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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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Endless Forms Most Beautiful 2-disc mediabookEndless Forms Most Beautiful 2-disc mediabook
Nuclear Blast America 2015
Audio CD$9.91
$17.59 (used)
OnceOnce
Extra tracks
Roadrunner Records 2004
Audio CD$5.55
$3.62 (used)
Century ChildCentury Child
Extra tracks · Import
Universal Import 2002
Audio CD$5.58
$18.35 (used)
ImaginaerumImaginaerum
Roadrunner Records 2012
Audio CD$10.50
$11.65 (used)
Showtime Storytime (2-cd/2 blu-ray)Showtime Storytime (2-cd/2 blu-ray)
Nuclear Blast America 2013
Audio CD$12.29
$15.58 (used)
WishmasterWishmaster
Extra tracks
Spinefarm Records 2008
Audio CD$4.55
$4.18 (used)
Dark Passion PlayDark Passion Play
Roadrunner Records 2007
Audio CD$5.74
$5.56 (used)
OceanbornOceanborn
Extra tracks
Fontana Universal 2008
Audio CD$4.89
$4.91 (used)
Angels Fall FirstAngels Fall First
Extra tracks
Spinefarm Records 2008
Audio CD$5.79
$6.99 (used)
Over the Hills & Far AwayOver the Hills & Far Away
Import
Universal I.S. 2007
Audio CD$4.66
$3.29 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
NIGHTWISH-OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY-CD SPINEFARM NEW USD $16.19 Buy It Now 27m 57s
SHOWTIME,STORYTIME [DE-VERSION]-NIGHTWISH-CD + DVD (4) NEW USD $35.79 Buy It Now 28m 27s
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NIGHTWISH Imagenaerum THE SCORE - official BIG POSTER Tarja Turunen/Olzon/Floor USD $6.66 Buy It Now 1h 44m
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HOLOPAINEN Life & Times Big POSTER NIGHTWISH - Tarja Turunen/Floor Janses/Olzon USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1h 44m
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3h 2m
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3h 4m
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3h 5m
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3h 7m
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Nightwish Wishmaster. japan first press+1 (TFCK-87216) Brand NEW Factory SEALED! USD $29.99 [0 bids]
4h 25m
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Angels Fall First by Nightwish (CD, Mar-2001, Century Media (USA)) USD $16.49 Buy It Now 6h 49m
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8h 30m
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10h 24m
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10h 26m
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NIGHTWISH - CENTURY CHILD - CD ALBUM USD $3.09 [4 bids]
11h 3m
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11h 11m
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11h 35m
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12h 58m
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13h 39m
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14h 18m
Within Temptation Hydra 2 Disc Digibook Nightwish USD $10.00 [0 bids]
14h 24m
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16h 44m
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17h 13m
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18h 55m
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USD $17.99 Buy It Now
19h 44m
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Luca Turilli's Dreamquest Lost Horizons CD Rhapsody of Fire SPV Nightwish EPICA USD $6.26 [0 bids]
23h 51m
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1 day
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1 day
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Nightwish Once large, black tour t-shirt. USD $6.82 [0 bids]
1 day
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LP over the hills and far away
NIGHTWISH
~ USD $24.51


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NIGHTWISH shows & tickets


  • 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, Tempe on 2 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Tricky Falls, El Paso on 3 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Expo Five, Louisville on 5 May 2015
  • Nightwish on 5 May 2015
  • Nightwish on 5 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Warehouse Live, Houston on 6 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at House of Blues, Orlando on 8 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Revolution, Fort Lauderdale, FL on 9 May 2015
  • Nightwish at Marathon Music Works, Nashville on 11 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at Expo Five, Louisville on 12 May 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton + Delain at The Fillmore Charlotte, Charlotte NC on 13 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
  • Nova Rock Festival 2015 on 12 Jun 2015
  • Nightwish + Sabaton at AmfiteŠter, Banska Bystrica on 14 Jun 2015
  • Rock the Ring Festival on 19 Jun 2015
  • Hellfest 2015 on 19 Jun 2015
  • Masters of Rock 2015 on 9 Jul 2015
  • Kingdom of Hegyalja on 15 Jul 2015
  • Rock Fest Barcelona 2015 on 23 Jul 2015
  • Qstock 2015 on 24 Jul 2015
  • Nightwish + Children of Bodom + Sonata Arctica at Ratinan Stadion, Tampere on 31 Jul 2015
  • Alcatraz Metal Festival 2015 on 8 Aug 2015
  • M'era Luna Festival 2015 on 8 Aug 2015
  • Summer Breeze 2015 on 13 Aug 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)

3.74 | 106 ratings
Angels Fall First
1997
3.99 | 194 ratings
Oceanborn
1998
3.46 | 122 ratings
Wishmaster
2000
3.37 | 115 ratings
Century Child
2002
3.65 | 171 ratings
Once
2004
3.86 | 162 ratings
Dark Passion Play
2007
3.74 | 112 ratings
Imaginaerum
2011
2.93 | 9 ratings
Imaginaerum: The Score
2012
3.86 | 56 ratings
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
2015

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

3.77 | 13 ratings
From Wishes to Eternity
2001
4.28 | 46 ratings
End Of An Era
2006
2.93 | 18 ratings
Made In Hong Kong (And In Various Other Places)
2009
3.88 | 13 ratings
Showtime, Storytime
2013

