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Nightwish - Oceanborn CD (album) cover

OCEANBORN

Nightwish

 

Progressive Metal

3.99 | 242 ratings

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martindavey87
3 stars 'Oceanborn' is the second studio album by symphonic metal legends Nightwish. Released in 1998, it comes just one year after their debut, but already there's a marked improvement in every aspect of the band and their music.

For starters, everything is more polished. The compositions flow a lot better and don't seem as disjointed as before. The interplay between all the musicians, in particular, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen is fantastic. Full of exciting melodies and energetic performances, the music sounds much more vibrant and alive on this release. There are also more varied influences on this album, such as 'Swanheart' with its folk influence, 'Moondance' with its exotic flavour, and a wide use of neoclassical runs used throughout. It makes for a much more refreshing album.

Then there's the production. Wow! A huge improvement! While 'Angels Fall First' always sounded raw and, in my opinion, a little flat, 'Oceanborn', again, sounds much more alive. Everything is clear and well balanced and it suits the music perfectly.

However, despite all the praise, there are still a few filler songs, and in general, a lack of that "big" sound that Nightwish would develop more over the years. But it's not really a criticism, as this is a really good release. And songs like 'The Riddler', 'Gethsemane', 'Passion and the Opera', ' Stargazers', 'Sacrament of Wilderness' and their amazing rendition of the classic 'Walking in the Air' are all great signs that this band are developing and maturing at a fast rate, and are definitely destined for bigger things.

martindavey87 | 3/5 |

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