I’m going to review here an album I fear is going to be very controversial in the coming weeks. I hope it won’t be judged simply in terms of ‘it’s too commercial’, ‘it’s too much this’, ‘it’s too much that’. With My Winter Storm
, there will always be pros and cons, one will either like or dislike it completely. I’m going to be one of those who will prefer that album to Dark
Passion Play, but who cares, at the end it is only Tarja
’s voice which will make the difference…
I must admit that I had been enthusiastic by the 5-track promo release. I had found there what I used to love in Nightwish
. Vocals as only Tarja
can do, coupled with very good heavy. I feel exactly the same with My Winter Storm
. When listening to « Ciriàn’s Well » I am charmed as much by the vocals than by the aggressiveness of the intro riff. But that, I already wrote it in my review of the 5-track release (indeed you’ll have to have a look at both reviews at the same time).
Compared to the promo released (I Walk Alone, Lost
Northern Star, Oasis, Ciaràn’s Well, The Reign
), each of these already-known tracks is here preceded by a one-minute intro. All these intros really add a lot to the general ambience of the album. A little like with the famous Blind Guardian
, these intros considerably reinforced the whole album. These intros explain why the album contains 18 tracks. It also means that 8 other tracks remain to be discovered.
these 8 remaining tracks are not going to disappoint me. What a proof of musical mastery ! Each instant reveals something great. The arrangements are impressively subtile. Without saturating the songs, each instrument bring a little something extra which, if missing, would create an huge void. The delicate sound of a toy, the breath of air, a perfectly measured touch of violin, all are subtile details which bring a lot. The quality of the violins is also quite impressive. Omnipresent on some songs, they are feline and aggressive at the same time. Their notes move from a glimmer to a grating in the second. Usually I’m not a big fan of violins, but here it is so perfectly in harmony with the musicality of the songs that I do. My Winter Storm
knows also to be more basic with the pop-oriented ‘Poison
’. The chorus will push you to sing and this song should have its success during concerts. Despite
being quite different from the other ones, and so being a bad surprise for some of you, this song is quite appealing. The balance between calmer and heavier tracks bends on the former side, but it is in fact a good thing as it better showcases the powerful voice of this beautiful Finnish girl.
Yes, I suddenly realize I’ve not talked yet about the most important : Tarja
herself. After all, it is her album and it really sounds so. The music follows the marvelous melodies of her unique voice. A melancolic track such as ‘Our Great Divine’ is a pure vocal demonstration. Warm and catchy, one lets her voice freely take one wherever she desires. That
feeling also participates to the whole magic of My Winter Storm
. Among the songs left for investigation, I think ‘Damned and Divine’ is probably the most impressive one. The clarity of the chorus is so bluffing that, such as singing mermaids, it manages to carry me to faraway places slightly underlined by a violin which is discrete to the perfection.
To conclude, I think this album is really different from Dark
Passion Play and comparing them is useless. Some will love this album (as I do) while other will hate it. The decision is yours but I think that at least this album is a very personal one which doesn’t show any animosity as some others do…
Translated by Heavyboy