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WISHMASTER

Nightwish

Progressive Metal


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Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
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

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#33361)
Posted Thursday, January 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
philou295@yah
4 stars A bit inferior to Oceanborn, Wishmaster is a quality LP, though. Some great songs, especially the first three ones and the title track. 4 stars because of the lack of real astounding and spelling moments (excepting"Come cover me" ) which made it not the most thrilling Nightwish LP but a good moment for melodic metal fans, yet. Great musicianship too.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#33364)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to Vanwarp (BETA) | Report this review (#46044)
Posted Thursday, September 08, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is by far the most accomplished album of the band. The songs are powerful - but not too heavy, symphonic - but not too cheesy. Tarja's voice is simply awesome.

The opening songs are unbelievable: "She Is My Sin" is simply perfect - a blasting song - "The Kinslayer" is more lyrically-oriented (the background here is about the Columbine tragedy) - "Come Cover Me" has mellow passages that balance the catchy melody. After the power song "Wanderlust" comes the great ballad "Two For Tragedy" (a bit in the vein of "Swanheart yes, but a good one still). "Wishmaster" and "Bare Grace Misery" speed up the tempo again for the ultra-speedy "Crownless". Then again, like on their previous album, great songs to close the album: "Deep Silent Complete" is a beautiful mellow track, "Dead Boy's Poem" is very epic (voted as favorite by fans, and I can understand) and "FantasMic" is a bit a mix of all aspects of Nightwish music.

Rating: 94/100

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Send comments to zaxx (BETA) | Report this review (#65724)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
AtLossForWords
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Nightwish has had an interesting history. The band may not considered to be particulary progressive, but they have unique elements to their music. Complimented by composing of great depth, and a variety of tones, Nightwish has their spot on this website.

Wishmaster is an earlier piece of work from the Finnish Symphonic band. Before the blockbuster sales, Nightwish has made excellent music on a smaller budget. Though their earlier matierial like this album is not as progressive as later albums that they have rode to suprising big sales there is still some very interesting music techniques.

Tuomas Holopainen is the focal point of this band. As the composer, he is responsible for the overall quality of the band. As the lyricist he has as much control over the band as any musician could have. His performing role as a keyboardist is easily the most important in the band. Unlike many metal bands, Holopainen and Nightwish are focused on keyboard tones and melodies to bring their music to light. Holopainen though not virtuoso, shows impressive melodic skills. Songs like Fantasmic and Crownless show off Holopainen's abilities at their best. The songs aren't very long, but they still manage to strike an epic and emotional atmosphere throughout the album. Holopainen truly put his heart and soul into this album.

The Femme Front of the band is vocalist Tarja Turunen. Turunen's vocals are not exactly the finest examples of operatic performances in metal, but they aren't necessarily a downer. She can create a great contrast of atmospheres which make up for the lack of natrual vocal ability.

Empuu Vuorinen puts in much more melodic performance than he does on later albums. Those opposed to the riffing style on Once could certainly appreciate Vuorinen's tasteful playing on Wishmaster. Like the rest of Nightwish, he isn't a virtuoso, but still manages to make a statement with tasteful melodic playing. His tone isn't overpoweing, and constrasts well with Holopainen's keyboards.

Sami Vanska does a less than admirable performance on bass. It's better than those by succeeding bassist Marco Hietala, but still unimpressive. Nightwish could very well have made this album without a bass player, and it wouldn't have made an audible difference.

Jukka Nevalainen is unimpressive as well. That being said, Nevalainen does his job and holds the beat, but never goes beyond abilities of an average drummer deserving of praise.

The production is mediocre. The keyboard tones are all but stark, although they lack variety. The guitars are well balanced with the keyboards. The vocals are clear, but lack dynamics. The bass and drums are an important part of this band, and that is apparent in the mix.

It's a decent album, nothing to write home about, but reccomended to anyone in desire of metal with a melodic symphonic influence.

