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NIGHTWISH

Progressive Metal • Finland


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Nightwish biography
Finland's NIGHTWISH has founded a medium where pure angelic vocal beauty combines with rugged metal guitars, and where intricate keyboard arrangements team up with driving rhythms, creating a soaring stylistic mix. 2003's symphonic metal shining star Century Child has set the band upon a stunning adventure in crafting a unique and genre-defining sound.

Humbly begun in 1997 as keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen's, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and trained operatic vocalist Tarja Turunen's ill received acoustic project, they found balance when they added drummer and percussionist Jukka Nevalainen and opted replace acoustic with electric guitars. Entranced with their new identity, NIGHTWISH was quickly signed to Finland's premier label, Spinefarm. Debut "Angels Fall First" made a huge impression upon the scene thanks to its unique hybrid of sounds and styles, with much of the focus centering on the operatic and enigmatic singing of front woman Tarja. The initial offering was soon followed by the even more progressed and adventurous "Oceanborn", which stayed in the Finnish pop charts for over 30 weeks. At this time, they had three singles in the top 10. This success led to packed shows in Finland, and soon to continental European shows and ensuing success. The overseas reactions and a growing cult-like interest in the United States encouraged Century Media to sort out a licensing agreement securing their next studio output for domestic release, as well as the two back catalogue pieces so they could be appreciated by a wider audience. In 2000 the band released their third effort, "Wishmaster", immediately going platinum at home and selling well over 20,000 units in the U.S. with very little support or notoriety from the industry and promotional outlets.

The year 2002 was one filled with many successful events for the band. NIGHTWISH acquired bassist Marco Hietala (TAROT, SINERGY), who added another dimension to NIGHTWISH's enveloping sound. Marco, in addition to his commanding bass lines, contributes powerful male vocals. The band returned to long time recording home Finnvox Studios (STRATOVARIUS, CHILDREN OF BODOM, SENTENCED) to record drum tracks. They then moved to their hometown of Kitee, Finland to record guitars, bass and keyboards. In March 2002 they returned to Finnvox to record vocals, choirs and percussions, and to mix the album. What came out of these recording sessions is sheer magnificence. From the choral introduction of "Bless the Child," ...
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Buy NIGHTWISH Music


