REVIEW: Marko Hietala – Pyre Of The Black Heart


Having a break from his main band NIGHTWISH, Finland’s most legendary bass player MARKO HIETALA saw an opportunity to record his very own solo album “Mustan sydämen rovio,” which came out in May 2019. Marko Hietala also had an English version in the making, which is now seeing the light of day on 24 January 2020. Even though the album has been out for quite a while, we wanted to wait to write a review until we had listened to both versions of the songs. Check out our interview with Marko here.

Those who follow our website may have noticed that “Mustan sydämen rovio” was one of my favorite Finnish releases of the year. The first English single released, “Stones,” also was one of my favorite songs to be released in 2019. With “Pyre Of The Black Heart,” Marko Hietala explores various soundscapes and moods, often reminiscent of progressive rock acts, and with a strong PINK FLOYDIAN vibe. This is specifically clear in the more psychedelic songs like “Star, Stone and Shadow,” “For You,” and “I Dream.” Other than that the album is definitely a mixed bag of genres that will appeal to a variety of crowds. With “Stones,” and “Death March Of Freedom,” Marko Hietala explores a more straight forward rock sound. “Runner Of The Railways,” and “Truth Shall Set You Free,” showcase his more Celtic folk approach to songwriting, which sometimes also has slipped onto NIGHTWISH albums. With plenty of moods available on the album, however, everything is unified by Marko Hietala‘s enchanting vocal performance, and a fantastic band accompanying the vocalist/bass player.

Now, to those wondering which version is my favorite, both albums have an excellent set of lyrics present. Marko Hietala is an excellent lyricist and has made that clear in both versions. I certainly don’t prefer one version over the other, sometimes there is more emotion in the Finnish version, sometimes in its English equivalent.

With the very first hard prog record in history, Marko Hietala has managed to convince us of his tremendous songwriting skills with “Pyre Of The Black Heart,” an album that immerses you in its unique soundscapes, lures you in with its entrancing atmospheres, and never lets you go.

Written by Laureline Tilkin


  1. Stone
  2. The Voice of My Father
  3. Star, Sand and Shadow
  4. Dead God’s Son
  5. For You
  6. I Am The Way
  7. Runner of the Railways
  8. Death March for Freedom
  9. I Dream
  10. Truth Shall Set You Free


Marko Hietala – Bass, Vocals

Tuomas Wäinölä – Guitar 

Vili Ollila – Keyboards

Anssi Nykänen – Drums


Recent posts

Related posts