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Send comments to AtLossForWords (BETA) | Report this review (#77860)
Posted Thursday, May 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
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

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#77864)
Posted Thursday, May 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars NIGHTWISH's 'Wishmaster' is a much less convincing album than its predecessor, 'Oceanborn'.

Though they keep the cheese factor low, I find the songwriting somewhat lacking. 'She Is My Sin', the title track and the last two tracks aside, I find little to bring me back to this record. Having made two steps forward with 'Oceanborn', NIGHTWISH take one back with this. It is still operatic/symphonic power metal with a few progressive touches - the last track has more than a few touches, actually - but there's little to tempt refugees from the seventies to embrace the band. That temptation will come with later albums. This album barely raises its head above the soup of power metal bands.

A slight misstep in the band's career, but nothing that couldn't be fixed.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#143473)
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 really

Wishmaster is less good than Oceanborn but still enjoyble. On this album are strong pieces like She is my sin , The kinslayer and Fantasmic, the rest are good but with lack of stunning moments like on Oceanborn. Not very much to add just if you like the previous album and the next one Century child this one is a good choice for you. For sure a good album but less thrilling than Oceaborn. Anyway the musicians are in top form playing on high level, and is definitely an essential for fans of the band as well as newcomers and symphonic metal listners. 3 stars for Wishmaster

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#163909)
Posted Friday, March 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Tales of sin and tragedy

If there's one thing I've always loved about the European Power metal scene it's just how over the top the bands are. While Nightwish certainly has many prog elements to them it's important to see that on many of their releases they have maintained a very power metal feel. Between the fast drums, the chugging power riffs and a screaming, Operatic vocalist this is a band who may turn many off right away simply on what they base their music on. Indeed, for those who feel that prog metal is too over the top at points they will not find much comfort in this band. However, for those of us who grew up with horns raised and heads banging, this band has provided a number of great releases with a good blend of metal and prog. But again I'll stress, if you're not a prog metal fan this won't make a believer out of you.

If I had to describe Nightwish by blending two bands together... well, I probably couldn't. They're hard to describe in their approach (although others have attempted the same thing), but take any female fronted band with a lot of emotion behind the music and slap some Euro power guitars a la Helloween over top and you've got yourself a mix. While Tarja Turunen's vocals are quite the acquired taste (very heavy accent and very operatic) they make for a formidable force while she belts out the lyrics. In terms of song structure what we're looking at is fairly basic. While the musicians themselves are quite talented they don't seem to like to deviate from the norm and so the songs are all structured fairly safely. This is good in a sense as well as bad since they do it well, but it'd be nice to see some experimentation. Coming into the end of the album we're treated by two longer tracks (6 and 8 minutes, respectively) and while even they are fairly short it's nice to see something of the sort.

A lot of the songs on this album are simple rockers, something that the prog heads may not like too much. While a lot of these songs certainly make for a good listen they really do lose their appeal after repeated listens. Songs like She Is My Sin, The Kinslayer and the title cut are all great the first couple times around but start become repetitive after numerous listens mostly thanks to a conventional structure and predictable rhythm section. Other rockers make for great tunes even years later thanks to slight deviations in the formula. If there's one thing noticeable about this album against their previous efforts is the amount of keyboards put into this one. Blistering synths leading the charge of songs like Crownless and Fantasmic make for very satisfying listens.

While many of the songs tend to stay on the safe path there's still a few others that deviate and those are the ones that really stick out. Deep Silence Complete starts with a soft section before exploding into full motion as a single that was a very odd (but great) choice by the band. A wonderfully emotive guitar on this one makes it very memorable. Dead Boy's Poem borders on being a touch depressing (well, that's to be expected reading the title) but with a mix of segments and some great work by the band this one winds up being one of the best on the album. But it's the closer that will likely get the most attention. Fantasmic opens with a very prog metal synth attack before being led into the main segment by the charging guitars. Tarja's voice comes in to take us away while the drums (*gasp*) actually become a (non predictable for the most part) driving force of the song. The tune slows down coming into the middle section but picks up again coming into the climax with some (don't say Jethro Tull... Don't say Jethro Tull) country-side-esque flutes (phew...) and reprises the beginning. Okay, so a lot of us would like to see this one go on for longer than 8 minutes, but they do a good job with the amount of time they have.

