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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
My Winter Storm (UK Version)
Format: MP3 Download|Change

on 25 May 2017
This is brilliant album - if you skip/ ignore a fairly awful cover of Alice Cooper's Poison. Nightwish fans will love this album.
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on 26 May 2017
Love it!
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on 30 August 2017
Fantastic tarja at her best
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on 25 September 2017
Brilliant cd from a superb artist. Tarja has a brilliant soprano voice.
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on 30 November 2007
When Tarja said her album would contain elements of heavy metal, I thought there would only be one or two up-tempo tracks to keep the Nightwish fans happy. This is not the case.
The album contains plenty of hard-hitting symphonic metal, my favourite being the very tasty 'Ciarán's Well'. The guitars are as vicious on this album as the melodies are haunting. That being said there are no shortage of slow, moving songs here. It did take me a few listens to fully appreciate the slower songs as I found them a little overbearing and monotonous at first.
Looking through the lyrics, and seeing as the album is split into three acts, I've come to realise that there is a narrative running through the songs, especially since Turunen uses various archytypal metaphors such as the Dead Boy and the Phoenix. It makes for a very compelling listen.
The orchestration isn't extremely complex, but it does its job in bringing the new songs to life while the choir provides its own chilling moments. Tarja's performance itself is flawless, probably her best ever recording on an album as she mixes her contemporary technique with her unmistakabe, incomparable operatic voice.
I couldn't be happier with Tarja's solo debut. It captures the majesty of her voice and the flare of her vision while taking you on a dark, emotional and atmospheric journey. I was also glad to find out that my personal favourite 'Oasis' was written solely by Tarja herself.
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on 30 October 2008
When I bought this CD I expected the old Nightwish riffs to be non-existent but to my pleasant surprise there was actually still plenty of energy in this album - guitar riffs included! I'm glad that Tarja is still in the gothic/operatic metal "story-telling" style of music which I thoroughly enjoyed from her time in Nightwish. She has such powerful emotion in her voice that can carry you through the album so easily from beginning to end.

Highly recommended to anyone who enjoyed Tarja from Nightwish but do expect something different musically. On most tracks there is perhaps more emphasis on the "operatic/classical" element rather than "metal" but don't let that cloud your judgment for most of them do have metal elements somewhere in the music where it suits.

I would recommend purchasing both editions of this album - Deluxe and UK. The UK edition has a bonus track called "The Seer" which doesn't appear on the Deluxe album and is perhaps my favourite track on the entire album.

Overall, Tarja has found a unique and enchanting blend of both classical and metal elements with an underlying story which the listener is quickly drawn into. Five stars.
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on 26 June 2008
If you love both opera and lyrical, symphonic rock, this will hit all the buttons and send the lights flashing. Nightwish fans will already know her vocals, pure yet full of passion; here, she can really extend herself. I Walk Alone sets the tone for the album, but this isn't a one-track CD: there isn't a weak track on it. The sound is sumptuous with a full orchestra and, where required, a backing chorus to support Tarja's soaring soprano. Her voice is never strained, showing not just natural gifts but fine training: you always have the feeling that there is more in reserve should it be needed. And always that elegiaic overtone. As others have said, she paints beautiful pictures that draw you into the parallel universe of her music, everything overlaid with that haunting quality you find in Scandinavian music and literature. Think Sibelius...Not because it sounds like his music but because his music has that combination of icy passion. If you know the fairy-tale "The Snow Queen" you will know what I mean....
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on 9 April 2011
I've read a couple of negative online reviews of this album, with people labelling it boring. I'll admit that it lacks a fair bit of the heavy metal punch that people might expect following Tarja's days in Nightwish, but don't let that put you off. This is still a very good album, and after all, symphonic metal is not always about noise.

The album has quite a lot of songs on it, some of which are short interludes between other songs but most of which are well-crafted, full-length numbers. The fact that some of the metal is gone is evened out perfectly by Tarja's fantastic vocal performance. Her English on this album is clearer than ever before (in my opinion), with the result that fans don't have to refer to printed lyrics the whole time to try and figure out what she's singing. Plus, the combination of quiet melodies and Tarja's voice works very impressively on songs like 'The Reign', 'Boy and the Ghost', 'Minor Heaven' and the Finnish 'Oasis'.

