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Anette Ingegerd Olsson (born 21 June 1971), known by the stage name Anette Olzon, is a Swedish singer from Helsingborg, best known as the lead vocalist of Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish. Olzon was formerly the vocalist in the Swedish AOR band Alyson Avenue. After her admission in Nightwish, Olzon played with several bands, in studio and live, including Brother Firetribe, Pain and The Rasmus.
In 2008, Anette recorded one track with Brother Firetribe on their second album, Heart Full of Fire, and the duet with The Rasmus, titled October & April, was played for the first time on October 9, 2009 on a Finnish radio and was released digitally on November 11, 2009. On August 13, Anette sang two Nightwish songs, "Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan and "Meadows of Heaven", with the Stockholm Symphonic Orchestra, at the Suomi Safari, the event was in celebration of Sweden and Finland relations. During the break after Nightwish's 2009 Hartwall Arena concert, Anette has stated that she wishes to release a solo album. As of October 19, 2009, songwriting for this album has begun.
She has mentioned Carola Häggkvist, Sarah Brightman, Natalie Cole and Celine Dion as being her inspirations in singing. She has said she enjoys other metal bands, such as Sonata Arctica, Amorphis, Tarot, Within Temptation and Kamelot. She has also noted that she is a fan of The Rasmus, and was such even before she released October & April.
Anette lives with her boyfriend, and Pain bassist, Johan Husgafvel and son Seth, born July 2001. In July, 2010, she gave birth to her second son, Nemo.
Anette Olzon was raised in a musical family and has been singing since childhood. Her mother also forced Anette to play the oboe for 8 years. She toured with her mother's band and sang with them on some occasions. Later, she started to take part in various talent shows and received laudable recognition. The first band she joined at seventeen years of age (Take Cover) was a cover band. However, it was short-lived as she took part in several bands and projects. At twenty-one, she played the leading role in the rock opera/musical "Gränsland" in Helsingborg. After that she got in to the Balettakademien in Gothenburg. She sang in choirs, did studio work for various projects and occasionally performed as a wedding singer. Anette Olzon also sang a duet with Michael Bormann (ex-Jaded Heart singer) on his album "Conspiracy".
In her earlier days, Anette Olzon took singing lessons at the Copenhagen Music Conservatorie, in Helsingør, Denmark with a private teacher. Nowadays, she takes lessons from a private teacher at the Malmö Music University when needed.
Olzon then joined Alyson Avenue, at first only as a studio singer, but later as their leading lady, replacing the male vocalist. The band received huge feedback for a demo they sent out in 1999, and Alyson Avenue was soon able to contact various labels. Main composer and keyboardist Niclas Olsson gathered the band, recording a four track demo which resulted in a record deal with AOR Heaven.
In November 2000, debut album Presence of Mind was released to positive reviews. The next album Omega was released in 2003. Anette left "Alyson Avenue" in 2006. In May 2009, Alyson Avenue introduced Arabella Vitanc as their new lead vocalist.
Anette live with Nightwish in Melbourne, Australia, on January 30, 2008.Olzon officially joined Nightwish as their new lead singer in early 2007, chosen from about 2,000 applicants of which 10 made it to prove their place in front of the band. The song on her demo tape was the 2002 single "Ever Dream". She replaced the previous singer Tarja Turunen, who was fired in an open letter in the autumn of 2005. Olzon's demo was one of the first that Nightwish received, although she was originally denied the position, as band leader Tuomas Holopainen was concerned about the fact that she had a young son. However, Olzon was persistent and sent the band a live DVD of her performing with Alyson Avenue. She was then contacted by Nightwish's manager Ewo Pohjola, which eventually led to her taking up the position in February 2007. Tuomas commented on her selection saying "we (the band) took a formal vote, but it was unanimous that she would be the one. It was a matter of heart. We felt she was right." Her identity was kept secret by various methods, including pretending to be Ewo's "Swedish cousin" at a Tarot concert, until she was eventually announced as the new Nightwish singer on 24 May 2007.
The day after this revealing, May 25, 2007, charity single "Eva" was released as the first off the album, as download only. It was originally scheduled for release on May 30 but this was changed due to a leak on a British music download site. This was the first published song to feature Olzon. On June 13, Nightwish released the title, Dark Passion Play, and artwork to the new album on their official website, as well as the name and the cover of the second single (this time CD), "Amaranth". "Amaranth" achieved gold status in Finland after less than two days in stores.
Dark Passion Play was released around Europe in the last week of September 2007, in the UK on October 1, and the United States on October 2. It was awarded double platinum in Finland the second day after its release and took the number 1 position on the charts of Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Hungary and Croatia and got in top 100 in other 16 countries, including the United States. Dark Passion Play has sold 6x Platinum worldwide up to date (over 1.5 million copies).