With some very high and some very moderate points this one will still appeal to fans to the Euro prog metal movement and prog metal fans alike. It's heavy as hell so if you need something to rock out to you're in good hands here, but as far as really progressive moments here there's only a select few. All in all this is a very satisfying listen worthy of a good mark. 3.5 tragedies out of 5. Great, but not essential if you're not into the style. Still recommended to those who want to check it out!

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#176849)
Posted Monday, July 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Wishmaster is one of these rare cases when a CD is so much awaited that its release conceals its eventual flaws. After the release - and the unexpected success - of such a masterpiece as Oceanborn (their second in their discography, but the band members themselves considering it to be their first official CD, since Angels Fall First was seen as a well recorded demo), everybody was waiting for the follow up to see if that finnish group could match such striking piece of music.

Well, even if it was not as good or as innovative as Oceanborn, Wishmaster did its job: it was this album that took Nightwish to international stardom. And rightly so. Even today, when I hear the CD, I still can feel its sheer power on every track. It was done by a band at its peak. They were a tight unit and delivered every track with such willingness, conviction and grace, that you can do nothing but be awestruck by their craft. Even if the symphonic side of the band (always their best) was a bit put in the beckground for a more conventional power metal approach, Nightwish proved they were quite unique and un a league of their own. Nothing at the time even came close to their sound. Tarja Turunen's operatic vocal became a role model for many gothic, prog and power metal bands in the near future. And Tuomas Holopainen's genius as songwriter is beyond doubt. But is the band as a whole that became something more than the sum of its parts.

So even if it was not a masterpiece as Oceanborn, they were strong wnough to release a powerful album under some very strong pressure. Things would never go as smooth int he future, but that's another story. Wishmaaster stands as one of prog metal's best effords ever. Highlights are many but the title track, She Is My Sin, Kinslayer and FantasMic are among Bightwish's classics of all time. Although production could be better, the overall sound is good. My copy came with the beautiful ballad Sleeping Sun as a bonus track. Highly recommended!

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#190242)
Posted Sunday, November 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Wishmaster' - Nightwish (5/10)

While Nightwish have never been the most mind-boggling band around, they have had albums where they really seem to push their boundaries forward. Albums like the grandiose 'Dark Passion Play' really deepened their sound into something special. Nightwish also have albums that are more conventional, but still catchy and enjoyable. 'Wishmaster' is one of those less progressive, but fun records.

'Wishmaster' is the sort of album that's good to put on every once in a while and just listen to. Catchy choruses, riffs and undemanding song structures lend a nice, unstraining musical experience. The performance is superb, and the band really works as a singular unit, but the end product is very rarely mind blowing. There are moments in the album however, such as the title track 'Wishmaster' which really make the listener jump out of his seat. It's a sound that's been done many times before, but Nightwish's symphonic metal meld can really project some great musical poetry at times.

Another great song is 'Dead Boy's Poem' which sounds like it was a very carefully composed track. It sheds the verse/chorus mold that seems to envelop much of the album and progresses like a prog metal ballad should. Very deep, epic sound without sounding generic.

There have been alot of albums that have sounded like this one, and most don't even belong in the prog genre. 'Wishmaster' is a great album however, for someone looking for a break from demanding, highly chaotic prog metal proper, and want something with a bit more structure.

Good enjoyment for a few listens!

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#232329)
Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This third "Nightwish" release is quite a let down when compared to their debut.

To tell the truth the surprise is gone by now. What was an asset (the theatrical female vocals) becomes some kind of burden by now. Let's see how the band will evolve for a definite judgement.

This "Wishmaster" is not a master album by any means. A long repetition of a used recipe. Short compositions (except the last two numbers), straight forward metal sounds (with a prog angle, I admit) and little passion felt throughout the album. In one word: average. Even if "FantasMic" is slightly better and should be considered as the highlight from this work.

