Tarja – “What Lies Beneath” (2010)


Label : Universal Records

Review by Tony Cannella

For anyone who thought Tarja Turunen would be nothing without Tuomas and the rest of her ex-Nightwish band mates, than I would urge you to listen to her new solo album “What Lies Beneath”. Her second album, “My Winter Storm” was a positive first step to the start of her solo career – it actually exceeded all of my expectations. Now, with “What Lies Beneath” Tarja has released a sophomore CD that shatters all expectations, and once and for all should put all comparisons to her former outfit to rest. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Tarja has surrounded herself with some world class musicians and collaborators. But still, it’s that amazing voice that really makes “What Lies Beneath” come alive. “Anteroom of Death” gets things off and running in a big way. This immediately became one of my favorites. The track also features contributions from a cappella metallers Van Canto who add their special touch to this track. “What Lies Beneath” is a steady, relentless CD that very rarely falters. Throughout the course of the 55-minutes worth of playing time, the listener is treated to a mixture of dramatic, heavy, symphonic, ballads and classical metal styles. “Until My Last Breath”, “Dark Star” (featuring a duet with All That Remains singer Phil Labonte) and “Underneath” are pure magic. Enough can’t be said about the array of talented musicians that Tarja has assembled for this album. Guitarist Alex Scholpp, Bassist Doug Wimbish (of Living Colour) and Drummer Mike Terrana all provide great performances, as do some of the guests, such as Drummer Will Calhoun (also of Living Colour) and guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani who adds a blazing solo to “Falling Awake”. The trio of “Falling Awake”, the ballad “The Archive of Lost Dreams” and the 7-minute musical tour de force “Crimson Deep” brings “What Lies Beneath” to a beautiful conclusion. The limited edition includes a bonus disc featuring three songs including an interesting cover of the Whitesnake classic “Still of the Night”. As we head into the last quarter of 2010, “What Lies Beneath” by Tarja will most certainly be among my favorite albums of the year.

Rating – 95/100



  1. Anteroom of Death
  2. Until My Last Breath 
  3. I Feel Immortal
  4. Dark Star
  5. Underneath
  6. Little Lies
  7. River of Lust
  8. In for a Kill
  9. Falling Awake
  10. The Archive of Lost Dreams
  11. Crimson Deep


Line Up

  • Tarja Turunen – Vocals, Piano
  • Alex Scholpp – Guitars
  • Doug Wimbish – Bass
  • Mike Terrana – Drums 



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