On September 22, 2007, the band hosted a secret concert at Rock Café in Tallinn, Estonia, disguising itself as a Nightwish cover band called "Nachtwasser". Their first official concert with the new singer was in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 6, 2007. The Dark Passion Play tour thus started, visiting the United States, Canada, most of Europe, Asia, and Australia.
The Dark Passion Play tour turned out to be Nightwish's longest tour yet, lasting from the fall of 2007 to September 2009, when ended with a concert in Hartwall Arena, Helsinki with the band Apocalyptica. For trivia, Nightwish's only other concert in Hartwall Arena was in 2005 when they ended their Once Upon a Tour. This concert was filmed for the End of an Era DVD, and it was Tarja Turunen's last show with the band.
Olzon's forthcoming solo album would be co-produced by Swedish producer/songwriter Anders Bagge, who has previously worked with Madonna, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson and Jessica Simpson, among others. He is also one of judges on the Swedish TV talent competition "Idol" and a producer of the TV series "Made in Sweden". She states that the album will "not be a metal album, but will most likely be a Rock one."
Anette stated: "This will be so great and it's so nice to have such great songwriters and musicians to help me with the songs. We work that way that we sit down by the piano and the guitar and just try melodies etc. and then I write down lyrics and we try and test the structure of the song. Then Johan goes and puts drums, bass etc. in the computer to get the music recorded for me to test-sing it. Then we work from there. It's so nice to create songs like this, I haven't done that since we started [Anette's pre-Nightwish band] Alyson Avenue, so it's been a while, but I'll soon get a hang of it again. And I really like the sound of it already!"
Many fans have expressed concern that Anette will be taking the same route as ex-Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen, but she says "I still belong in Nightwish. This is just something to do before Tuomas has finished writing the next Nightwish Album. I have no desire to leave Nightwish."
Anette, on February 3, 2010, shared on her blog that she no longer would continue making a solo album. Saying, "The factors are mainly that I want to focus on my family during this break from Nightwish. I am sure I will do a solo some other time, but at this time it doesn't fit into my life and then it's better to not do it, than to do it and it just wont feel good.". On March 3, 2010, Olzon made an announcement on her blog that the reason the solo album had been postponed was because she was pregnant with her second child. "Last autumn in the middle of demo recordings for my solo album, I started to feel very tired and nauseated. I took a pregnancy test and was really surprised to see that I had gotten pregnant! The boys in Nightwish have known for many weeks about it and they are all very supportive and happy." Her son was born on July 30 by C-section.
Anette does not possess the same operatic voice as Tarja Turunen, but rather, her melodic range is typically in the soubrette soprano range. Nightwish's fanbase became significantly divided on Anette's style of singing. Some fans felt that her voice was not trained or powerful enough to suit Nightwish's symphonic metal style, and claimed that her voice would be better suited to pop rock. Other fans assert that the power in her voice, in addition to the instrumentation, is what makes Nightwish retain their Symphonic power metal style.
Since her joining in 2007, Olzon's technical skill and style has continued to evolve. Prior to Nightwish's release of the Imaginaerum album and film, Tuomas Holopainen, the keyboardist and composer for the band, welcomed the press to Finnvox studios to preview the album. Reception was immediately much more synonymous. Critics agreed that her voice became much more refined, powerful, grandiose, and atmospheric - a typical signature of Nightwish, an assessment that was echoed by a number of Nightwish fans.
Nightwish is a Finnish symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland. Formed in 1996 by songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and former vocalist Tarja Turunen, Nightwish's current line-up has five members, although Tarja has been replaced by Anette Olzon and the original bassist, Sami Vänskä, has been replaced by Marco Hietala, who also took over the male vocalist part; previously male vocal-parts were done by Tuomas or guest singers.
Although Nightwish has been prominent in their home country since the release of their first single, “The Carpenter” (1997) and debut album Angels Fall First, they did not achieve worldwide fame until the release of the albums Oceanborn, Wishmaster and Century Child, which were released in 1998, 2000 and 2002 respectively. Their 2004 album, Once, which has sold more than 1 million copies, led to the broadcast of Nightwish video clips on MTV in the United States and inclusion of their music in US movie soundtracks. Their biggest US hit single, “Wish I Had an Angel” (2004), made it onto three US film soundtracks as a means to promote their North American tour. The band produced three more singles and two music videos for the album, as well as “Sleeping Sun”, from the 2005 “best of” compilation album, Highest Hopes, prior to vocalist Tarja Turunen’s dismissal.
