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Nightwish - Highest Hopes - The Best Of Nightwish CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.76 | 24 ratings

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I often have a hard time with compilations that try and sum up a legacy of work or, HIGHEST HOPES, on just one cd. For me, there always seems to be a song or two that are missing and it leaves me screaming ' why was that track not on here!!! Aghhhhhh!' Once again I feel the same way with NIGHTWISH's HIGHEST HOPES. My opinion is the tracks, that are with in the TARJA TURUNEN era like BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, NYMPHOMANIAC FANTASIA and ASTRAL ROMANCE should have been included on this disc. Those tracks really do typify the full embodiment of what NIGHTWISH's sound is all about, and that is having a classic blend of symphonic, power and progressive metal styles all fused together nicely accompanied with orchestration.  Certainly you still get that blend on a few tacks here on HIGHEST HOPES,  but lets be honest its all about sound my friends and those tracks, to me, sound the best, especially with in the TARJA years. I really feel that not having those few tracks listed creates quite a dark spot in the compilation as a whole. For instance, if I were to just have one track to pick to introduce to a NIGHTWISH nube, I know I'd choose BEAUTY AND THE BEAST for that nube to suck on. That track, for my money and understanding of what NIGHTWISH are in full representation of what sounds flat out great, that track has it all. Needless to say it irks irks me bad that BEAUTY is missing. 

Moving on a more positive note I will say that this compilation of HIGHEST HOPES, overall, is a fair assessment of the bands talents and attributes. NIGHTWISH bring an orchestrated brand of power and progressive metal to the fold while still throwing in a few ballads here and there to balance out their albums from the crushing speed they can deliver effortlessly, and you especially get that on this compilation of course. NIGHTWISH, as a band, have this wonderful ability to play like gangbusters even with a full blown 16 piece orchestra at times, or take the the softer slower approach by having the drums, keyboards, vocals and bass grind to a graceful halt. Really it's uncanny and not too many prog metal bands can pull it off. NIGHTWISH, in my opinion, are still finland's prog metal masters and this compilation is a fair Acquaintance of the Finnish prog metal beasts, and assessment of what they are fully capable of with in the TARJA TURUNEN era. Lovely moments for NIGHTWISH nubes I think will appear when listening to HIGHHOPES and taking in the delight of the ferocious KINGSLAYER, WISHMASTER and NEMO which all have very interesting, layered keyboards with slick as oil drums that are sure to pop your ears off from JUKKA NEVALAINEN. Fantastic speed drummer in my opinion. Furthermore, the slow soft and majestic power ballads like DEEP SILENT COMPLETE, SLEEPING SUN (2005 version), DEAD BOY's POEM and the epic WALKING IN THE AIR will most likely have the NIGHTWISH nubes falling in love with the band's flare for a more delicate approach to their sound. TUOMAS HOLOPAINEN is nothing short of a genius. I've taken great delight over the years listening to him play the keyboards/grand piano. His skillful and blissful work can really be found mostly in the ballads. There is just another side of him as well as the band, that comes out so nicely and invitingly. 

Alas, this NIGHTWISH collection is solid but I'm afraid it'll be for collectivists and purists delights only, unless one decides to fork over a little bit more $$ to obtain the 2 disc special edition. The 2nd disc is a DVD that contains amazing life performances and extras, especially of THE KINGSLAYER. I feel that the 2nd disc is really the saving grace of this compilation set. It's a must have if you decide to buy HIGHEST HOPES. Lastly, the HIGHEST HOPES moniker of the album is in vain of the PINK FLOYD song HIGH HOPES. NIGHTWISH do a fairly decent job covering this song making it their final epic to mark the end of an era, but not a career o course. HOLOPAINEN offers a solid vocal performance while TARJA takes a back seat for the HIGH HOPES cover. Make no mistake, it's not as good as the original. HOLOPAINEN cannot not sing nearly as good as DAVID GILMOUR, but than again that is just my feelings on the matter. 

Anyhow, the album gets a 3/5 cause the bonus DVD makes it somewhat worth it. Enjoy my Metal brothers and sisters.   

progbethyname | 3/5 |


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