The hype is all gone and this album is just a repetition of the same stuff: super fast beat, high pitched vocals and average melodies. Not my cup of tea. I would have expected more from this band. Maybe next time?

Two stars, no more.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#239103)
Posted Sunday, September 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars If Oceanborn was the album were they discovered their sound, Wishmaster was definetly the album where the sound was made whole. With techinical metal songs and more poppy songs, this album found a natural balance, and was insteresting throughout.

Being a massive Nightwish fan, I would believe that this album was their best.

1. She Is My Sin - Amazing riff, catchy chorus, incredibly memorable. What more can you want. Oh yea, the lyrics are pretty great too, with some great hooks and one liners.

2. The Kinslayer - One of their most kickass songs in my opinion. From the incredibly crafted crescendo vocal parts for choirs, the dramaticism throughout, and amazing technacallity from all members, this song is definetly one of their best. Even the spoken word parts, which are bit chessy, are exeptable.

3. Come Cover Me - Having covered this song in my band Eternia, this song is incredibly catchy with some incredibly beautiful and kick ass melodies. The more poppier sound that we expect.

4. Wanderlust - One of the most beautiful and techincal things I have ever heard. Usually I can play almost anything on the guitar. But this song always makes me scratch my head. The chorus is incredibly catchy and the end is incredibly beautiful.

5. Two For Tragedy - A lovely ballad, none more to say.

6. Wishmaster - Every Nightwish fan can't not say that this song is kick ass. The misheard lyrics for this song is incredibly funny (cause not even Tarja knows what she is saying). The middle section is amazing as well. The lyrics are pretty odd, but good.

7. Bare Grace Misery - Look at the misheard lyrics I made for this song, (put the title in you tube, it's probably still there). Incredibly catchy and memorable.

8. Crownless - Kickass and very power metal. Catchy chorus adds to the ass kicking.

9.Deep Silent Complete - All Finnish bands end up sounding like HIM for some reason. This is Nightiwish's (that and Sacrament Of Wilderness, even the title of these songs sound like HIM, don't get me wrong, HIM are kickass, and if you disagree, then we shall fight at dawn.)

10. Dead Boy's Poem - The last 2 songs on this album are so good, I had to listen to them twice. This song is incredibly beautiful, very sad and melancholic. Amazing guitar solo, I probabbly did cry while listening to this song.

11. FantasMic - Does the words OH MY GOD, mean anyhthing. God this song rules. With amazing prog dramatic like changes, incredibly lyrics (about Disney films...) and an amazing vocal performance from Tarja and that choir that seems to follow her all the time.

CONCLUSION: Nightwish's best album. Buy it, buy it, buy it, buy it.

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Send comments to arcane-beautiful (BETA) | Report this review (#260840)
Posted Thursday, January 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Since I heard so far is my favorite album of them. "Wishmaster" represents for me the pinnacle of the band's creativity. What came before and what came after does not compare to this album. They kept the same members of the previous album "Oceanborn". "She Is My Sin" starts the album with the band's characteristic riffs and vocals even better "Tarja Turunen". The chorus is a striking melody. The solo "Emppu Vuorinen" and the technique enhanced "Jukka Nevalainen" in the sticks. This song is the omen of success that this album is.

"The Kinslayer" is a masterpiece in every 3 minutes and 59 seconds. Harmony, pompous arrangements, technical quality.

"Come Cover Me" is used to toast the larger space allowed the guitar from that album. The keyboard is still there, but in a more balanced volume with the other instruments. Even the bass becomes louder. The production of the album was far more exquisite than the first two.

After a more lilting song, "Come Cover Me," "Wanderlust" is already on the run and the combination of keyboard and guitar becomes almost like hand and glove here. With improved techniques, all the instruments stand out.

"Two For Tragedy" slows through dramatic interpretation of "Tarja Turunen" with a vocal technique chilling to the soul. The sound of the flute extends the sound trip, followed by a short but beautiful guitar solo.

