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Nightwish - Showtime, Storytime CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.95 | 23 ratings

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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 But, I was surprised to hear that after just two albums Anette was no longer in the band, and that she had in turn been replaced by Floor Jansen from After Forever.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.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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