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

4.22 | 16 ratings
From Wish to Eternity - Live
2001
3.00 | 7 ratings
End of Innocence
2003
3.00 | 3 ratings
Nemo
2004
3.00 | 5 ratings
Wish I Had an Angel
2004
4.00 | 3 ratings
Once
2006
3.40 | 5 ratings
Amaranth
2007
3.96 | 27 ratings
End of An Era
2007
2.80 | 5 ratings
Bye Bye Beautiful
2008
3.80 | 10 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
3.33 | 3 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
2.50 | 7 ratings
Deep Silent Complete
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Kinslayer
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Wishmastour 2000
2001
3.00 | 24 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 | 13 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
Eršmaan viimeinen
2007
1.23 | 7 ratings
Amaranth
2007
1.07 | 7 ratings
Eva
2007
2.80 | 5 ratings
The Islander
2008
2.80 | 5 ratings
Bye Bye Beautiful
2008
1.50 | 2 ratings
Amaranth
2009
3.20 | 5 ratings
The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
Storytime
2012
3.17 | 6 ratings
Elan
2015

NIGHTWISH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Endless Forms Most Beautiful by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.86 | 56 ratings

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Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by M27Barney

5 stars Just Like "Room V" by Shadow Gallery and "Scenes from a Memory" by Dream Theater this CD has introduced me to a new progressive metal band. And just like those two CD's I mentioned ? it has had a massive impact on me. I haven't heard any of the back catalogue ? so it should be fun sampling some of those in the next 12 months. Anyway, this CD ? almost certainly a must get CD because it is a lengthy concept, a full 78 minutes and I feel that it keeps its focus all the way through. I must admit to being pleased ? that finally a band has had the guts to base their concept on the theory of evolution! The epic is named after Richard Dawkins (Evolutionary Professor, who graduated from and lectured at Oxford University) book "The Greatest Show on Earth" ? and they even have Mr Dawkins Narrating on the CD (excellent touch I feel). I really like the vocals by Floor Jansen, the compositions are tight and the musicianship is good also.

This band sound like a cross between Shadow Gallery and Ayreon to me!

I love the mellotron, and general keyboards and the ambience at the end is Awesome!

I have to give this five stars for its audacity and great delivery, it might even get some faith-heads delving into some of mankind's better books (Like the "Extended Phenotype" by Mr Dawkins or "On the Origin of Species" ? one of the most important books ever written) ? forget the bible ? it's utter nonsense ? and get into Finnish Prog-Metal. PEACE.

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 Endless Forms Most Beautiful by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.86 | 56 ratings

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Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars The first studio album with Floor Jansen is excellent. Other than her apparent beauty, she is a humble and classy gal in live performances that make her easy to appreciate as a person. She really gets to show off her voice in soft ballads and rocking metal, and she fits this band perfectly. While I appreciate the previous singers, this lineup may have just produced their best album to date. Endless Forms Most Beautiful has the classic Nightwish sound with epic tracks and hard hitting metal. If you like to have at least one long track on a favorite prog album, there is good news because "The Greatest Show On Earth" clocks in at 24 minutes. This album is a must buy for Nightwish fans and everyone else that likes metal and progressive music.

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 Oceanborn by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.99 | 194 ratings

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Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by Terakonin

3 stars Nightwish's breakthrough album Oceanborn is a decent enough album, one that for me has only a few notable tracks, but no really bad ones. Nightwish's dramatic, fantasy-movie-soundtrack sound, flavoured with small amounts of Celtic and Finnish folk, is already evident on their second album and is much of what makes them a unique band.

Stargazers is a strong opener. With powerful keyboard and guitar riffs that fit the full, operatic vocals from Tarja Turunen, it helps truly define symphonic metal. (710)

Gethsemane, the following track is just as strong, opening with a chaotic guitar/keyboard interplay that changes into a dark backdrop for the soaring vocals before returning between each verse. A strong, heavy track with many layer, interspersed with softer synth-string sections. (7/10)

I find that you can take or leave the following three tracks - Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean, Sacrament Of Wilderness, and Passion And The Opera. However they are not bad tracks - to me they simply do not stand out. (All around 6/10)

Swanheart is more of a ballad, with a choir and piano. It features a violin solo, as well as a slow guitar solo, and is one of the catchier songs on the album. (7/10)

Moondance also starts softer, with melodic piano, but the piano riff is quickly picked up by the electric guitar. After the track calms down again, sweeping woodwinds take over the melody, helped along by arpeggiated piano chords. It picks up again with electric guitar, becoming a pseudo-jig with a Celtic influence, that helps bring character to the song. (7/10)

The Riddler, The Pharaoh Sails To Orion, Walking In The Air, and Sleeping Sun are, again, tracks that I find you can take or leave (The Pharaoh Sails to Orion is apparently a favourite among fans). Again, I give them around a 6/10, with The Riddler maybe getting a 7.

Recommended for fans of classical-inspired metal. 7/10.

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 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
3.88 | 13 ratings

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Showtime, Storytime
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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
3.99 | 194 ratings

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Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

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
3.99 | 194 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
3.74 | 106 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
3.65 | 171 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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Thanks to M@X for the artist addition.

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