September 12, 2021

You always know that you are guaranteed a perfect vocal performance when you see the name Anette Olzon, the former Nightwish and current The Dark Element and Alyson Avenue singer has a virtually perfect voice and remains a much sought after guest singer. If you have not heard the Worlds Apart album that she cut with the Symphony X vocalist Russell Allen then you are truly missing a real treat and you are highly recommended to rectify this immediately.

Strong is only Olzon’s second solo album with the first being Shine which came out in 2014 and was a much lighter and personally reflective album with Strong being far more of a metal album and much more like what we have heard from her with Nightwish. Olzon is joined on the album by Swedish guitarist and producer Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear/Free Fall) with whom she worked on the Allen/Olzon project and both she and Karlsson have written the material for this album which is a real rocking affair. Karlsson plays all guitar parts including bass with drums courtesy of Anders Köllerfors who is a regular of Karlsson and also played on the Allen/Olzon album too so there is something of a close knit family developing here.

To add to the overall metal vibe and also keeping it within the family we also have some growled vocals from bassist and singer Johan Husgafvel who is also the husband of Olzon. The fact that they are all so well know to each other has allowed them to relax as they are most definitely comfortable in each other’s company and this ‘togetherness’ shines throughout the album. As should be expected, given the names and reputations of those involved, this is high quality melodic metal with Olzon confirming her premier class as a wonderful singer with a golden voice and Magnus Karlsson again shows his prodigious talents and his simply perfect guitar skills add so much to the album.

Expect lots of hooks, vocal melodies and top quality song writing all of which is delivered with style and precision to produce a metal album that also manages to be easy listening as well as hard rocking at the same time.

Strong track list

  1. Bye Bye Bye
  2. Sick Of You
  3. I Need To Stay
  4. Strong
  5. Parasite
  6. Sad Lullaby
  7. Fantastic Fanatic
  8. Who Can Save Them
  9. Catcher Of My Dreams
  10. Hear Them Roar
  11. Roll The Dice