Colours in the Dark is the fourth studio album released by Finnish vocalist Tarja Turunen. It was released on August 30, 2013, in Austria, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland; September 2 in Norway, Poland, and the Czech Republic; September 3 in the United States and Canada; and September 4 in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK. Mixing was done by Tim Palmer in Austin, Texas. Tarja will start the Colours in the Dark World Tour on October 17, 2013, to promote the album. The name of the album, as the cover image, came as a metaphor from the idea that life has a large range of colors and the dark absorb all of them, containing every color.
An official lyric video of the song "Never Enough" was released May 31. The video was shot in Zlin, Czech Republic. The song was also released as a single on iTunes.
On the 12th of September 2013 Earmusic, Tarja's label, announced that the second single taken from the album is going to be 500 Letters. It would be released as a strictly limited CD single and download at the end of October. A promo teaser of the videoclip was released on 25th October and they announced that the premiere was going to be on the 31th. "500 Letters" was released on November 1, 2013 as a digital download only.
The vocal recordings of the album started late 2012 and continued throughout the beginning of 2013. Titles of the album's songs were revealed from times to times through Tarja's blog, like she did with My Winter Storm (2007). The album's name came out of the song "Until Silence". This is the third time the album's name came out of one of the songs. The artwork and some promotional pictures for this album were taken mainly in India during the What Lies Beneath World Tour in 2011. During the end of that tour Tarja already performed Into the Sun and a different version of Never Enough. Both songs ended up on the 'Colours in the Dark' album and were also featured on the Act Ivideo album
During the process of composition, Tarja alleged that she "had to learn a lot as a soloist, for good and or evil, and often in the past years [she] thought that [she] would never reach a day coming to the point where [she is] today", also adding that she had a lot of "positive and negative" experiences that would finish on this record, that's "very rich in colors, shadows, deep aspects and that it does not capture at the first listen".
During the middle of 2013, Turunen began via Earmusic uploading two videos per week until the album itself was released. The official pre-listening started 1 week prior album release.
Todd Lyons at About.com gave the album a somewhat favourable review, but not without criticism; he described it as "riskier than Tarja's previous three solo albums", and that it was "a huge panorama of operatic metal, where some artistic experimentation is attempted, but repeatedly crushed under the album's bombast", whilst also referring to "Lucid Dreamer" as "maddeningly flawed". Anette Olzon, Tarja's replacement in Nightwish, expressed appreciation for the album, commenting that "it's really her best album so far" and also thought that Tarja's "definitely found her own style".