Century ChildCentury Child
Extra tracks · Import
Universal Import 2002
Audio CD$5.15
$6.77 (used)
Dark Passion PlayDark Passion Play
Roadrunner Records 2007
Audio CD$6.09
$3.08 (used)
OnceOnce
Extra tracks
Roadrunner Records 2004
Audio CD$5.67
$3.51 (used)
ImaginaerumImaginaerum
Roadrunner Records 2012
Audio CD$8.54
$14.99 (used)
Showtime Storytime (2-cd/2 blu-ray)Showtime Storytime (2-cd/2 blu-ray)
Nuclear Blast America 2013
Audio CD$22.47
$19.65 (used)
OceanbornOceanborn
Extra tracks
Fontana Universal 2008
Audio CD$5.56
$5.50 (used)
Highest Hopes: The Best of NightwishHighest Hopes: The Best of Nightwish
Century Media 2006
Audio CD$6.00
$4.97 (used)
Bless the Child: The RaritiesBless the Child: The Rarities
Import
Universal UK 2007
Audio CD$5.15
$16.92 (used)
WishmasterWishmaster
Extra tracks
Spinefarm Records 2008
Audio CD$5.15
$3.77 (used)
Angels Fall FirstAngels Fall First
Extra tracks
Spinefarm Records 2008
Audio CD$5.15
$5.00 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Anette Olzon: Shine CD. Ex Alyson Avenue, Nightwish vocalist (2014) US $8.00 [0 bids]
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Nightwish - Maximum Nightwish CD. The Unauthorised Biography of Nightwish US $10.00 [0 bids]
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5h 45m
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Nightwish : Highest Hopes (2CDs) (2006) US $12.93 Buy It Now 12h 52m
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Nightwish - Imaginaerum (2012) - Used - Compact Disc US $4.31 Buy It Now 13h 37m
Once - Nightwish (2004, CD New) US $10.38 Buy It Now 14h 34m
Once [ECD] by Nightwish (CD, Oct-2004, Roadrunner Records) US $7.99 [0 bids]
15h 53m
Highest Hopes: The Best of Nightwish by Nightwish (CD, Oct-2006, Century... US $7.99 [0 bids]
15h 54m
Wishmaster by Nightwish (CD, Feb-2001, Century Media (USA)) US $7.99 [0 bids]
15h 54m
Taiwan CD w/OBI SEALED! Tarja Turunen What Lies Beneath NIGHTWISH Ou US $34.99 Buy It Now 16h
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19h
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19h 24m
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19h 25m
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19h 47m
Within Temptation Delain Epica Nightwish After Forever Evanescence Voyage UnSun US $34.99 [0 bids]
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Nightwish Tarja UK Cuttings Clippings Articles Set US $1.65 [0 bids]
20h 51m
CD NIGHTWISH Wishmaster NEW MINT SEALED US $15.00 Buy It Now 20h 51m
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21h 12m
Angels Fall First by Nightwish (CD, 1997, Spine Farm Records) SPI47CD ORG US $18.29 Buy It Now 21h 25m
NIGHTWISH**TRIALS OF IMAGINAERUM (10 INCH/RECORD STORE DAY 2013)**VINYL US $15.95 Buy It Now 21h 46m
NIGHTWISH**HIGHEST HOPES: GREATEST HITS**CD + DVD US $14.69 Buy It Now 21h 46m
TARJA TURUNEN MY WINTER STORM 2 CD SET NEW NIGHTWISH US $9.31 Buy It Now 22h 12m
NIGHTWISH rare ONCE picture disc MINT! 2xlp finntroll at the gates US $99.99 [0 bids]
22h 38m
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23h 8m
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US $13.00 Buy It Now
23h 55m
"Shine" CD - Anette Olzon rare NIGHTWISH Within Temptation - Gothic Female Metal US $4.99 [0 bids]
1 day
NIGHTWISH BLESS THE CHILD + BONUS TRACKS 16 SONGS CD US $7.24 Buy It Now 1 day
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Nightwish Amaranth CD US $9.69 Buy It Now 1 day
Nightwish Made In Hong Kong (And Various Other Places) CD & DVD US $13.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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1 day
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Nightwish: Nemo [2-trk Single] ~ Good 2004 Nuclear Blast (Germany) DJ Promo CD US $7.16 Buy It Now 1 day
AFTER FOREVER Prison Of Desire TRANSMISSION 2000 TM-023 NIGHTWISH FLOOR JANSEN US $34.99 Buy It Now 1 day
NIGHTWISH - 2007 Magazine Poster US $7.06 Buy It Now 1 day
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Nightwish - Bless The Child T NEW CD US $8.39 Buy It Now 1 day
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Nightwish - Imaginaerum [CD New] US $10.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Highest Hopes-The Best Of Nightwish - Nightwish (2005, CD New) US $9.57 Buy It Now 1 day
BEAUTIFUL VOICES RARE SEALED NEW DVD/CD SET GERMAN IMPORT 2006 NIGHTWISH ETC US $25.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Nightwish Showtime Storytime 2014 Taiwan [2-CD+2-DVD] New Sealed Live US $35.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Nightwish The Siren /Club promo CD US $26.66 Buy It Now 1 day
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Nightwish Trials of Imaginaerum EP - BRAND NEW PICTURE DISC! DEMOS! RSD 10" INCH US $15.50 Buy It Now 1 day
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1 day
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More places to buy NIGHTWISH music online Buy NIGHTWISH & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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NIGHTWISH shows & tickets


