With an impressive solo career that now spans well over 15 years, Finnish songwriter and soprano, Tarja has amassed a wealth of incredible material which is on show here in a collection of remastered hits and personal favourites.

First up on the album however is a brand new track, Eye of the Storm. Opening with a haunting, almost tango like melody which gives way to a more traditional symphonic metal feel. The song feels like a musical tapestry is being woven which combines folky melodeon phrases and crunchy guitar riffs with Tarja’s own inimitable soaring vocals to amazing effect.

The journey through Tarja’s selections begins with the single, I Walk Alone from her 2007 album, My Winter Storm. Glassy arpeggios mixed with orchestral hits, vocal harmonies and epic chorus combined to make this one of Tarja’s most commercially successful singles, seeing it chart in the top 50 across Finland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. From the same album there is also Enough and the alternative version of Die Alive.

In amongst the showcase of singles can be found treasures such as Diva from 2016’s The Shadow Self. A captivating tune with an almost carnival-esque vibe that builds with swelling strings and a blasting horn section before segueing into an amusing break at the circus and back again. You definitely get the feeling that this one is here as a self-deprecating nod and cheeky reminder to herself of some of the politics and relationships she has experienced over the course of her career.

Other highlights on the album for me include the soulful radio remix of ballad, I Feel Immortal from 2010 album What Lies Beneath. Also, some of Tarja’s most impressive collaborations are featured here with artists such as Alissa White-Gluz, Björn “Speed” Strid and Jason Hook.

In summary, this release represents the highlights of a truly phenomenal career so far and the promise of so much more yet to come.

Originally Published in https://issuu.com/chicfestivals/docs/issue19-march-2023-v1