Anette Olzon – Rapture (Frontiers Music)

Wednesday, 8th May 2024
Rating: 8 / 10

Best known to our readership for her time in Nightwish, Anette Olzon continues to develop her talent through other outlets since her departure from that group. One-half of the dynamic duo The Dark Element with ex-Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen, she’s also been issuing solo records over the past 12 years, with Rapture being the third such platter to hit the streets. What may be most surprising to followers of Anette’s previous output is the diversity present within these eleven tracks – floating between symphonic and melodic power metal affairs, yet also adding a bit of this melodic death/modern touch in spots that could allow her artistry broader appeal, especially within the heavier sectors.

No one can dispute her impressive, emotional connectivity when it comes to her choice of melodies and conviction behind that voice. Anette has that grace of pop while also hitting power/symphonic territory to carry songs like “Greedy World” and the title track to heights of passion, the former also containing a bit more playful personal tidbits in laughter or lower register twists that could enhance deeper engagement. Even when the rhythms and double kick work possesses that crunchier or more extreme muscle (prevalent within “Requiem”) or the male growls sprout up from Johan Husgafvel (“Take a Stand” or during the melodeath sequence on “Heed the Call”), the performances never waver in catchy, retainable hooks song to song. The layers of vocal harmonies on “Cast Evil Out” resemble the work of ABBA, the guitar work of Magnus superior in positioning Annette in that glorious queen platform, while closer “We Search For Peace” is a modern, melodic power number featuring mysterious melodies, tribal-like dynamics put into a metal context, plus militant battle cry background spots that slam the main ideas home.

Teaming up with renowned musician, songwriter, and producer Magnus Karlsson once again, as well as adding the stellar mixing capacity from Jacob Hansen ensures that Rapture has the best opportunity to meet the standards already set in this field. When you’ve established yourself as a quality artist, all Anette Olzon has to worry about is delivering her best work if given the right musicians and songs to enhance these aspects – and that’s what you have once again here.

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