For those that aren't familiar with the name Tuomas Holopainen; Tuomas is the founder, keyboardist and mastermind of the symphonic power metal group Nightwish.
Tuomas's now has a solo album titled Music Inspired By The Life And Times Of Scrooge, and if you are expecting a release that is similar in style to Nightwish well this isn't it. Based on the graphic novel that Tuomas has great fondness for called "The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck", the metal of Tuomas's main band is put aside instead focusing on other genres like classical and folk music. What we have here is an enthralling soundtrack that Tuomas has created for the Disney title that has been a work in progress for many years.
Pip Williams who previously joined forces with Tuomas on the Nightwish albums Once, Dark Passion Play and Imaginaerum contributed once again with orchestral arrangements for this new recording. Also making this release even more special is the input of Don Rosa the book's author who is responsible for the striking artwork. There are other contributors such as the London Orchestra, The Metro Voices and vocalists Alan Reid, Johanna Kurkela, Johanna Iivanainen and Tony Kakko. For the extra Instruments Tuomas has recruited Troy Donockley on uilleann pipes, low whistles and bodhran, with guitars and banjo from Mikko Iivanainen, Teho Majamaki plays the didgeridoo, Jon Burr on the harmonica and violinist Dermot Crehan. Music Inspired By The Life And Times Of Scrooge was recorded at locations around Scotland and Finland and at Angel Studios, London.
The Finnish songwriter, composer and producer first gave us a glimpse of this album with the single "A Lifetime Of Adventure" an excellent song and choice as it's style makes it a more stand alone song than the other tracks. The wonderful orchestration and female vocals of "Glasgow 1877" are so mesmerising, it's all those great inclusions like the banjo and harmonica on "Into The West" that help to set the scene. Sounding so totally fantastic and with an imposing orchestral sound that you cannot possibly dislike that reminds of Nightwish is "Duel & Cloudscape", appropriately the didgeridoo introduces "Dreamtime" another addictive song. Three of the guest vocalists actually play the parts of the characters such as Alan Reid who is Scrooge, while Sonata Arctica's Tony Kakko also a Don Rosa fan appears on "Cold Heart Of The Klondike " and his vocals combined with the music are such a fine combination.
Music Inspired By The Life And Times Of Scrooge is a somewhat diverse sounding recording and it's little wonder as Tuomas's songs follow the story of Scrooge's adventures as he travels around the world to places such as Australia, Scotland, Africa and the wild west. Those that are familiar with Scrooge's story will no doubt get a big kick out of this album, though don't be put off if you are not. As Music Inspired By The Life And Times Of Scrooge is a special kind of release that ought to be experienced by others when Tuomas brings this story to life.
1. Glasgow 1877
2. Into The West
3. Duel & Cloudscapes
5. Cold Heart Of The Klondike
6. The Last Sled
7. Goodbye, Papa
8. To Be Rich
9. A Lifetime Of Adventure
10. Go Slowly Now, Sands Of Time