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Nightwish - Oceanborn CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.96 | 269 ratings

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4 stars The Finnish metal rockers suffer not a sophomore slump. As a matter of fact, this one is better than their debut from the year before.

1. "Stargazers" (4:28) nice power metal with Tarja's operatic vocals over horrible drumming and drum sound. (8.25/10)

2. "Gethsemane" (5:22) same music as before with more keys and sparser drums. Some real Tarja highlights here. (8.75/10)

3. "Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean" (4:46) different, more machine gun drumming than previously, more theatric with deep voiced male opening before Tarja enters--like a conversation--or battle. Not good but not laughable. (8.5/10)

4. "Sacrament Of Wilderness" (4:12) actually prog-like--with some 1980s elements--until, that is, Tarja enters. Her vocal performance alone takes this one to another level. (9/10)

5. "Passion And The Opera" (4:50) back to full metal before becoming more like a 1980s metal song with operatic vocals over the top. The best instrumental passage on the album in the middle followed by Tarja's operatic vocalise. (8.5/10)

6. "Swanheart" (4:44) a pretty folk ballad with Tarja's heartfelt vocals--in multiplicity. Now this is praiseworthy! Quite like something from a modern Lloyd-Weber rock opera. Flawless. I could listen to music like this forever. (9.75/10)

7. "Moondance" (3:31) pretty electric piano--not unlike something John Tout would play to open a Renaissance song--quickly turns into a Russian mazurka dance at breakneck speed before reining in to bucolic piano and flute for the second minute. Tarja doesn't even join in--its an instrumental! (8.75/10)

8. "The Riddler" (5:15) feels like a variation on the previoius song's melody theme, more power chords present and, of course, Tarja's power voice. A pretty standard 90s power rock song were it not for the exceptional talents of Miss Turunen. (8.5/10)

9. "The Pharaoh Sails To Orion" (6:26) Another theatric power tale with growlish male vocals to offset the female and choral responders. Much better than the "Devil & the Deep Dark Ocean". (8.75/10)

10. "Walking In The Air" (4:04) the famous cinematic song from The Snowman. Not as good as the original or many remakes I've heard, it is pretty good. (8.5/10)

11. "Sleeping Sun" (5:30) a nice song--ballad--added to the album later. (8.75/10)

Total Time: 53:08

There are frequent reminders from the keyboards of the cheap computer keyboards available in the 1990s ( la Polish band COLLAGE).

B/four stars; a very nice addition to any prog lover's music collection--especially valuable for the record of the extraordinary talents of one Tarja Turunen.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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