It was a surprise – and a good one – when Anette Olzon presented her new band project with Jani Liimatainen. The composer and guitar player left SONATA ARCTICA years ago, I think after the album “Unia”, and as far as I know it was not a happy divorce. In the end, he was replaced by Elias Viljanen, whom we interviewed at Tuska festival this year. Anyway – I think for his work as a composer, Jani did well leaving Tony Kakko and SONATA ARCTICA behind and creating his own music, also with CAIN’S OFFERING.

THE DARK ELEMENT’s first song reminds us of “Dark Passion Play”

So there it is, THE DARK ELEMENT and their first song on YouTube called ‘My Sweet Mystery’. And, yay, it’s a real music video! The song itself, in the beginning, sounds A LOT like “Dark Passion Play”, the first album Anette Olzon appeared on with NIGHTWISH. But music and lyrics are said to be all written by Jani Liimatainen, so maybe he just is a big fan of Tuomas Holopainen‘s work or they just have the same taste in music? Not Anette‘s „fault“ so to speak.

Three weeks later, the second video was released, this time a lyric video for the song ‘Dead To Me’. I don’t like lyric videos, but I assume bands choose the songs wisely and for a reason because a lyric video transports the message of a song very obviously. So what to do when I find a band or song interesting and they release a lyric video? Watch it and read (surprise, surprise).

So it happened with ‘Dead To Me’ and these words sung by Anette Olzon force the listener/reader to think of Nightwish. One comment under the video says “Nightwish have been bye-bye-beautifulized [themselves]” and I think that fits pretty well! NIGHTWISH’s ‘Bye, Bye, Beautiful’ was released after their split with their very first singer Tarja Turunen and the song is dedicated to her. No need to quote the lyrics here, I think.

Bands seem to do this from time to time: write a goodbye song or something that could be interpreted this way. Maybe also for marketing/promotion reasons – controversy makes a lot of publicity. (As the fan-comment mentioned above notes, NIGHTWISH seemed to bid Tarja farewell with ‘Bye, Bye, Beautiful’ back in 2007, to which she responded with ‘I Walk Alone’ on her first solo-album – or at least one could interpret it that way, editor (Kiki)’s note.

According to Kiki, a (Latin-American) rumor has it that XANDRIA dedicated their song ‘Betrayer’ to Manuela Kraller after she left the band in 2013. She was replaced by Dianne van Giersbergen shortly after, who sings ‘Betrayer’ and just parted ways with the band on September 13th, 2017. Let’s see if that brings about another farewell song…? But that’s another story.

Not a song, but a war declaration

THE DARK ELEMENT write that this is not a song, but a war declaration – but it’s not specified against whom. The lyrics fit into Anette Olzon’s experience with NIGHTWISH: she did what she was told (I can’t get tired of repeating that she is able to sing so much better, with so much more variety to her voice so there can’t be any other reason than that she was just not allowed to do so with NIGHTWISH) and the band took a lot from her and asked for more and more.

In an interview with David Hasselhoff (I’m not joking!) she said that she was kicked out of the band via email and a few weeks after that she met the band and received seven pages (!) worth of reasons why NIGHTWISH didn’t want to work with her anymore.

Or is it just good marketing?

It’s not possible that there is no connection between her (and also maybe Jani’s) split with her former band and this song! At least for marketing reasons.

I believe people when they say that they’ve gotten over an occurrence. On the other hand, musicians often say they work on things by writing songs. It would be interesting to know when exactly this song was written. Maybe Jani wrote it because of SONATA ARCTICA years ago and the label, who brought him and Anette together, thought it might fit because of her similar experience with NIGHTWISH. Or they were told to write a provoking song to gain more attention. Another possibility: for this song only, Anette wrote the lyrics.

We’ll never know the real story behind it – even during interviews, they surely won’t tell us everything. But anyway: I’m happy this new band exists and I hope they bring the album on the road! Two super talented musicians working together – I love it.

BTW: I wasn’t a big fan of NIGHTWISH with Anette at all, because I loved Tarja’s voice so much and Anette is so different. But Anette really is a good and very special singer, too, and I appreciate her talent! Seeing her in a band that sounds like NIGHTWISH music wise but with her unique voice and another name is really cool and I want to hear more of it! And THE DARK ELEMENT can sound different than NIGHTWISH, too! ‘Here’s To You’ could – but doesn’t have to – be a SONATA ARCTICA song, as well as ‘The Dark Element’. NIGHTWISH with the cheesiness of SONATA ARCTICA – could it be any better?

Keep THE DARK ELEMENT coming – with this marketing strategy or another. Have you listened to any of THE DARK ELEMENT‘s songs? What do you think about this kind of “farewell-song”? Tell us in the comments and let’s discuss!