  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Electric Factory, Philadelphia on 10 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at The Palladium, Worcester on 11 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Le Capitole, Québec on 13 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto on 14 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at The Town Ballroom, Buffalo on 16 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Agora Theatre & Ballroom, Cleveland on 17 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Concorde Music Hall, Chicago on 18 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at 7 Flags Events Center, Clive, IA on 19 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver on 25 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Crystal Ballroom, Portland on 26 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at The Warfield, San Francisco on 28 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at House of Blues, Las Vegas on 30 Apr 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Greek Theatre, Los Angeles on 1 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Marquee Theatre, Phoenix, AZ on 2 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Warehouse Live on 6 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at House of Blues, Orlando on 8 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Expo Five, Louisville on 12 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at The Fillmore Silver Spring, Silver Spring, MD on 14 May 2015
  • Nightwish on 6 Jun 2015
  • Nightwish Cruise on 8 Jun 2015
  • Rock the Ring Festival on 19 Jun 2015
  • Hellfest 2015 on 19 Jun 2015
  • Masters of Rock 2015 on 9 Jul 2015
  • Rock Fest Bcn 2015 on 23 Jul 2015
  • Nightwish + Children of Bodom + Sonata Arctica at Ratinan Stadion, Tampere on 31 Jul 2015
  • M'era Luna Festival 2015 on 8 Aug 2015
  • Nightwish on 29 Aug 2015
  • Rock In Rio 2015 on 18 Sep 2015

NIGHTWISH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

NIGHTWISH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 92 ratings
Angels Fall First
1997
4.02 | 170 ratings
Oceanborn
1998
3.42 | 115 ratings
Wishmaster
2000
3.34 | 104 ratings
Century Child
2002
3.64 | 157 ratings
Once
2004
3.87 | 146 ratings
Dark Passion Play
2007
3.76 | 95 ratings
Imaginaerum
2011
3.04 | 4 ratings
Imaginaerum: The Score
2012

NIGHTWISH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.70 | 10 ratings
From Wishes to Eternity
2001
4.26 | 40 ratings
End Of An Era
2006
2.92 | 14 ratings
Made In Hong Kong (And In Various Other Places)
2009
4.00 | 5 ratings
Showtime, Storytime
2013

NIGHTWISH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.21 | 13 ratings
From Wish to Eternity - Live
2001
3.00 | 6 ratings
End of Innocence
2003
3.00 | 3 ratings
Nemo
2004
3.00 | 3 ratings
Wish I Had an Angel
2004
3.50 | 2 ratings
Once
2006
3.00 | 4 ratings
Amaranth
2007
3.74 | 31 ratings
End of An Era
2007
2.67 | 3 ratings
Bye Bye Beautiful
2008
3.71 | 7 ratings
Showtime, Storytime
2013

NIGHTWISH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Golden Wishes
2001
3.57 | 5 ratings
1997 - 2001
2001
3.13 | 8 ratings
Tales From The Elvenpath
2004
3.66 | 26 ratings
Highest Hopes - The Best Of Nightwish
2005
2.00 | 1 ratings
Bestwishes
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Ballads of the Eclipse
2006
2.50 | 2 ratings
The Sound Of Nightwish Reborn
2008
2.95 | 2 ratings
Walking in the Air - The Greatest Ballads
2011

NIGHTWISH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 3 ratings
Demo
1996
2.91 | 5 ratings
The Carpenter
1997
3.93 | 5 ratings
Sacrament of Wilderness
1998
2.50 | 2 ratings
Passion and the Opera
1998
2.92 | 4 ratings
Walking In The Air
1999
2.94 | 7 ratings
Sleeping Sun (Four Ballads Of The Eclipse)
1999
2.33 | 6 ratings
Deep Silent Complete
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Kinslayer
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Wishmastour 2000
2001
3.00 | 23 ratings
Over The Hills And Far Away
2001
3.50 | 7 ratings
Ever Dream
2002
3.67 | 12 ratings
Bless The Child
2002
3.73 | 12 ratings
Nemo
2004
2.68 | 12 ratings
Wish I Had An Angel
2004
3.32 | 7 ratings
Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan
2005
4.23 | 13 ratings
The Siren
2005
3.71 | 8 ratings
Sleeping Sun
2005
2.00 | 3 ratings
Erämaan viimeinen
2007
1.24 | 6 ratings
Amaranth
2007
1.07 | 6 ratings
Eva
2007
2.80 | 5 ratings
The Islander
2008
2.33 | 3 ratings
Bye Bye Beautiful
2008
2.00 | 1 ratings
Amaranth
2009
3.25 | 4 ratings
The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
Storytime
2012

NIGHTWISH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Walking in the Air - The Greatest Ballads by NIGHTWISH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2011
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Walking in the Air - The Greatest Ballads
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars I almost feel ashamed of being so positively surprised by this compilation, or the band in general. NIGHTWISH is a hugely popular Finnish Prog Metal band, led by keyboardist-composer Tuomas Holopainen (now current for his concept album "The Life and Times of Scrooge") and employing already a third female vocalist. The notoriously sacked original soprano Tarja Turunen is now doing a solo career. The 15 songs on this CD are all done with Tarja, representing the albums Angels Fall First (1997), Oceanborn (1998), Wishmaster (2000) and Century Child (2002) by 2-4 songs each, plus a couple of smaller releases.

