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Nightwish - Wishmaster  CD (album) cover

WISHMASTER

Nightwish

 

Progressive Metal

3.45 | 112 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Vanwarp
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Nightwish started out as an acoustic project. Founding member Tuomas Holopainen wanted to do something different. So he came up with an idea using keyboards, an acoustic guitar and female vocals. Acoustic guitars were performed by his friend Emppu Vuorinen, who came up with the idea of using another friend on vocals, Tarja Turunen, who was a student at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. The result was remarkable and much more than what they had expected: Tarja's voice was just so perfect for their music.

In 1997, they added another friend to the line-up, a drummer by the name of Jukka Nevalainen. The band entered a studio and recorded 7 songs they had written. That was enough to get them signed with Spinefarm Records.

Nightwish released their debut album Angels Fall First in 1997. And in 1998, they released their break-through follow-up Oceanborn, which contained the hit singles: "Sacrement of Wilderness," "Walking in the Air" and "The Carpenter." When WISHMASTER was released in 2000, it immediately went straight to number 1 in Finland.

Nightwish have now evolved into a Heavy Metal band who perform very high-quality symphonic/progressive/power metal with huge operatic alto female vocals. Like Stratovarius with a twist. (hehe) Some might describe it as symphonic classical metal while I've heard some refer to it as opera metal.

Whatever you want to call it, musically, it is a fresh and colorful form of metal music with pronounced classical and progressive influences. Tarja Turunen is a true opera- trained singer and her vocals convey a grandiose quality to the songs. It's a mix of progressive heavy metal music that is uniquely Nightwish.

The lyrics are not what you would expect, nor what you would usually find on say - a Power Metal album. The themes are more mature, more heart felt. For instance, "Kinslayer" is a dialogue between a victim and her murderer, which is dedicated to the family and survivors of the April 20th 1999 killing spree in Colorado where two teenagers killed 9 boys, 4 girls and finally took their own lives as well. The song "Dead Boy's Poem" is about Tuomas' personal life, here he combines two thoughts; on one hand it is his apology to those he owes it to, and on the other hand it is also his "f**k you" statement to those who deserve it.

The production is very big here, huge awesome sound. Sizzling keyboards, pristine guitar work, beautiful melodies and sometimes fast but always intense music carry this album through a wide range of moods.

The album opens with "She is My Sin" a most captivating track and it is followed by the very intense song: "Kinslayer," which has just as much appeal as the opening track. The ballad "Come Cover Me" is a soft beauty and then your senses are treated to the pure power of "Wanderlust."

"Two for Tragedy" is another beautiful ballad with a flute added to very good effect. You have to listen to it yourself to understand and feel the beauty within. On the other hand, "Wishmaster," the albums title track, is an awesome fast paced song, very heavy, very epic sounding, very triumphant feel to it.

"Bare Grace Misery" has a more rock 'n roll feel than any other song on the album. It is a very enjoyable track that arrives just before you are treated to the fast and furious "Crownless."

"Deep Silent Complete" has the most beautiful vocal melody I have ever heard on any metal album. Awesome song, I can listen to this one all day long and never get sick of it. Simply beautiful!

The swan song of the album is "Dead Boy's Poem," and the album closes with the lengthy "Fantasmic" which covers every possible physiognomy of the bands sound. A wonderful track and great ending to a very good album.

Vanwarp | 4/5 |

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