The curse with every singer who leaves a well-known band and then starts something new, is that a reviewer always compares the new project to the old one. Anette Olzon started her career as singer in various bands and projects. In the metalworld we discovered her when she started fronting Nightwish in 2007, disappearing again in 2012. After leaving Nightwish Anette made a pop-album, but in 2017 returned to ‘the dark side’. The first album of The Dark Element was a mixture of electro pop and symphonic heavy rock, very friendly to the ear, but not outstanding. This second album refines the sound, making it clear that Anettes voice fits symphonic metal very well. Saying this, it is not very heavy metal, more like Nightwish without the complexity.
And this comparison makes it very hard to distinguish what The Dark Element adds to this music genre. For example the song Pills on my Pillow starts like any proper NW-song starts. The chorus of Silence between the Words has parts that can be laid one on one with Edema Ruh (Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful) and sounds like a cheap copy of that song.
Then again… Anette partly defined the Nightwish sound during her six years collaboration with the band, no wonder that she took inspiration from it and on the other hand Nightwish changed with her.
Basically one can say this album is very nice, for any fan of symphonic metal, but two-third of the album is music in a well-known style, not new, yet of a nice quality.
The last four songs on the album are of a different type, with a total different vibe and style, quite refreshing and more outstanding. Would all songs from a next album sound like this, I will not start comparing to NW anymore 😉