So, why ashamed? And why it took so long before I had a closer look at this band (long time ago I had borrowed their album, no idea which one, without getting interested)? Partly it's about prejudices for both the Metal genre and the popularity. You know, "Not my thing!" But perhaps a compilation of ballads was needed; two days ago I borrowed also Once (2004) of which I enjoy a few tracks while the more metallic tracks left me cold, as expected.

I bet many of these songs have been heavily played on radio - mostly on channels that I don't listen to - such as the title track originating from the Snowman animation, 'Sleeping Sun', one of their earliest and biggest hits, and... Actually, apart from these two, all were new songs to me. There may be a tiny element of kitch around here and there, but I do like this music. Of the terms ballad and Metal, the former is perhaps more defining for this selection, and I admit I have always liked a certain type of Hard Rock / Heavy ballad (by Scorpions, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, etc), so after all it comes as no big surprise that I have some pleasure out of this compilation. Tarja is a gorgeous vocalist, and the band sound is fine. The Metal element is present but it's not stubbornly dominant, as it could be in the drumming for example.

A good, VERY good set of excellently produced melodic and symphonically flavoured Metal ballads. No more, no less.

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 Showtime, Storytime by NIGHTWISH album cover Live, 2013
4.00 | 5 ratings

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Showtime, Storytime
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Back in 2012 I heard that Nightwish were going to be coming to New Zealand, and me and one of my daughters knew that we just had to be there. I had loved 'Imaginaerum', and felt that the band had come a long way since they replaced singer Tarja Turunen. Her final performance with the band was captured as 'End of An Era', and is something that I had played time and again but felt that Anette Olzon was a better fit with the way that the band had changed into something that was more bombastic and metallic. But, I was surprised to hear that after just two albums Anette was no longer in the band, and that she had in turn been replaced by Floor Jansen from After Forever. But, although she had performed well in the studio, the live performances I had seen seemed to show someone who possibly wasn't fully in tune with the band and what they were trying to achieve. So, what would the concert be like with Floor?

Simply put, it was brilliant. Floor has the controlled soprano that is required to perform the classic Nightwish numbers but is also very much a rock performer and knows that there are times when an edge and roughness are required to provide the emphasis. The other surprise that night was the appearance of veteran Troy Donockley, who is now a full band member. I first came across Troy when he was a member of Iona for their classic 'Book of Kells', and have heard some of his solo work as well as other band performances, and he certainly provides the group with additional styles with his pipes, flutes and whistles.

But why am I talking about a concert and not reviewing the album I have before me? Well, that is because this is a recording of their appearance at Wacken later the same year. By now Floor had really settled in (bear in mind that Anette's final performance was September 29th 2012, and Floor joined the band for their performance on October 1st, having learned and rehearsed the vocal parts on the flight from Holland to Seattle!!), and the whole band seems comfortable and relaxed. It will always be Tuomas Holopainen's group, he writes the material and provides all the symphonics with his keyboards, but for me the most important person is bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala who provides the brutality and depth in his powerful singing as a total contrast to Floor. My one gripe about the gig is that they didn't perform 'Bye, Bye, Beautiful', which is easily the most played song on my phone as I have both the studio video and a live performance loaded and I play both multiple ties each week. But given that it was about Tarja, possibly they didn't feel that performing it after Anette had left would be the right thing to do.

But, if you enjoy symphonic metal then it really doesn't get much better than this. It is quite a contrast to 'End of An Era', and this is very much the one that I prefer.

