THE DARK ELEMENT (Anette Olzon) – Songs The Night Sings (2019)
THE DARK ELEMENT is a musical project fronted by vocalist Anette Olzon, together with Finnish guitarist and songwriter Jani Liimatainen. Their new album fo Frontiers Music “Songs The Night Sings” is plenty of immaculate vocals from Olzon and fabulous anthems written by Jani, heavy and melodic as before and this time even exploring welcomed, new musical territories.
The Dark Element was formed in 2016 by former Nightwish vocalist Anette Olzon and former Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen. Their self-titled debut combined elements of symphonic metal and pop to deliver a strong, synth-heavy melodic metal album.
While that debut was pretty good, this sophomore effort “Songs the Night Sings” blows it out of the water. The sound is fuller, the arrangements more diverse, and everything else has gotten a serious upgrade.
All of the aspects of The Dark Element that were good still remain. Anette’s vocals (while a bit more chesty and less sharp this time around) are as good as ever and belt out some excellent melodies.
On top of that, the electronic and synth elements are lively, and a powerful energy is carried through the whole album. However, the synth stuff is now supported by orchestrations and the guitar work is way more intricate.
Combine this with a beefier production and you quickly see why this could be the best melodic metal album of the year.
Another area in which “Songs the Night Sings” excels in is variety. There’s not a whole lot you won’t find in this album; there are lighter songs in ‘I Have to Go’ and ‘To Whatever End’, intense, riff-heavy tracks like ‘The Pallbearer Walks Alone’ and ‘Not Your Monster’, and everything in between.
The album also flows really smoothly, with well-constructed ups-and-downs, allowing for the emotionality to run organically.
Aside from all this, the biggest improvement is in the little things. While I really enjoyed The Dark Element first album, my primary complaint was the lack of detail. Fortunately, this is the farthest thing from being an issue here because it’s full to the brim with expertly-placed touches.
Some of my favorites include the synthwork in ‘The Pallbearer Walks Alone’, the 7/4 section in ‘Pills on my Pillow’, the killer guitar solos, and the funky instrumental in ‘Get Out of My Head’, but that’s just scratching the surface of what this album has to offer.
If you’re looking for a varied, elaborated modern melodic metal album the adds a little sympho and even some electronics touches, look no further than “Songs the Night Sings”. It brings all the weight and emotion of metal and tops it off with a shiny, melodic finish without losing any musical integrity.
01 – Not Your Monster
02 – Songs the Night Sings
03 – When It All Comes Down
04 – Silence Between the Words
05 – Pills on My Pillow
06 – To Whatever End
07 – The Pallbearer Walks Alone
08 – Get out of My Head
09 – If I Had a Heart
10 – You Will Learn
11 – I Have to Go
Anette Olzon – Vocals
Jani Liimatainen – Guitars, keyboards, programming
Jonas Kuhlberg – Bass
Rolf Pilve – Drums