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Nightwish - Wishmaster CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.49 | 146 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I didn't like this album at first listen. It just didn't click with me. I'm not really sure why - I was a fan of 1998's Oceanborn after first listen. While this album maintained a similar sound to that classic, the songwriting just didn't seem as consistent.

Of course, my opinion of Wishmaster has greatly changed since then. Although I still prefer Oceanborn, this follow-up is more diverse - expanding upon Tarja Turunen's range and offering a glimpse of her less operatic vocals that would be featured more on later albums Century Child and Once. This comes in right during the verses of track 1, "She Is My Sin", which is probably one of the best of Nightwish's heavier tracks. It's a song that you would have expected to be a single, despite the odd fact that it wasn't. This is followed by one of Nightwish's most lyrically controversial tracks, "The Kinslayer", the song written in memory of the Columbine victims. I think this was conceptually a great song (much better written than Marilyn Manson's "The Fight Song"), but it seems so dull and uninspired that I can't comprehend why they would put this on an album, let alone make it the second track. The guitar/vocal mix is at its worst and the vocal lines are so boring - there's just very little to enjoy. "Come Cover Me" is a pleasant surprise - a beautiful half-ballad with sweet (if rather erotic) lyrics and a catchy chorus. Nothing to blow you away, but a decent listen. Track 4, in my opinion, is the highlight (along with track 8) of Wishmaster. "Wanderlust" is just musical perfection - Nightwish doing what they do best and yet raising the bar for all the competitors. If every track were as good as this headbanger (which unfortunately has stirred up comparisons to the not-quite-as- good "Gethsemane" from Oceanborn), then you would have quite a devil of an album on your hands. There are some ballads on here, such as "Two for Tragedy" or "Bare Grace Misery" that seem pretty weak, particularly the latter. These sandwich track #6, Wishmaster's trophy of a title track. It's no surprise that this song is a fan (as well as a live) favorite - one of the most driving, powerful songs this band has written. Also of mention here is the aforementioned "Crownless" - the second contender in my Top 2 picks of Wishmaster. This song may seem a tad short, but the blazing guitars, galloping drums and beautiful chorus just scream superiority. A song not to be overlooked. Next we have the single, "Deep Silent Complete", bearing slight resemblance to "Sleeping Sun" and was oddly chosen as Wishmaster's only single. It's a very beautiful song that Nightwish ballads typically tend to be, and although no Wishmaster ballad can rival any of the Oceanborn or even Century Child ballads, it remains a nice snack to the ears. The haunting "Dead Boy's Poem" follows, one of the longer tracks of the album - and probably my 3rd or 4th choice as favorite. It integrates some spoken text from Sam Hardwick (who I believe reappears on Century Child) as well as some deep but rather depressing lyrics. Wishmaster is rounded out by the epic "FantasMic", which contains references to many Disney films, including the Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty among others. This may take several listens to truly appreciate, but is by far one of Nightwish's most interesting songs, both in terms of lyrics and song structures.

This may not be Nightwish's crowning achievement in my opinion, but is definitely an essential for fans of the band as well as newcomers and symphonic metal purists. There's definitely enough variety here to be enjoyed by everybody. Whatever your wish may be, the Wishmaster will surely grant it.

album rating: 8.5/10 points = 86 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Marc Baum | 4/5 |


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