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 Oceanborn by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.02 | 170 ratings

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Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After an acoustically laden folk metal experience on the debut album NIGHTWISH decided to really go for the gusto on their second release OCEANBORN and what a triumph of musical mixing this is. They still retain some of the Finnish folk music that is intrinsically sewn into the fabric of their songwriting but on this release they really ramp up the metal and symphonic aspects of their sound. I see this as equally part neo-classical metal of the Stratovarius type married with symphonic prog a la Renaissance laced with Finnish folk music and topped off with some classical diva operatic vocals by the stunning Tarja Turunen.

This is my only NIGHTWISH album i've yet heard so I can't compare to other releases but on this one the musicians are all top notch. Tuomas Holopainen who is the main songwriter really knows how to create some interesting hooks and his keyboard talents are one of the main ingredients in holding this symphonic metal together so well. Emppu Vuorinen nails the neo-classical guitar shredding and the double-bass drumming of Jukka Nevalainen really blend well with the bass skills of Sami Vankska.

Everything works together perfectly to create an epic musical fantasy. The music is further embellished by flutes, violin, viola and cello. There is also some male vocals that appear as the voice of both the devil and pharaoh but Tarja is the star of this release with her angelic presence totally dominating the accompanying symphonic power metal music. This album goes by too fast. From the high energy opening track "Stargazers" that sets the stage for the rest of the album it promises to keep your attention to the end of the album. Only a couple of the slower tracks keep me from rating this higher. The album shines brightest when the band is delivering epic fast-paced fantasy metal like there's no tomorrow.

I didn't realize how huge this band is as far as popularity goes. They are one of the best selling Finnish acts ever and have been hugely successful worldwide. I understand this is their best release but I still need to check out more of their output because if any of it comes even close to the melodic and symphonic beauty of OCEANBORN then I am a fan indeed.

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 Oceanborn by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.02 | 170 ratings

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Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I typically find the symphonic metal style which Nightwish are one of the leading exemplars of to be a decidedly hit or miss affair, but here I think Nightwish have a palpable hit. The best tracks on here tend to be the ones when the band go at it full pelt and rely on Tuomas Holopainen's keyboards to provide most of the symphonic gravitas, though a few pieces with a more orchestral touch do stand out, such as an inspired cover of the Snowman theme song Walking In the Air which gives Tarja the perfect opportunity to show just what she can do with her vocals.

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 Angels Fall First by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.75 | 92 ratings

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Angels Fall First
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by VOTOMS

2 stars The symphonic rock is fallen. Ask any high school girl wearing black and you will notice that the modern meaning of symphonic rock is gothic metal. By the way, this gothic has nothing to do with Bauhaus. A gothic symphony for me is somehing like Nox Arcana. But it's okay, I respect this modern scene and I tried a lot of bands and albums. But this one, Nightwish's debut, is another trap. It sounds too commercial for a debut. For example: if this album were released today, I think most of the Nightwish fans wouldn't see anything special about it. Since this is not the kind of stuff that really got my attention, please despise my sincere argument, if you felt any hurt.

The good slice of Angels Fall First: The last part of Beauty and The Beast. Tarja's voice is decent. Astral romance has some catchy rhythms. Tutankhamen last minutes has some funny keys. One or two of the acoustic passages are interesting.

Some bad warnings: Worst male vocals ever. Forced and artificial "epic"atmosphere. Some bands like Sonata Arctica, using the same keyboard effects, made really better soundscapes. Standard songwriting - Foreseeable riff sequences without great surprises. Lappi (Lapland), the conceptual multi-section track, is one of the most boring tracks of the album, killing the major expectations. Astral Romance intro has some Comfortably Numb rip-off, heavy metal chords version. Lame / uninteresting album cover.

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 Once by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.64 | 157 ratings

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Once
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by VOTOMS

2 stars Goddamn batman, how could it be so popular between teenagers and young girls t-shirts around here? Poor children of today.

First of all, Tarja voice was incredible. I like her. And it had some nice keyboards sometimes. But I just can't understand the hype. The compositions are not special. They are all great musician, but hell, I thought that "Can I Play With Madness" (Iron Maiden) had the worst boring intro ever until I Wish I Had An Angel.

Nemo is the most commercial and well known song here, and the media is right, this is the only good track of the album.

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 Highest Hopes - The Best Of Nightwish by NIGHTWISH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2005
3.66 | 26 ratings

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Highest Hopes - The Best Of Nightwish
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by progbethyname

3 stars A DECENT COLLECTION OF SONGS, BUT DEFINITIVELY NOT NIGHTWISH's BEST WORK. 

