Marko Hietala - Pyre Of The Black Heart review


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Band: Marko Hietala
Album: Pyre Of The Black Heart
Release date: January 2020

01. Stones
02. The Voice Of My Father
03. Star, Sand And Shadow
04. Dead God's Son
05. For You
06. I Am The Way
07. Runner Of The Railways
08. Death March For Freedom
09. I Dream
10. Truth Shall Set You Free

Nightwish bassist/vocalist Marko Hietala is the one artist I always knew I needed a solo album from.

Problem is, it was already released last year in Finnish as Mustan Sydämen Rovio and I only now became aware of the fact. Awkward, I know. But it's not like that's the first time the same album was released in two languages, and if Opeth's In Cauda Venenum is to be taken as an example, the English version feels more familiar, but the mother tongue version feels more authentic, which is the case with Pyre Of The Black Heart / Mustan Sydämen Rovio as well. But this English version seems to have a bit of an updated sound as well in addition to being a translation for international audiences.

Thankfully, other than the language, the differences aren't as major, but they're significant enough to make listening to both versions worthwhile. And I might not have been aware of it if not for the English version, but that is due to my own shortcomings. Here we have the recognizable voice from Nightwish, Tarot and so many guest appearances finally getting more room to explore the folky and the personal that were only hinted at in such songs like "The Islander" and "While Your Lips Are Still Red". Pyre Of The Black Heart still maintains a bit of that folky and slightly fantastical feeling that newer Nightwish has, but it isn't limited to just that.

Other than the usual folky and hard rock sounds that the record dabbles in, there's also the really cool retro synths in "Star, Sand And Shadows", and plenty of progressive rock influences all throughout, but nothing tipping the scale too hard in that direction. Overall one can clearly hear that Marko Hietala wasn't afraid to do some exploring with this record, and there it is clearly felt that while this album is extremely emotional and personal at points, it has more of a jovial aura than a somber one. But I still get the feeling that there is a bit of holding back in regards to how much Marko dared to be out there in regards to the sounds approached here. It is definitely a fun record and I'm glad we finally got to hear more from him in a less constrained manner, so here's to hoping there's more to come from him.

It's still hard to figure out whether I prefer the Finnish or the English version, or whether I think it was worth releasing both versions, what is certain is that it was due time Marko Hietala, one of the most recognizable voices in metal, came up with his own solo albums.


Written on 03.02.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 156 users
03.02.2020 - 15:11
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I listened boat, my comment are under, i wish tarot will Do one last song, or he and his bro jouns for one lust ride.. Love is not made for my kind... Decent non metal album
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
03.02.2020 - 22:23
That is a great album. I personally prefer the English version, even though in Finnish they have that special flavour that is quite enjoyable.

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