In May 2007, former Alyson Avenue frontwoman, Anette Olzon, was revealed as Tarja Turunen’s replacement, and in the autumn, the band released a new album, Dark Passion Play, which has sold almost 2 million copies, with their big single, "Amaranth", being released one month before. The supporting tour started on October 6, 2007 and ended on September 19, 2009. A new E.P./live album, Made in Hong Kong (And in Various Other Places), was released in March 2009 as a MCD/DVD, and a seventh studio album, titled Imaginaerum, was released on November 30, 2011 in Finland, and December 2, 2011 in the rest of Europe.
Nightwish is the third-best-selling band and the third-best-selling musical entity in Finland with sales of over 890,000 certified copies. The group is also the most successful Finnish band abroad with more than 7 million records sold worldwide, and having collected over 60 gold and platinum awards.
After playing keyboards in several heavy metal bands in the 1990s, including Nattvindens Gråt and Darkwoods My Betrothed, Tuomas Holopainen decided to create his own project while sitting around a campfire with friends in 1996. He immediately had a clear idea of the music: experimental acoustic music he wrote himself, similar to the music usually played around campfires, but with a distinct sound and atmosphere, played on his keyboards.
He soon invited friend and schoolmate Erno "Emppu" Vuorinen to play acoustic guitars, and the classical vocalist Tarja Turunen, who shared the same music teacher, Plamen Dimov. The three musicians recorded their self-titled acoustic demo in the winter of 1996. The name “Nightwish” was derived from their first song together, and the demo also included the song “The Forever Moments”, and an early version of “Etiäinen”.
After recording the Nightwish demo, Holopainen realized that Turunen’s operatic voice was too powerful for an acoustic band, and decided to incorporate heavy metal elements, including electric guitars and drums.
In early 1997, following the release of the Nightwish demo, Jukka “Julius” Nevalainen joined the band, and acoustic guitar was replaced with electric guitar. The addition of heavy metal elements to the band's existing experimental style gave the band a different sound, forming the core of the Nightwish sound.
The band entered the studio in April 1997 to record seven songs for their second demo, entitled Angels Fall First. As a precursor to their debut full length album of the same name, the demo made its way to the Finnish record label Spinefarm Records in May 1997. The label signed Nightwish to a two album deal, and the band returned to the studio to re-record songs from their second demo. The full length album Angels Fall First was released internationally in November 1997 and reached number 31 on the Finnish album charts, with the single “The Carpenter” reaching number 3 on the Finnish singles chart. “The Carpenter” single was released as a split with label mates Children of Bodom and Thy Serpent;the album is also one of the two releases which features keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen's vocals, appearing on four of the album's eleven tracks, alongside vocalist Tarja Turunen.
After meeting a mixed critical reception in their first year of existence, the band made their live debut in their hometown Kitee in December 1997. Since they were missing a bass player, Samppa Hirvonen joined them as a sessional live member. Marianna Pellinen was also a sessional live member on an additional keyboard and a sessional backing vocalist for Tarja. There were plans to make Hirvonen a permanent member, but he joined the army as part of Finnish army conscription just as they began recording Oceanborn, so they asked Sami Vänskä to join instead, since Tuomas knew him from the band Nattvindens Gråt. During the winter of 1997 and 1998, the band performed only seven times, because Turunen was finishing her schooling, and Nevalainen and Holopainen were serving their obligatory Finnish military service.
Nightwish then returned to the studio in August 1998 as a five-piece, to record their follow-up album for Spinefarm records.
On October 7, 1998, Nightwish released their second full length album, Oceanborn, in Finland only. Adopting a more technical and progressive sound than Angels Fall First, Oceanborn saw the band abandon much of the ambient and folk elements present on their debut release, with the exception of "Moondance". In contrast to the female vocals of Turunen, the album also featured guest growling vocals by Tapio Wilska (ex-Finntroll), since Tuomas did not want to sing again. Wilska is also a former member of Nattvindens Gråt.
Oceanborn was better received than the previous CD, with Allmusic writing that the album “as a whole works great”, with songs that are “very strong”. Oceanborn was an instant success in Finland, reaching number 5 on the Finnish album charts. The album’s first single, “Sacrament of Wilderness”, hit number 1 on the Finnish singles charts, where it stayed for several weeks. The album’s release was initially limited to Finland, but because of the success of “Sacrament of Wilderness”, Spinefarm released Oceanborn internationally in the spring of 1999. In May 1999, Nightwish recorded the single “Sleeping Sun (Four Ballads of the Eclipse)”, in one month the single sold 15,000 copies in Germany alone. Following the band’s first international success, Nightwish was added as the opening band for Rage’s 1999 European tour. Both the album Oceanborn and the singles “Sacrament of Wilderness” and "Walking in the Air were certified gold in Finland in August 1999.
While in the studio in early 2000 working on their third album, Nightwish was accepted in the Finnish Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Sleepwalker”. Despite winning the public vote, Nightwish eventually finished in second place, with the jury choosing local gospel singer Nina Åström to represent Finland.