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 me....it 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.   

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 Wishmaster  by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.42 | 115 ratings

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Wishmaster
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator 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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 Oceanborn by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.02 | 170 ratings

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Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars When I first heard this album back in 2001, it was quite a new experience for me. As a longtime metal fan, as well as being fond of female vocals in general, I knew a small number of female fronted metal acts, but nothing quite like this. Nowadays there's a massive catalog of similar sounding acts, so it's borderline difficult to review this with the fresh mindset I had back then, but Oceanborn deserves to be treated in that respect because for better or worse, it was a hell of a trendsetter.

As the speediest Nightwish effort to this day, it also remains my favorite, not for being my initiation to their sound, but for simply having the best collection of tunes with little in the ways of mid-tempo middling tracks. There's a lot of fast anthemic power metal tunes alongside some gorgeous ballads, as well as a couple of bombastic epics ("Passion And The Opera", "The Pharaoh Sails To Orion"). The musicianship is sound and clearly skillful, with a suitably bombastic production that adds a good wallop of "oomph" thanks to a loud but not overbearing drum mix. "Stargazers" starts things off on a first-rate high-flying pace, and "Sleeping Sun" ends things on a sad, beautiful note.

Of course it would be ridiculous to bring up my first experience with early Nightwish without mentioning the vocals of Tarja. Female operatic vocals and metal didn't seem like something that should have gelled well, but damnit was I enthralled back then. Not only did her voice fit seamlessly with the music, they added some serious punch to the heavier tracks and an extra ethereal air to the ballads. Her delivery back then made the lyrics a bit tough to discern, but that didn't matter as the voice alone was what captured my attention.

As their best release, only "The Riddler" keeps things from being a full-fledged front-to-back pleasure, but it's not really a bad song, and quite good compared to a large portion of songs from other releases by the band.

It's kind of weird now with so many later acts out that came and went or still plug away aping their general format to remember that back then this stuff was so fresh and original. It really doesn't seem that long ago for me, but yeah...the turn of the century is long past. Oceanborn, by not going to over-the-top in trying to ape an orchestra, has actually aged a bit better than a good portion of similar sounding albums that came out a couple of years afterwards, including their own followup Wishmaster. This is pretty much a seminal work by the band and their most energetic for sure.

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 Oceanborn by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.02 | 170 ratings

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Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by BORA

5 stars Totally blown away! Tomorrow has been cancelled - indefinitely.

When I see the tag "Prog-Metal", I usually move on. No, I am not adverse to metal, I have some cherishes albums in my collection, something I thought I have enough of for the rest of my life. I was wrong.

I certainly don't underestimate Scandinavian creativity, I had many great works in my collection for decades. I am also aware of a degree of silliness that may also be part of any release originating from such faraway lands.

I've been sitting on a couple of albums by Nightwish for months now. You know, priorities as I have many more releases to hear for the first time. Honestly, I just wanted to "retire" this band with a clear conscience, assuming that it may only have some limited interest to me.

Right off, after the first few notes my ears flopped up as if a warhorse to the sound of the trumpet. Now, this is interesting, nothing short of unique music! Unashamedly bombastic and rightly so. I could tell that I was in for something of a very special experience.

Sure enough, it just kept getting better. To dynamic arrangements the female singer with a wholesome voice lays her cloak over much of the material. First impression is that it's some absolutely crazed opera, something I've never ever heard before, but wanting to hear more of!

To my great relief, the tune is not a one-off, but the style is maintained throughout the album (indeed, their other albums too, that I've heard since). The guitars are heavy and provide a due balance. Metal? Not really, not in my world, only heavy - and spot on.

My only gripe is about the drummer who appears to be connected to 220 volts on the bass drums. His work is rather an overkill and giving the works the tag associated with Metal. Not bad at all - if only somewhat overzealous.

Nightwish is full of powerful symphonic orchestration. great melodies, great licks, exceptional vocals - one of a kind! Highly recommended!

A delightful and unique experience deserving 5 stars. I can hardly wait to hear more of this band. One of the most pleasant surprises of recent times.

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