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The Dark Element - 'The Dark Element' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/df/a6/0b/The-Dark-Element-The-Dark-Element-94-1519416790.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 23, 2018    
 
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An album full of powerful yet highly Melodic Power Metal.

Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen is the brains behind this new release from The Dark Element. He went to Frontiers with the idea for the album, but said he was looking for a female singer to front the band. Those clever folks at Frontiers suggested Anette Olzon of Alyson Avenue and Nightwish fame, and the two of them – who already somewhat knew each other from touring together over the years – hit it off immediately. We can now see and hear the results of this friendship on 'The Dark Element', an album full of powerful yet highly Melodic Power Metal.

Firstly, I will confirm there are a few nods towards both Sonata Arctica and Nightwish in the music that was written by Liimatainen, but he's also thrown in a lot of Melodic Rock elements that, once they are joined with Olzon's superb vocals, make this a very intriguing album to explore. Kicking off with the title track, the band – which is rounded off by Jonas Kuhlberg on bass and Jani "Hurtsi" Hurula drums – hit hard and fast; the song is a perfect way to start proceedings.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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However, despite this excellent opening salvo, it's from track two onwards that The Dark Element really show what they are capable of. 'My Sweet Mystery' (check out the video on YouTube) is a superb Melodic Symphonic Rocker full of amazing musicianship and vocals with a big classy chorus that sticks like glue. For me, Liimatainen's use of big infectious hooks on each and every one of his songs is the key to this release. If you want another example of the classy choruses that can be found on this album, take a listen to the brilliant ballad 'Someone You Used To Know', it's beautifully sung by Olzon and this song has a real earworm of a hook that you'll be unable to get rid of anytime soon. Other cuts worth highlighting include 'Dead To Me', the almost heavy Euro Pop of 'Halo', the keyboard-tastic 'The Ghost And The Reaper' and the stunning ballad 'Heaven Of Your Heart' where Olzon once more sings her heart out.

As debut releases go, this is a real declaration from The Dark Element that loudly states "here we are and we mean business" – this debut is fantastic stuff.

Ian Johnson

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