336: TARJA

As the first vocalist for Nightwish, and now a successful solo artist, Tarja Turunen is Finnish music royalty. Her incredible voice has front hard rock and metal as well as enchanting Christmas performances, and she remains a hugely influential presence in symphonic metal circles.

It was the combination of Tarja’s singing style and the heavy metal riffs of Nightwish that made them so unique and inspired countless symphonic metal bands in the years since. But no matter how many singers came along to perform symphonic metal, it has always been Tarja… and then everyone else.

When it comes to classically trained vocalists in the metal sphere, Tarja Turunen is unrivalled. Her powerful operatic singing is, simply put, on a whole other level than any of her peers. She is truly without equal.

Tarja also doesn’t just stick to heavy metal. She’s released albums of classical music, as well as toured and released albums of Christmas songs. I was actually incredibly fortunate to see Tarja as part of her Yhdessä Jouluna tour in a church in Finland, and it remains one of the most special live performances I’ve ever seen.

Tarja is, undeniably, one of heavy metal’s greatest voices. Her willingness to work three different avenues – metal, classical, and Xmas songs – is commendable, but her ability to do it so well is remarkable.