Review by Tony Cannella

Tarja Turunen has long been lauded as one of the most influential singers in the symphonic metal realm. The fact is, she has continuously released solid album after solid album for over a decade, and that is not including the amazing work she has done with Nightwish. “In the Raw” opens like gangbusters with the track “Dead Promises”, featuring a powerful performance by Tarja and Soilwork front man, Bjorn “Speed” Strid. The song begins with a solid heavy riff that chugs before settling into a beautiful melodic groove. This a solid opener that sets the perfect vibe. Next we have the dark “Goodbye Stranger” featuring Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil on co-lead vocals. The song begins with a crunchy riff and the two vocalists work magic together. This is a great song with a cool overall feel and my favorite track. The duo of “Tears in Rains” and “Railroads” are up next, and these two songs have already been released as singles. Great songs and good choices for singles, in my opinion. Quite a few of the songs clock in at over 7-minutes giving them an epic feel. Lyrically this may be Tarja’s most personal album and it is an album that you might want to follow along with the lyrics. The lyrics are personal, intelligent and relatable. Other highlights include, “Spirits of the Sea”, “Silent Masquerade” (featuring Tommy Karevik from Kamelot) and “Serene”. Tarja’s solo work continues to amaze and impress. She has remained one of the most consistent artists in the symphonic metal landscape, but her music is so much more. Tarja’s vocals are strong as ever. I always loved the fact that she was never really concerned with constantly showing the listener how great she is – that goes without saying – it’s more about the song and how her voice and style fits into that song. That’s very important and is evident on “In The Raw”.

Rating – 85/100


  1. Dead Promises (with Björn “Speed” Strid)
  2. Goodbye Stranger (with Cristina Scabbia)
  3. Tears In Rain
  4. Railroads
  5. You And I
  6. The Golden Chamber (Awaken – Loputon Yö – Alchemy)
  7. Spirits Of The Sea
  8. Silent Masquerade (with Tommy Karevik)
  9. Serene
  10. Shadowplay



Tarja Turunen website

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