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Nightwish - Wishmaster CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.48 | 171 ratings

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4 stars Symphonic Progressive Metal

What factors that have made me "dare" to say that this album is prog? Two things. First, on musical structure: this album, amid intense power metal style, has some complex passages and strong nuances of symphonic style. Second, the band has approached their music with progressive mind, i.e. combining opera (clearly indicated by the singing style of the band's lead singer, Tarja) with power metal. For those of you who are not familiar with the band, it was first formed by three key members: Tarja, Empu and Tuomas who constructed acoustic music in their music inception.

"Wishmaster", the band's third studio album, was released in May 2000 and the "Wishmaster" Tour started from Kitee, the home town of the band. After the show the band received gold discs for their second album Oceanborn and the singles "Sacrament of Wilderness", "Walking in the Air" and "Sleeping Sun". Wishmaster went straight to number 1 on the Finnish album charts and stayed on the pole position for three weeks. In those three weeks it also reached the gold disc mark. Wishmaster was approved by both the fans and the media and it was named the album of the month by the German magazine Rock Hard in their issue 6/2000, past the long-awaited new releases by Bon Jovi and Iron Maiden. [source: the band's website]

For me, I knew the band for the first time through this album and a week later I purchased the "Oceanborn" album. I like both of them; they share similar vein. "Wishmaster" offers a stream of wonderfully crafted tunes - there is no such thing as "bad" tune in this album. Musically, the band has even matured with their musical conception since the second album. The band then progressed in a very positive direction where their latest album "Once" has firmly confirmed their status as one of prominent bands in this millennium.

"Melodic and powerful!" that was my initial expression when I first listened to the opening track "She Is My Sin" that blasted off my room in relatively loud volume. I felt emotionally uplifted listening to the opening part of this track. I mostly liked the combined sounds of guitar and keyboard at intro. When Tarja voice entered the music, it created another "surpise" again as I never imagine the kind of operatic style was combined with power metal with heavy riffs. Wow man ..!!! What a shocking experience! (Please imagine yourself listening to something really "new" that even you have never imagined before! Then, you will understand how I felt at that time).

The second track "The Kinslayer" continues with the tradition of fast tempo music but this time it's opened with a symphonic keyboard sound that soars to welcome the voice of Tarja. This time, the accentuation of melody through vocals is more obvious and has created a powerful energy. The transition piece with simple riffs accentuated with distanced sound of keyboard has enriched the composition.

"Come Cover Me" opens with a keyboard work that emulates flute sound with classical influence. This opening reminds me to a music score for movie like "Lord of The Rings". It's a nice light orchestra. The power metal music enters in relatively fast tempo accompanying Tarja's singing. Structure-wise this tune associates well with power metal vein.

"Wanderlust" is another fast tempo power metal style with great combination of guitar and keyboard. Keybord is often played at background but with relatively high volume - it gives the symphonic nuance for this track. There is tempo change right after heavy guitar riffs at the ending part of this track.

"Two For Tragedy" kicks off with a mellow and operatic singing style supported with a light orchestra work that creates an image of Hollywood epic music score. The tune flows beautifully in a slow beat with a powerful voice quality of Tarja.

"Wishmaster" blasts off with harmony vocals in a choir style and heavy riffs followed by a power metal upbeat music that flows in relatively fast tempo. It has stunning guitar solo. For those of you who love Germany's Helloween, you might enjoy this track.

"Bare Grace Misery" has a keyboard sound at the opening like Royal Hunt's music. The interlude part with various keyboard sounds and guitar work was composed nicely and creates an image of symphonic music. The structure is straight forward like any hard rock / power metal songs.

"Crownless" brings us to an even higher energy with really fast time signatures. It's definitely pure power metal song in the vein of Helloween, Gamma Ray, Angra, Ed Guy, Blind Guardian, etc. Put aside the prog mind, I do like this track as it can lift up emotion.

"Deep Silent Complete" features still the same power metal vein but it turns a little slower than previous track. Some quieter passage is filled in with Tarja's voice - followed with symphonic keyboard.

"Dead Boy's Poem" brings the music back into a mellow one with ballad style. I like the acoustic guitar that accompanies the lead singer. When drumming enters the music - it still maintain the tempo but it then gradually increases. The orchestration has moved in crescendo with a very beautiful melody and brings the closing of the track in an "encore" atmosphere. Brilliantly composed!!

"FantasMic" is really an excellent track that concludes the album in full of enjoyment as it has well structured composition, a balanced variations of high and low and excellent music flow. The orchestration plays key role in lifting up the soul and spirit of Nightwish music.The inclusion of traditional flute sound in the middle of the track has proved the band's bold ideas in composing their music. The music turns into faster tempo after this part and returns back into a nice power metal vein with great melody. Mannn ... I tell you what ... It's very hard to believe that there is any human being who do not like this wonderfully crafted track. Thumbs up! True masterpiece track!!!! [at the end of listening this track, I feel like really having just accomplished a remarkable achievement in life - even though it's just listening to music. But the impact is enormous! It feels like an "encore" to a certain journey ., honestly!!]

My CD has a bonus track "Sleeping Sun" which is a very nice outfit performed in relatively slow tempo with light orchestration. It's an entertaining bonus material!

Highly recommended! It deserves 4.25 / 5 stars rating. You won't regret if you purchase this CD. Keep on progging ..!!!

Progressively yours,

GW - Indonesia

Gatot | 4/5 |


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