The album title is a fantastic song, "Wishmaster". Double bass drums, striking riffs, "Tuomas Holopainen" inserting various sounds from your keyboard, further enriching the song's melody. It seemed impossible to see something better but this was still only the sixth track.

Gently "Sami Vänskä" is exposed on the track "Bare Grace Misery". A song without the same speed of "Wanderlust" and "Wishmaster", but certainly enjoyable.

"Crownless" is a comparison of speed between all instruments, as if to see who can be faster, obviously there is no winner but indivual collective, the band again excels. "Tarja Turunen" seems to sing easier than ever.

"Deep Silent Complete", "Dead Boy's Poem" and "Fantasmic" ends the album in its standard edition.

"Deep Silent Complete" is a song very short but well thought out.

"Dead Boy's Poem" is a ballad to the peculiar style of the band itself, exposing the voice quality of "Tarja" and his dramatic interpretation.

The album could not have done differently, "Fantasmic" is a rhythmic variation that until then the band had not yet experienced. There are more than eight minutes of riffs, chords, arrangements and great technique, and creativity of Finnish. The album is highly recommended even for those not a fan of the band, just be fond of a good quality music and proven technique.

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Send comments to Vobiscum (BETA) | Report this review (#745260)
Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 | Review Permalink
Prog Sothoth
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Prog Metal Team
3 stars After the pretty smashing Oceanborn, Nightwish released Wishmaster, further cementing their place as one of the more heralded symphonic metal acts. Like its predecessor, the fist- pumping metal riffage is augmented by Tarja's operatic delivery, which at the time was still a relatively new meshing of styles, and it somehow worked. This time around, the production is a bit cleaner and the tempos a little more reserved, adding a bit of variety at the expense of propulsive 'zing', if that matters to you.

This doesn't occur all that often, but here we have an album in which I think it peaks around the halfway point, beginning with the glorious "Wanderlust". This song is like an Oceanborn-redux thing, bringing more complexity to that speedy power metal vibe. "Two For Tragedy" follows, and as a weepy ballad, it showcases Tarja's capabilities quite well. She seems to get a bit of flack from certain metal and rock circles for not being Cecilia Bartoli in a studded leather dress. Yet a good portion of these accusers probably wouldn't go near an actual Cecelia Bartoli CD in the first place, so I don't know what the hang-up is. Tarja is just a talented singer doing metal-based music, simple as that. I wouldn't rank her up there with the top vocalists in rock, but her approach was decidedly unique for its time, which I think deserves at least some respect, considering that she was certainly far from terrible from the get-go.

The title track is another clear winner, a double-bass 6/8 tempo stomper with all the vigor you could want in a galloping tune, but other tracks don't fare as well with me. As a youngster, I annoyed my parents through the thrashier styles of metal as opposed to the twisted sisters, strypers and the quiet riots of those growing-up years, thus my taste in metal skews towards the more aggressive fast stuff. A mid-paced number like the opener doesn't really do it for me, as it comes across like hair metal drenched in keyboards. It's not awful, but, as in a few of the other similar paced tunes, it's not really my thing. "Come Cover Me" is an exception though, as its catchy majestic chorus is the kind of an extra inspirational push Sylvester Stallone could've utilized in defeating opponents, whether it be concerning a jello wrestling contest or a jello eating contest. Sometimes catchiness overrides cheese.

With the clearer production and a stronger emphasis on symphonic arrangements, you can hear the limitations keyboards have to offer in terms of bringing out the most bombastic approach to music one can muster. The usage of actual orchestras in future recordings did work to their advantage, and with numerous similar acts starting to crop up everywhere, many of them I presume inspired by their Oceanborn album, Nightwish weren't about to settle into a familiar mode when they could get even more grandiose and outlandish. Wishmaster is not one of my favorites by the band, but it has some of their best gems and it's funny to remember how fresh this stuff sounded back near the time of its release, considering how saturated a style they helped create became soon afterwards.

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Send comments to Prog Sothoth (BETA) | Report this review (#944055)
Posted Monday, April 15, 2013 | Review Permalink

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