Monday, August 10, 2020
GIK Acoustics - Europe
GIK Acoustics - Europe
The Moshville Times

Review: Tarja – From Spirits And Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas)

Tarja - From Spirits and Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas)

Some of you may recognise the name Tarja as the (former) lead singer of Nightwish. According to the mighty Wikipedia (and who am I to disagree?) Nightwish essentially defined the genre of opera metal. Is From Spirits And Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas) an operatic metal Christmas album? Well, almost. Operatic, yes. Metal… not really.

Tarja - From Spirits and Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas) CD coverThe clue to how this album sounds is in the bracketed subtitle (Score For A Dark Christmas). It feels more like a score from a movie than a collection of jolly holiday tunes that families listen to while gathered round a roaring mp3 player. We are talking big orchestra, big production and big operatic vocals. A cinemascope Christmas. And “dark”? Definitely. I didn’t think it was possible to create a downbeat version of “Feliz Navidad” but Tarja does it while still managing to sound awesome.

A few of the highlights (if that is the right term for such an atmospheric offering) are “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (see video below), “We Three Kings, “Deck The Halls” and the aforementioned “Feliz Navidad”.

The album opens with “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. It begins with atmospheric vocals soaring over pulsing notes and the rumbling menace of the orchestra. This Blade Runner-ish start majestically builds to a triumphantly bombastic middle that reminded me of Pirates of Caribbean. (Nothing says Christmas like Caribbean pirates!) It then draws to a close with a beautifully controlled quiet section.

With “We Three Kings” I was transported to a Victorian Christmas. Not a sanitised Christmas card Victorian England but a widescreen vision of a dark Dickensian Christmas.

“Deck the Halls” creates a creepy choral Christmas vibe. Never has a children’s choir singing Christmas carols sounded less angelic.

From Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a dark Christmas) is released on November 17th, 2017 on earMUSIC as the following formats; 1CD digipak, 1LP Gatefold (180g, black) and Digital. The Official Store for a dark Christmas offers a wide variety of exclusive, limited fan items and bundles.

Plug in your headphones, turn up the volume and let Tarja fill your head with visions of a deliciously dark Christmas.

Tarja: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | youtube

About The Author


David discovered rock music as a young, skinny, hairy teenager. He is still listening to it umpteen years later even though he is now old fat and baldy. The first album he bought was by The Wombles but try not to hold that against him.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x