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Nightwish - Angels Fall First CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.55 | 141 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Symphonic Progressive Metal

I've just got the CD version of this album two weeks ago. Quite funny for me as I praised the band with their later albums but I never heard their debut album. In fact, I was actually had a BIG doubt as whether or not this is a good album of prog or just another power metal music. I did not open the seal - because I still had other CDs as top priority to spin - until one day it struck me when I wanted some "change" from typical symphonic prog vein to something that I thought would be a head-banging stuff. And, I always have a certain "ritual" in opening a CD seal: it must be during the night when most people are already asleep, while sipping a cup of black coffee or capucino and unseal the CD carefully .sssrrrttt .. Take off the disc, put it on CD player and play! Then, open the CD sleeve and while reading it I enjoy the music produced from a pair of B&W speaker. JRENG! Ghuzzz ..!! I was damn surprised with the opening tune that blasted off my room .Wow man .. Fantastic opening!!! (I don't know why, my CD has "Elvenpath" as the opener - it's different with what the track list of this site. "Beauty and The Best" is second in my CD. Mine is SPINEFARM also. Different version? Dunno and it does not matter .)

"Elvenpath" starts off with Tarja's narration followed by power metal music in a very tidy form and smooth style - characterized by a heavy riffs led by guitar in relatively fast tempo. Tarja voice enters in operatic style with power metal rhythm section. It's a very energetic opening. Well, I'm sure that this tune is suitable to wake you up in the morning as it has a very uplifting mood combined with firm beats in a very melodic style. The keyboard sometimes inserts its solo in symphonic way to accentuate the song. There is some guitar solo as well. Oh man . this opening track is terrific!

"Beauty And The Beast" kicks off with a symphonic keyboard and followed by power metal rhythm section while the melody is repeated at background. The music turns quiet but it suddenly followed with clavinet sound nicely. The male vocal starts the voice line followed with Tarja voice in duet. It's a very nice duet vocal with soft guitar riffs at background. The music shifts to a slower tempo with a growling narration by male vocal followed with nice guitar solo and then Tarja's voice. This slow tempo part is really excellent - especially with the inclusion of piano at the ending part. Again, it's another terrific [prog] metal track.

"Carpenter" brings the music into another venture where the band has incorporated flute-work (by Esa Lathinen - guest musician) al soloist during the interlude part. It has enriched the textures of the music especially when it is combined with keyboard work. Great composition!

"Astral Romance" opens with a guitar solo in ambient style followed by full music in slow rock vein. The tempo gradually increases into medium one in metal style. Tarja's voice in quiet passage has proven her powerful voice. Tuomas plays his keyboard in the intertwining with guitar riffs by Emppu. The music has a component of slow rock but it's blended in power metal style. Guitar solo combined with clavinet has produced a very satisfactory piece of music.

"Angels Fall First" starts mellow with a ballad acoustic guitar. Keyboard flows thinly at background and sets an atmosphere for Tarja to enter the music. The flute-work interjects in between operatic singing. Oh my God .. this is a very catchy piece of music! The flute man .. the flute!! Combined with thin keyboard sound at the back .. Oh . It's really killing me .. The vocal, the keyboard, the acoustic guitar, the flute .. all are excellent! You will definitely agree with me that this track is truly SUPERB! (No drumming here, only some timpani's sound to accentuate the song).

"Tutankhamen" starts beautifully with a combination of guitar, flute and keyboard sounds that blend nicely and produce excellent harmony music. Flute takes solo after in between vocal line. Keyboard still plays important role at the background to project the "symphonic" nuance. Guitar riffs still function as rhythm section. Bold ideas - incorporating flute in this track.

"Nymphomaniac Fantasia" starts ambient with acoustic guitar rhythm and flute augmented with keyboard sound. The intro sounds like a traditional music. The music turns colossal with the introduction of keyboard and followed by guitar that brings the music in crescendo with the entrance of Tarja's voice. At the first paragraph of the lyrics, Tarja sings in a long sustain high register note. Great voice! The music is also great. There are some beautiful transition pieces exploring keyboard sounds and excellent flute solo.

"Know Why the Nightingale Sings" is a power metal track in relatively fast tempo, characterized with guitar riffs. The music turns quieter when voice line enters.

The band's epic "...Lappi (Lapland)" is sectioned into four parts. It begins with a very nice acoustic guitar work followed with voice line. Flute plays beautifully while the Tarja sings. The music turns ambient in quiet mood containing only the keyboard sound and some smooth percussion sound. Tarja voice returns back augmented with soft guitar riffs at background. This is completely not a power metal track. I can smell the influence of classical as well as traditional / folk music. It's another superb track by the band. I'm sure that you will love this wonderfully crafted track! (My CD ends up with this epic as concluding track - there is no "A Return to The Sea" track).

It's a highly recommended album because it has an immaculate songwriting, tight & tidy composition, and great musicianship. The music has a variety of styles; incorporating flute in its majority of songs in the album with great riffs, symphonic keyboard exploration and catchy melodies. Keep on progging!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia

Gatot | 5/5 |


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