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Tarja Turunen & Harus: In Concert – Live At Sibelius Hall

Album Review

Metal mayhem.

Maybe they have a different definition of metal in Finland. Tarja Turunen, classically trained soprano and one-time singer with Nightwish, is variously described as opera metal, symphony metal or classical metal. Excuse me, Tarja Turunen is metal like Katherine Jenkins is metal.

And only the guitarist in her backing band, Harus, could claim any metal connections. Not that he is about to. He never even raises a riff in anger. A Mike Oldfield-styled solo is as cross as he gets. 

The concert (‘recital’ would probably be a better description) consists of a series of operatic hymnals sung by Turunen with controlled emotional intensity, accompanied by a church organ that ranges from Bach to Messiaen and ambient guitar noodlings. The applause at the end of each number is more subdued than you’d get at the Royal Festival Hall. 

Parental warning: contains Ave Maria, Silent Night and Walking In The Air.

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