Anette Olzon-Strong

Spread the metal:

Reviewed:  October 2021

Released:  September 2021, Frontiers Music Srl

Rating: 4.5/5

Reviewer:  Buddy H

The acrimonious 2012 split between Anette Olzon and Nightwish has been well documented.  The short time she spent with the band has proven to be very polarizing among longtime fans.  Regardless of which side of the debate you fall on, there is no doubt that this woman is a gifted, unbelievably talented vocalist.  After the dust settled, she released her first solo album, SHINE, which was a softer, moodier collection than her two offerings with Nightwish.  Fast forward to the present, and we have solo album number two, STRONG.

This is an entirely different beast than her first solo outing.  In fact, it is a complete polar opposite!  From the first few notes of opener “Bye Bye Bye”, it is evident that she and co-writer Magnus Karlsson have taken a much darker and heavier approach with STRONG.  From start to finish, this is pure symphonic melodic power metal, complete with all the requisite parts – a hammering rhythm section of double kick drums and bass provided by Anders Köllerfors and Johan Husgafvel, thick heavy guitars supplied by Karlsson, and complex orchestration/symphonic passages topped with Anette’s godlike multi layered vocals.  Occasional growling vocals are even thrown in here and there for good measure!

The songs themselves aren’t just mere platforms to showcase Olzon’s remarkably mesmerizing voice.  They are densely packed compositions full of complex melodic arrangements, powerful sing along choruses and pure, raw, heartfelt emotion.  With absolutely no filler tunes to be found, stand out tracks include the ultra-catchy opener “Bye Bye Bye”, the powerful title track, “Strong”, the speedy “Parasite”, the vocally acrobatic masterpiece “Fantastic Fanatic”, and the power metal treat “Catcher Of My Dreams”.

I have always been a fan of Anette Olzon.  Her graceful and powerful vocals fit this brand of metal perfectly.  STRONG is packed full of hidden melodic treasures that are just begging to be found.  She has made a thundering statement with this release and will be a major force in the metal community for a very long time to come.  This is a fantastic album from start to finish and will rank very high on my year end Best Of 2021 list.  Pick this up without hesitation!


Track Listing:

1.     Bye Bye Bye

2.     Sick Of You

3.     I Need To Stay

4.     Strong

5.     Parasite

6.     Sad Lullaby

7.     Fantastic Fanatic

8.     Who Can Save Them

9.     Catcher Of My Dreams

10.   Hear Them Roar

11.   Roll The Dice


Anette Olzon – Vocals
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars

Johan Husgafvel – Bass
Anders Köllerfors – Drums,,