The standout metal tracks on the album are 'I Walk Alone', which was the leading single off the album, 'Lost Northern Star' and 'Damned Vampire and Gothic Divine', the heavier version of 'Damned and Divine' available on the extended (and recommended) deluxe edition of the album. 'Die Alive', the second single released from the album, lacks a polished metal sound but still features some good vocal work and instrumentation.

The album does have its weak tracks, namely 'Ciaran's Well' and 'Poison', the latter of which is well done but cannot match up to Alice Cooper's spine-tingling original. But on the whole, I'd give the album four stars. I once read a piece about Nightwish in which Tarja's vocals were described as "angelic", and I must admit that this is the one album that she features on where I really feel that. Arguably there are still many metal fans who feel that Tarja Turunen is a spent force without the songwriting of the mighty Tuomas Holopainen behind her. But this album neither suggests that, nor is a broken-hearted lament. On the contrary, it is a celebration of being alive, and in light of Turunen's ejection from Nightwish is an optimistic outlook on the future that suggests that there's more to come. Bring it on Tarja, it's welcome!
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on 28 April 2008
This isnt a perfect album by any means but considering its only Tarja's second its more than satisfactory and there is the potential for a very successful solo career.
Comparisons wil inevitably be made with Nightwish - basically if you like Nightwish you should find plenty here to enjoy but they dont sound alike.
Nightwish's last album had a greater share of Heavier moments than Tarja's but tracks here like Die Alive cater for metal fans. There are a lot of ballads/epic style tracks here - one or two are a bit average but there are some really classy moments such as Boy And The Ghost.
There is a hell of a lot of orchestration here courtesy of the Czech Film Orchestra - at least as much as ahem N********. And its quality - Its very, very cinematic in tone & feel. Really lush & warm and not just out to be bombastic as is often the case. Relax, the Wagnerian themes are there to be found if this is your thing. I always prefer a real orchestra to samples & keyboards anyday and hopefully its here to stay!
Drums in fairness are nothing outstanding but arent really required to be.
Bass is punchy & warm courtesy of Doug Wimbish (Ex Living Colour). Guitar is sharp although maybe a little nu metal in tone (not style) - there arent mant solos here either, i cant actually remember any in fact.
Vocals; Tarja is never going to hit the operatic heights of Oceanborn but these vocals are easily as good as anything else she's done (and certainly better than the Europop vocals of Annette Olzon)
The production is fantastic - it sounds a million dollars!!!
This is a good symphonic metal album with more emphasis on the S than the M. And i think there will be better to come!
N******** on the other hand i feel may stagnate if they persist with their current singer. I hope im wrong because they still write very good music and Tarja has some way to go before drawing level in the songwriting stakes. The answer is obvious but looks unlikely :-(
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on 17 November 2007
MWS is an incredibly varied, adventurous and atmospheric album and one of the most beautiful I've heard in years. Tarja admits to being heavily influenced by cinematic soundscaping and each song has been given its own individual feel through sound textures in addition to the music and lyrics. The heavier pieces will appeal to a lot of us who found her through Nightwish - Ciaran's Well, which very much feels like the bit of fun she intended it to be, and Lost Northern Star, which reminds me of Rammstein. On the softer side, her very own composition, Oasis, is a lush and serene piano/cello/voice combination, and she has some very haunting slower pieces such as Minor Heaven and Our Great Divide. As the other reviewer said, Poison is a decent cover, and I hope she does it live as it will be quite fun for both the band and the attendees!

The nice thing about Tarja is that even when her material is less than brilliant (there are a couple of songs that were a bit bland - My Little Phoenix, Calling Grace), she's still better than most! She has also gained a wider ability with her voice both in style and tone, and her enunciation is much improved from her Nightwish days.

A bit of advice: this album makes the most sense if you take the time to sit down and listen to it in one go. The songs themselves are less like... well, songs. They are like individual stories that fit together and I found that the straight-through listen gave the album a cohesion that is very rare in modern music. A theme begun in this song pops up later on, and image here surfaces again there. Tarja has put a lot of thought into the feeling she wanted to convey, and it really shows.

Overall, I have not loved an album so instantly before - it is beautiful from start to finish, and there is that real mixture of intensity, serenity and energy that made Tarja so appealing during her time with NW.

And look, I've resisted comparing MWS to DPP :)
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