tarja has chosen a
good one for the next single and video.

“Demons in You”, features Alissa White-Gluz. It was a song
to get used to as it is much different from what Tarja normally does, but it
fits. She is known for her variety and experimentation with music, after all. Alissa
gives us her growl voice along with clean vocals. She has a very beautiful
voice and I am glad it is shown in this song. I hope for more collaborations
between these two in the future.

“Scared to lose the
fight

with what’s in me.

Found another
side,

the darkest
thoughts,

the deepest sea

where sun and moon
arise.

It’s me”

“Supremacy”, which is a song by Muse, is probably the
biggest track of the entire album. It is one of the best cover songs Tarja has
done so far. You can hear her perform this, already, in many live videos found
on YouTube. The high notes Tarja hit on this song will make your jaw drop and
hit the floor. Job well done Tarja. It is superb!

  “ You don’t have
long. I am on to you

   The time, it has
come to destroy.”


“Living End”
is breathtakingly beautiful. I find this song
constantly on repeat some days. The lyrics are amazing, the music is relaxing,
and Tarja’s vocals are flawless.

  “Here with you now

   lights in the air

   devoted.

   No yesterday

   dying to live

   this moment.

   Growing stronger,

   taking over.”

 

“Diva” is going to be a fun one to read comments about and
see the different interpretations people come up with. I just love this song
from beginning to end. My ears melt at the trills Tarja uses in the song and
the beginning seems like something we would hear in a Tim Burton musical and/or
film. Would that be a good comparison? Maybe he will use it.

   “I’ve been tasting
the salt

   Couldn’t stand all
the rats on board

   I walked down the
plank as the curtains fell down

   on you.”

 

“Too Many” is about 13 minutes long. Without going into ‘too
many’ details, just know that there is a wild surprise at the end.

   “Just a canvas in
the sky,  

   perfect sunset
long denied.  

   Spirit’s flying.

   Birds that cease
their wanderlust fall.”

 

All in all, there are no complaints, once again. What else
do we get in this album? Bagpipes, guest vocals, a different side of Tarja. It
is definitely darker and heavier. No one is going to be disappointed in The
Shadow Self. How will Tarja do with the future album? I have no doubt in my
mind she will only grow more in future releases and keep putting the haters to
shame and proving that she can do this without that band that shall remain
nameless.

Overall Rating: 5/5

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