Thursday, June 20, 2024

Anette Olzon unleashes the melodic Rapture

Anette Olzon and Tarja Turunen have a shared history as former vocalists for Nightwish, with both alleging their dismissals from the band—a claim that Nightwish refutes. However, since then, both have gone on to establish and enhance their reputations as solo artists. Anette, in particular, has earned high praise and is now considered on par with Sharon den Adel as one of the leading female voices in the realm of symphonic metal. While her vocal style may not be as operatic as Tarja’s nor possess the same level of dynamic stage presence and power found in Floor Jansen’s performances, Anette’s talent is nonetheless widely recognized and celebrated within the genre.

As well as being in the band Dark Element, Anette also releases solo albums, of which Rapture is the third. Shine was somewhat melancholic but with a positive mood, whereas Strong showed a more darker and heavier side to her, and her new release continues with this theme. She states that her work is influenced by her Christian faith though from the tone of some of the lyrics there’s a lot of dark stuff in them because, as she says, “the world is currently getting much darker”. As she sings on ‘Arise,’ she says “The planet burns from choices made by man”.

Working again with Swedish metal man Magnus Karlssen, the template hasn’t changed too much, with the new album being an eclectic mix of metal riffage, symphonic backing and Anette’s coruscating vocals. It’s slightly more bombastic than Strong, though the growling of Johan Husgafvel on tracks like the fast-paced ‘Take A Stand’ and the otherwise excellent ‘Days Of Wrath,’ is a mega distraction, sounding like someone swallowing quicksand as he’s drowning in it. The music is mostly symphonic-based rock with the occasional choir and piano, though ‘Greedy World’ is more akin to classic rock. Magnus Karlssen certainly makes his presence felt, often to excess on tracks like ‘Hear My Voice,’ with his attempts at playing a gazillion notes in the shortest possible time, occasionally assisted by the over-exuberant drumming of Anders Kollerfors. Contrast this with the title track, ‘Rapture,’ where an absence of both produces a somewhat more melodic song.   

Rapture is Anette doing what she does best, singing with passion and energy, and this new release will do her standing no harm whatever, though it’d be fascinating to hear what her voice would sound like in front of a more classic rock based band .. and personally without the growling!

Rapture is out now via Frontiers Music.

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

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Anette Olzon and Tarja Turunen have a shared history as former vocalists for Nightwish, with both alleging their dismissals from the band—a claim that Nightwish refutes. However, since then, both have gone on to establish and enhance their reputations as solo artists. Anette, in...Anette Olzon unleashes the melodic Rapture