The Dark Element is a project formed by Jani Liimatainen (Insomnium, ex-Sonata Arctica, Cain's Offering) and Anette Olzon (Alyson Avenue, Nightwish) in 2016, known for its poppy, synth-backed Gothic Metal with Anette's mezzo-soprano vocals front and center. Their self-titled debut came out in 2017 to much critical acclaim and warm welcome particularly by fans of the duo's former bands. In November 2019, their sophomore effort Songs the Night Sings was released.
- Jani Liimatainen: guitars, keyboards, programming, principal songwriter
- Anette Olzon: lead vocals
- Jonas Kuhlberg: bass
- Rolf Pilve: drums (2019-)
- Jani "Hurtsi" Hurula: drums (2017-2019)
- The Dark Element (2017)
- Songs the Night Sings (2019)
Tropes the Night Sings:
- All Drummers Are Animals: Conspicuously averted in the video for "My Sweet Mystery": Hurtsi is depicted as grimly and methodically pounding his drums in several close-ups.
- Break-Up Song: "Dead to Me" and "Silence Between the Words" are two (of many) flavors: the former is a harsh rebuke of a manipulative ex, the latter a more pensive final love letter from someone getting ready to move on. "Not Your Monster" similarly uses the "Take That! to a manipulative ex" angle.
- Destructive Romance: Jani seems to love this trope. "Dead to Me" and "Not Your Monster" are both about really messy break-ups.
- Genre-Busting/Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: What happens when you take a Power Metal guitarist and team him up with an AOR singer whose voice has challenged a Symphonic Metal band to play Genre Roulette. The band's sound is chiefly a blend of Power Metal and Gothic Metal but has heavy Symphonic Metal influence.
- Harsh Vocals: Provided by Niilo Sevänen on "Dead to Me" as a counterpoint to Anette.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Pills on My Pillow", one of the band's most upbeat songs, is about mental illness.
- Male Band, Female Singer: The Dark Element is the third well-known male-played band Anette has fronted in her career.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Much like Sonata Arctica, floats somewhere around the 6-7 range, with the heaviest song on their debut album probably being "Dead to Me" (which has backing Harsh Vocals provided by Niilo Sevänen of Insomnium). Anette sings her usual clean vocals with Hard Rock-sounding guitar work, though the bass is more distorted.
- Power Ballad: "Someone You Used to Know", "Only One Who Knows Me", "To Whatever End", "When It All Comes Down".
- Power Metal: The band describes itself as Symphonic Metal, but the keyboard work tends toward synthesizer sounds rather than orchestral samples a la Nightwish. It's also been described as "melodic symphonic metal".
- Progressive Instrumentation: "Someone You Used to Know" starts with just Anette and a piano and gradually adds in other instruments until the whole band is playing soft rock by about the three-minute mark.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Halo" and "Dead to Me" are this oh so much.
- Soprano and Gravel: Usually not used—Liimatainen sings clean vocals on the rare occasion he sings at all—but "Dead to Me" has a few moments of Epica-like roars from guest vocalist Niilo Sevänen.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: "The Ghost and the Reaper" speaks of a princess and a knight, a ghost and a reaper, duos that seem to go together but always in a self-destructive manner that ensures they will never be together.
- Supergroup: Anette has a (relatively short) solo career and is best-known as the former lead vocalist of Finnish Symphonic Metal superstars Nightwish from 2007 to 2012. Jani played guitar for Sonata Arctica and is the frontman of Cain's Offering. Jonas and Hurtsi likewise play in Cain's Offering; Jonas has also played for My Grain and One Desire, while Hurtsi played for Silent Voices and has toured with Iron Maiden.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Someone You Used to Know", a mostly acoustic soft rock Power Ballad about love in the middle of a Scandinavian Power Metal album.
- Uncommon Time: Quite a few tracks on Songs the Night Sings have sections of this.
- Wanderlust Song: The title track of Songs the Night Sings is an upbeat tune about wanting to see the world through the view of The Anti-Nihilist. The singer says she wants to experience all the cool things the world has to offer while simultaneously saying she wants to "feel the pain when it hurts."