In 19 May 2000, Nightwish released their third studio album Wishmaster. This debuted at #1 on the Finnish album charts, and was certified gold in Finland after three weeks at number one. Critical response to the album was mixed, with Allmusic citing the album as repetitive, and saying “as a whole album, it can be a little annoying, even frustrating”. However, German magazine Rock Hard declared Wishmaster “Album of the Month”, despite competing against long-awaited May releases from Iron Maiden and Bon Jovi. Following the release of Wishmaster, Nightwish embarked on their first world tour, playing dates in South America, Mexico, Canada, and the first headlining European tour with Sinergy and Eternal Tears of Sorrow. In the summer the band returned to Europe, appearing at the Wacken Open Air festival and the Biebop Metal Fest.
I liked it despite its flaws., February 12, 2012
By Joe (Northwest Florida) - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dark Passion Play (Audio CD)
With me, I listened to Imaginaerum before any other Nightwish albums and was blown away. I heard this album, and I'll say that I really like it, even though this one is more of a pop rock album.
I actually feel that most of the album is about the breakup and recreation of Nightwish. The lyrics to The Poet and the Pendulum were amazing. I disagree that this song was about Tarja. It was about Tuomas Holopainen and the stuff he went through when the band broke up. Now Bye Bye Beautiful is definitely about Tarja.
I loved the orchestration. They created the music in a way where the orchestra blends well with the rock. I feel that Anette actually does carry the songs well in the Album version. I heard it may not be the case live.
The band in this album actually sounds like they have been unleashed. As Nightwish has said, it sounds like they went to a lot of extremes. I agree, because this music gets incredibly heavy, but then bounces to light pop. The lyrics in the light pop songs are pretty basic, but at the same time, thanks to the arrangement and orchestration, sound amazing.
As a first album with the new sound, it's good. They will have to refine their music more before they get it just right. They are heading in the right direction with Imaginaerum. I also feel like they are trying out a lot of different styles now given the opportunity, and really pushed things.
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep Passion Play Nightwish, July 27, 2011
By booklady "booklady" (Kansas) - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dark Passion Play (Audio CD)
This is still in my car CD player for almost a month now and I still enjoy listening to it.
5.0 out of 5 stars All the poetry in the world finally makes sense to me., June 24, 2011
By Jam til Impact (Tennessee, United States) - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dark Passion Play (Audio CD)
I had already heard most of Dark Passion Play through YouTube so I thought I knew what I was getting. I was wrong. It is so much better! Sounds that don't really come through on my computer speakers jump out through those in my car and living room. I can't stop listening to it. While it's obvious that some of the songs were written for Tarja Turunen's voice, Annette Olsen does a fine job. She does such a good job that if you're new to Nightwish you'll never know the difference. Nightwish FTW!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stealt Dagger Album, March 25, 2011
By museken - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dark Passion Play (MP3 Download)
NightWish's Passion Play Staggers the absolute evolution of Power music. The kick back pro flow of the music staggers you from the animal that knocks you on your ass which is music. Tarja the Anti Martina Mcbride blows through you with Amaranth sound with a voice that stuns and shakes the earth beneath your feet. The band foam-menting wave takes you to a tidal wave of power precision music.
I know Tarja has left the band but don't give up on this Monster Macabre of a band which still throws out great songs to the sharks in the pit... Anette fills in fine but too much opera for me. .. Ok you got me! I love Tarja and Martina Mcbride listen to them both then you decide. Nightwish and this band smokes..."up the irons" for Nightwish. Please don't close your mind to music because of religion. Open your ears...musicians do it for you. For you.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the new sound, October 25, 2010
By Amy (Alabama, USA) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Dark Passion Play (Audio CD)
I love this album more than nightwish's previous work with tarja. If you hate this so much then why did you buy it, it's called listning to the sample before you buy. Another thing Tarja isn't gone, she left night wish but she has left the business so if you love her so much than buy her music instead of complaining about nighwish's new direction. Tarja has a very strong opera voice but now on this album the band was able to add a new layer. There's a huge orchestra, I highly recomend buying the verson with the second disk which is all orcestral versions of the songs.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodby Tarja - The REAL Nightwish is here!, September 7, 2010
By Joseph V. Gallier (Bagram Afghanistan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dark Passion Play (MP3 Download)
I was never a fan of Nightwish until Dark Passion Play. I find Anette to be much more versatile and dynamic than Tarja. The older Nightwish music was nice to play in lieu of classical music (IE ...as background music). DPP is the first Nightwish album that I consider to be able to stand alone and set Nightwish apart from other artists of the genre, such as Within Temptation, Krypteria, Delain, etc...