|Reviews & Recommendations
Finnish symphonic metal act
formed by mastermind Tuomas Holopainen in 1996.
Anette Ozlon (vocals 2007 - ),
Tarja Turunen (vocals 1996 - 2005),
Tuomas Holopainen (keyboards),
Marco Hietala (bass),
Emppu Vuorinen (guitar),
Jukka Nevalainen (drums)
"Although some might categorise Nightwish as a heavy metal band, the band's symphonic arrangements and Tarja's operatic vocals certainly broaden the appeal of their sound to a much wider audience. Nightwish are likely to appeal to those that like harder edged progressive music as well as art rock bands like October Project. The band is strong instrumentally generating significantat times almost overwhelmingpower from guitars, keyboards and rapidfire percussion yet it is complimented with equally sweet operatic style vocals. Tracks vary from heavy metal anthem to operatic ballad demonstrating significant virtuosity and range. The band's blend of harder edged metallic rock arrangements with Tarja's stunning vocals is highly original and has likely led to their international critical acclaim."
1997: Angels Fall First
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"I have to admit, I have nothing but praise for this album. It begins with Stargazers, an amazing introductory song which pretty much demonstrates most of the album, with beautifully haunting vocals, especially in the chorus. The second song Gethsemane has an air of classical music around it, with a truly wonderful flute solo, and a musical interlude type thing which leaves the listener completely spellbound. Devil and the Deep Dark Ocean gives us a more gothic and metal track, with a bombastic rhythm and contrast between male and femal vocals, but clearly Tarja outshines this guest singer. (...) Moondance is an upbeat instrumental which may seem drab but completes the album, and gives a break from Tarja's breathtaking vocals, and really shows off the talent of the other members of the band especially Tuomas Holipanien. (...) Walking In The Air is an inspirational remake of the classic from The Snowman, and I do prefer Tarja's dramatic vocals to the original's and the guitar solo just makes the song. This song will completely relax you, and cause you to drift away into the world of dreams; the music completely takes your breath away. Last but not least, and my favourite, Sleeping Sun ends the album with a ballad, giving you a sorrowful wonder of the beauty that is Nightwish."
-- Charlotte H, for musicfolio.com, 7/06
½ 2000: Wishmaster
"... Nightwish opts to create a very melodic, epic, and romantic atmosphere with their music. Usually 'beautiful' is not the word that comes to mind when one thinks of heavy metal music, but with Tarja's soaring operatic vocals and Tuomas's grand orchestral keyboard textures accompanying the rest of the band, Nighwish proves to be very convincing in that regard. I'm not a fan of opera, but Tarja sings in a very tasteful opera style, and in time she can grow on all people who give her a chance. The keyboards are just amazing: they can go from synth texture to balladic piano to an orchestral texture, and this gives Nightwish a powerful 'fantasy' overtone. The rest of the band plays in a good power metal style, though they don't stand out as much. Many have also labeled Nightwish a goth/metal band due to the lyrics and the mood their albums evoke, and I can understand that. (...) Wishmaster is a great release from Nightwish and it should be the place for new fans to start. While it isn't quite as epic as 'Oceanborn' was, this album contains a great dynamic variety of tracks which makes the album flow nicely."
-- tkdmateo, metalyou.com, 01/04
½ 2002: Century Child
"... a new band member is introduced on the new album. Colourless bass player Sami Vänskä was replaced by the charismatic Marco Hietala, known from Sinergy whom he left to be able to fully concentrate on Nightwish and from VirtuoCity (...) As on the VirtuoCity album, Hietala does not only play bass on all songs, he also sings on some, which enables the band to record songs that they wouldnt have been able to make with only Tarja on vocals. This is especially the case on Dead To The World and the Webber/Rice cover The Phantom Of The Opera. His occasional background vocals also give other songs like the single Ever Dream - an extra dimension that wasnt present on the bands previous albums. More than an extra dimension are his growls on Slaying The Dreamer, which must be one of the heaviest Nightwish songs ever. Remarkably, this song is followed by the calmer than calm ballad Forever Yours, Titanic flute included. (...) "
-- SL, rockreport.be
"Melodic-symphonic-orchestral-operatic-metal they call it! And symphonic, orchestral and operatic it is. This Finnish metal act is well on its way to leading the gothic metal craze with its fifth installment to date. Enlisting the London Session Orchestra to complement several songs on this record is fortunately not overused and doesn't stomp on Therion territory. 'Once' is a slightly mellower Nightwish album in the vein of 'Century Child', keeping a healthy distance from the 'Wishmaster' assault on aural senses. That is to say that the heavy Metal riffs do not overpower the melodies, or the operatic performances of classically trained singer Tarja Turunen. There are many highlights on the album to list them all, but Creek Mary's Blood is an epic majestic piece not to overlook; while, Nemo, the first single taken from the album, has already conquered the European charts and earned them rave reviews and a myriad of new followers, with its catchy pop appeal.
