Frontwoman Anette Olzon Leaves Nightwish

Nightwish parts ways with frontwoman Anette Olzon

The symphonic metal band Nightwish has recently announced that Anette Olzon has left the band due to conflicts of interest within the group. Anette is the second frontwoman to have performed with Nightwish having replaced Tarja Turunen back in 2006.

Nightwish frontwoman Anette Olzon leaves band

Nightwish frontwoman Anette Olzon leaves band

Anette’s addition to the line-up polarised the fan base as her more pop/rock style of singing contrasted heavily with the bombastic, operatic vocals of Tarja who was in fact a classically trained mezzo-soprano. Anette indeed lost the band many fans, but for all those she lost she brought even more in as evidenced
by her debut release with the group ‘Dark Passion Play’ (the band’s 6 th full studio record) being the groups’ most successful record to date. The band then embarked on a sold-out world tour playing 199 shows so there is no doubt that Anette was a success in the eyes of the band and the newly growing fanbase.
Since then the band put out a second record with Anette entitled ‘Imaginaerum’ and they are currently on tour.

No real details surrounding the departure have been released but there appears to be at least one issue involving Anette getting sick just a few days back and the band chose to play a show in Denver using
the vocalists from their support acts to fill in while Anette was in hospital.

Anette was never consulted before the show went ahead and she confessed her disapproval of the whole thing on her blog. The band are continuing the tour with vocalist Floor Jansen (former singer of After Forever) acting as a temporary substitute.

To this day there is a huge divide between Anette and Tarja fans, especially concerning Anette’s live performances of older material. My introduction to Nightwish occurred back in 2001 and so I grew up with Tarja’s vocals and was lucky enough to see their final UK show with Tarja at the Hammersmith Apollo.
Despite that however, I am writing this as a massive fan of the new era and I am just as devastated to hear the news of Anette’s departure as I was hearing about Tarja being fired back in 2005.

Anette lacked Tarja’s octave range and technical ability, but she more than compensated for this with a much more versatile set of vocal styles and the range of emotions she could convey. If you wanted something upbeat and poppy, it was there to be found on the likes of the ludicrously catchy single ‘Amaranth’,
for something more sinister with a harder edge check out her verse deliveries on the more gothic ‘Whoever Brings The Night’. Symphonic metal epic ‘Scaretale’ off their new record featured some quirky, nasally and just plain evil vocal work which is somewhat fitting to the lyrics referring to childhood nightmares. As
well as being a rock chick she could bring it all back to something much softer and more delicate as demonstrated on several ballads but none more so than the spaghetti western style country number ‘Turn Loose The Mermaids’. Perhaps her most impressive showcase of talent was on the blues/jazz inspired ‘Slow,
Love, Slow’ featuring a deeper and more seductive tone with some sexy whispers thrown in.

Anyway I wish both parties the best of luck with their respective futures and I look forward to seeing Nightwish play at the Brixton Academy with Floor on Bonfire Night! To Anette, thank you for your major part in two fantastic albums and your brilliant live performances. You will be missed!

By Al Westlake

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8 thoughts on “Frontwoman Anette Olzon Leaves Nightwish

  1. it’s a shame she left. i missed tarja and wasnt a huge fan of dark passion play as it felt as though anette was finding her feet then they release imaginarium and….damn!!! it blew me away one of my fave albums of theirs!

  2. It’s so sad! I always liked the music of Nightwish but found Tarja’s vocals a little overbearing, especially on the first few records when she was in-your-face operatic. I couldn’t truly get into it until she softened out on century child. Anette liberated this band! They could do virtually anything with her fronting and Imaginearum proves it.

    • Yes she was fired, specifically by open letter written by Tuomas and signed by all other members of the band. The letter itself was put up on the band’s website and is still there to this day. The letter was given to her in October 2005 at the end of the Hartwall Arena show. Tarja held a press conference in response to her firing, describing the ideal like a “divorce” and the press conference itself can be found on youtube. More details can be found in the band’s official biography. Here is a link to the open letter on Nightwish’s own website. http://nightwish.com/en/article/6

    • Hi Troy, firstly thanks for your comment. We didn’t want to respond until we had done a bit more research on this. However, firstly we know Al very well and we know he researches his articles before he puts anything on above and beyond personal opinion.

      In terms of was she fired? It would appear over time the official line was “by mutual consent”, which in most industries is code for they were pushed. Sources close to the band tell me things were not working out and so they had to let Tarja go. I don’t get the impression its a long lasting hate thing but nevertheless the decision was made for the band to remove Tarja.

      Thanks for your comment and we hope to see you back here soon.

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