Tarja – In the Raw

Tarja Turunen – the Finnish Opera and metal voice became a legend with Nightwish. After the split from her band in 2005, she was stayed successful as a solo artist. On 30th August 2019, Tarja released her fifth metal album (in addition to some classic and live albums), In the Raw. I was really curious how Tarja will sound like in 2019.

Tarja (Turunen) – About the Artist

Tarja Turunen was the voice – and the face – of the Finnish band Nightwish. With her as a lead singer, the band had its greatest songs like the legendary Wishmaster. However, music was already part of her early life and even in school years, she already performed songs like I will always love you by Whitney Houston. At the age of 18, she started to learn at the Sibelius Academy in Kuopio. In late 1996, she met Tuomas Holopainen, the band leader of Nightwish. During 1997, Nightwish more and more turned into a symphonic metal project with Turunen’s strong voice, which released its first album Angels Fall First. The album made a chart entry to the Finnish charts. The second Nightwish album, Oceanborn also had international success and for example entered the German charts as well. Their last common album, Once, topped the charts in Finland, Germany, Greece and Norway and made it to the Top 10 in five more countries.

The first album Tarja Turunen published after the split was Henkäys Ikuisuudestaa winter and christmas themed album. Her first rock album, the 2007 My Winter Storm topped the Finnish charts and placed third in the German charts. Germany stayed a core market for Turunen. It is the only country in which all four so-far released rock album made it to the Top 10. Her 2016 one, The Shadow Self, just had #13 as highest ranking in Finland, though. She still produced one classic and an additional winter album, the 2017 From Spirits and Ghosts, which also featured a version of the German christmas song Oh Tannenbaum. Her most successful single is likely the 2007 song I walk alone, which made it to the Finnish, German, Austrian and Swiss charts.

Tarja (Turunen) – In The Raw – Track by Track

The ten track In The Raw album lasts 57 minutes.

1. Dead Promises (with Björn “Speed” Strid)

Dead Promises is an amazing start to Tarja’s 2019 album. Great instrumental sound, great vocal collaboration. Nice one, definitely!

2. Goodbye Stranger (with Cristina Scabbia)

The second song on the album is a duet with Lacuna Coil-singer, Italian Cristina Scabbia. Nice duet in most of the song, where the voices merge to a great sound. There are just few parts, where Tarja becomes dominant.

Going where the sun don’t shine at all
Diving through the darkest thoughts unknown
Free fall your heart, loose everything
Old things depart, skies opening
Goodbye stranger!

3. Tears In Rain

Tears In Rain is a lovely track with very melodic parts – though the instrumental parts really rock. Love this one – not too surprisingly, this was the first single release.

4. Railroads

Railroads is especially catchy due to its very accentuated pre-chorus part, which is nearly spoken, before the chorus gets back to the unique Turunen sound.

Rings of fire, monastery
Laurel wreath, the bells of glory
Eagle rising, camels fading
Ancient martial arts we are floating
Spiral keeps on round and round
Deep into the swamp we are boating
Latin veritas and Ichiban sharing the sky

5. You And I

Strings, a piano and soft voices – You and I is a lovely ballad by the Finnish metal girl. I love her soft side, definitely!

6. The Golden Chamber: Awaken / Loputon yö / Alchemy

The Golden Chamber is a very special track on the album. Apart from some Finnish words in the middle part, Turunen does not sing text, but only notes. It is an impressively arranged song, though. Wow!

7. Spirits Of The Sea

Spirits of The Sea has a lovely mixture of powerful Tarja sounds and gentle and even somehow mystical quiet passages. Nice arrangement!

8. Silent Masquerade (with Tommy Karevik)

In Silent Masquerade, the longest track of the album, Swedish metal singer Tommy Karevik more takes the role of a narrator in an epic song. Great one!

9. Serene

After that very special track, Serene is more of the classic Tarja sound. However, the chorus is really great, which makes it one of the best tracks of the album to me.

Dream high
And I’ll open up the sky
Stay true
It’s all inside of you
Black skies, light up diamonds in your eyes
And break through
I live inside of you
Just fly
Over the night
And you’ll soon wake up to see
Everything’s serene

10. Shadow Play

The tenth and final track is the third one exceeding seven minutes in playtime. Shadow Play uses a choir for background and in the vocals, which gives a very epic, partially bombastic sound. Wow, what a final track!


Tarja (Turunen) – In the Raw – Spotify

You may listen to the full album via this Spotify widget:


Tarja (Turunen) – In the Raw – My View

I loved Tarja Turunen with Nightwish – and I really enjoy her solo stuff. In The Raw is an amazing ten track masterpiece. There are very different sequences in the songs. You will find a lot of “classic Turunen sound”, but also classic elements, silent moments – and a some really great stories. I feel In The Raw is a must-buy – Top Pick!


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Pictures: Artist Material, Banner: Photocredit Tim Trocknoe

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