"Once" is no departing from the signature Nightwish sound, it just builds on their previous work and displays a more mature melodic metal act whose greater days lie yet ahead."
-- Said Sukkarieh, musicfolio.com, 8/04
½ 2007: Dark Passion Play
Tracklisting: 01. The Poet And The Pendulum 02. Bye Bye Beautiful 03. Amaranth 04. Cadence Of Her Last Breath 05. Master Passion Greed 06. Eva 07. Sahara 08. Whoever Brings The Night 09. For The Heart I Once Had 10. The Islander 11. Last Of The Wilds 12. 7 Days To The Wolves 13. Meadows Of Heaven
"Probably the most anticipated release of 2007 is Nightwish's 6th full-length CD 'Dark Passion Play'. Not only are they one of the most popular bands in metal, but the firing of vocalist Tarja Turunen and the long search for a replacement has left many metal fans sitting at the edge of their seat. (...) Musically, Nightwish has stayed fairly close to the sound of their previous CD 'Once' (a masterpiece in my opinion), so fans of that album should be pleased with the CD's base style; the guitars are just as heavy, the orchestral/symphonic parts are still powerful and bombastic, the choirs are still massive, and the pace of 'darl Passion Play' is mixed up nicely. (...) much of the CD can be lumped in the standard style of Within Temptation, Sengir, Xandria, Delain, and so on. I've found that there's more of a folk influence on 'Dark passion play' too, as there are a number of violin parts and it's an aspect I welcome. Vocally though, things have changed quite a bit in the Nightwish camp; gone is the operatic style of Tarja, replaced by Anette Blyckert, who's much more of a generic female vocalist. She's got a great voice however, sounding like a blend of Sharon Den Adel from Within Temptation and Andrea Datwyler from Lunatica. There's no question she's a high quality vocalist, but I can't help but feel Nightwish is going to lose some uniqueness now. Along with an amazing and beautiful voice, Tarja always had such a commanding presence and her vocals could carry the band through the average songs (musically), though very few of those exist. I'll be one of the first to admit I miss Tarja already, but this may come down to personal preference and many of you will be quite pleased with what Anette has to offer. Just like with 'Once', bassist Marco Hietala (who's also in the band Tarot) offers up a good amount of somewhat rough vocals, and he actually sings a lot more than I was expecting. This has me wondering if the band is gearing towards an equal male/female vocal department in the future..."
-- Clint, metalcdratings.com, 8/07
½ 2011: Imaginaerum
Tracklisting: 1. Taikatalvi 2. Storytime 3. Ghost River 4. Slow, Love, Slow 5. I Want My Tears Back 6. Scaretale 7. Arabesque 8. Turn Loose The Mermaids 9. Rest Calm 10. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove 11. Last Ride Of The Day 12. Song Of Myself 13. Imaginaerum
"Nightwish are treading a fine line with their new opus Imaginaerum. Yes, they have always had a very thick layer of Symphonic keyboards and orchestral sections, but never anything near this level. It makes more sense to know that this album is going to be a soundtrack for a film made by the band, so maybe once that is released, the album may make a little more sense to some. As is stands at the moment though, your level of enjoyment will depend on your tolerance for the lack of a real metal feel, and of course whether or not you have happily embraced Anette Olzon or still pine for the lost days of Tarja Turunen. (...) I did enjoy the overall concept here, which is based around the musings of an old composer lying on his death-bead thinking about his past, and the album artwork is certainly some of the most impressive of 2011, oh and also the production is pretty bloody great all-round. (...) You can hear what the band are attempting to do here, and for that I do give them credit, but the overall finished product is something that is sure to split fans right down the middle. Die-hard will lap it up like mothers milk for sure, but those that have enjoyed the more metal leanings of the band in the past will likely find not a whole lot on offer within the tracklist of Imaginaerum.
-- Zeezee, myglobalmind.com, 12/11
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