Before we get into the proper review I wanted to touch on three things. First, I really like Rock/Metal Christmas crossover CD’s. I have quite a few in my collection. Secondly, traditionally, I usually don’t get out my box of Metal Christmas CD’s until Dec 1st. To review this brand new release in time for our Dec 1 publication deadline I made an exception. Lastly, even though Tarja is not ‘Metal’ per se, some of us at Metal-Rules (my self included) have followed her solo career with some interest, so I decided to cover her new album of Christmas songs, FROM SPIRTIS AND GHOSTS (SCORE FOR A DARK CHRISTMAS) Let’s consider this a bit of a public service announcement for the curious, as this CD really is not Metal at all.
FROM SPIRITS AND GHOSTS is Tarja seventh solo album. She has been on quite the pace releasing seven solo albums and four live albums in 12 years! This is actually her second Christmas album, or even third if you count the 2010 re-mix/re-recording/re-issue of BREATH FROM HEAVEN.
The key to this is the term ‘Dark Christmas’. Her interpretations of these familiar classics are very downplayed, down tempo and very different than the happy, bouncy versions you will hear in your local shopping mall or on televisions commercials. I think her versions are wonderful, gothic, symphonic and orchestral, they add an amazing new dimension to the hymns. There is one new track called ‘Together’ which nicely fits in and I appreciate it when contemporary artists write holiday themed songs. Maybe one day they will be consider classics as well! Tarja voice is beautiful and she does a superb job singing these songs. She shows no sign of weakening in her voice or delivery. This is a very effective and dark Christmas album, unique among many.
I would personally give this a much higher grade in my own score but as we adhere to our sites guidelines for a True Metal fan this album is not all that necessary. I would rate it a 4.5 out of five If you are keen to check out some of here solo material, go with one of her four Hard Rock themed album instead.
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