Genre: Power Metal
Country: Finland
Label: Frontiers Music SRL
Year: 2017

One of the most severe cases of controversy in the metal genre occurred somewhere back in late 2007 when one of the most successful European metal bands, Nightwish, released their new music after their former iconic vocalist’s departure. When Anette Olzon, an unknown gal from Sweden took over the microphone for the band replacing TarjaTurunen, the fans and the press had been judgemental in a great degree. However, the witch-voiced lady managed to pull off five phenomenically intense years with the band; one huge world tour and a half, festival headlining and two of Nightwish’s greatest releases to date, “Dark Passion Play” and “Imaginaerum”, right before her abrupt departure in October 2012. Five years after Anette’s absence from the metal scene (even though she released a decent solo album in 2014), she teamed up with the talented guitarist Jani Liimatainen, ten years after his departure from the well-known power metal group Sonata Arctica, to finally give birth to the Dark Element, a new band, and of course an album. The Dark Element is the self titled album by this new project band, which is here to prove strongly wrong every doubtful listener of Anette’s era in Nightwish. Their music is mainly power-based symphonic metal full of melodic keyboards, heavy riffing guitars and less symphonic/orchestral passages, utilizing the full potential of the vocalist,while reminding how dreadful every Sonata Arctica release is after “Unia”. “The Ghost And The Reaper” is an easy listening power metal piece and could gain a mainstream success, while “Dead To Me” could without a doubt be a “Dark Passion Play” B-side. The only «low-quality” track is “Somebody You Used To Know” which if I could delete from my mind right after the moment I heard it, I surely would. The Dark Element is a very interesting release for fans of European, melodic metal with female lead vocals. It brings out all the capacity in Anette Olzon’s voice, while it has every aspect of becoming one of the most loved releases of 2017 for the genre. The compositions are quite “weak”, yet endearing. Don’t miss it!

3,5/6