Tarja – Act II

In 2016 Tarja Turunen set off on yet another epic touring adventure that would last for eighteen months, taking in forty countries and seeing the chanteuse perform to over a million people, fully cementing her status as a solo artist of some solo. To celebrate this monumental achievement, as she had done in 2012 with Act I, Tarja is releasing a multi-DVD / 2 CD documentation of a couple of the highlights of the tour; an intimate London show at the Metropolis Studios to a handful of fans recorded prior to the release of The Shadow Self, and a full concert experience from the Teatro della Luna, Milan, titled Act II (all earMUSIC).

Highlights of the original material include a sumptuous ‘Eagle Eye’ and its partner in crime, ‘Demons In You’, which after a funky prog interlude, is chunky heaviness that sprawls and unveils while ‘Lucid Dreamer’ sounds like it could have been lifted from an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

As the set unwinds, Tarja presents a further medley, this time accompanied by a piano and an acoustic guitar, to reinterpret some of her own hits, and a cheeky McCartney ‘House of Wax’ slipped in for good measure.

With a set list spanning all four Tarja solo albums, and a vibrant Nightwish medley, it is with a couple of very different covers that the Milan set is brought further to life at the midway point, with a heavy, symphonic take on Muse’s anthem ‘Supremacy’, reworked and presented in a style in keeping with the other Tarja material, including some utterly ridiculous notes being hit, the arrangement of which takes on a film soundtrack and fifties quality that spills over into an eyebrow-raising take on the James Bond theme song, the John Barry penned ‘Goldfinger’.

There is no doubt that Tarja is both an incredible and distinctive soprano, and her ability to gracefully soar over symphonic rock and metal continues to impress. Her own solo material is of good stock, and her live presentation is meticulously planned and flawlessly delivered. As a documentation of an exceptionally successful period of a career that started over twenty years ago, Act II should appeal to all admirers of Tarja Turunen.

7.5/10

STEVE TOVEY