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NIGHTWISH

Progressive Metal • Finland


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Nightwish picture
Nightwish biography
Founded in Kitee, Finland in 1996 - Still active as of 2019

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 shee...
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Buy NIGHTWISH Music


Decades (2 CD)Decades (2 CD)
Nuclear Blast 2018
$11.27
$4.62 (used)
WishmasterWishmaster
Extra tracks · Reissued
Spinefarm Records 2008
$6.06
$4.49 (used)
Century ChildCentury Child
Extra tracks
Universal Import 2002
$6.03
$12.13 (used)
OceanbornOceanborn
Extra tracks · Reissued
Spinefarm Records 2008
$6.00
$6.45 (used)
Endless Forms Most BeautifulEndless Forms Most Beautiful
Nuclear Blast America 2015
$8.24
$4.88 (used)
Angels Fall FirstAngels Fall First
Extra tracks · Reissued
Spinefarm Records 2008
$5.79
$9.97 (used)
Dark Passion PlayDark Passion Play
Nuclear Blast 2019
$11.24
$7.54 (used)
Vehicle of SpiritVehicle of Spirit
Nuclear Blast America 2017
$23.96
$18.77 (used)
Showtime Storytime [Blu-ray]Showtime Storytime [Blu-ray]
Multiple Formats · Blu-ray
Nuclear Blast 2014
$19.19
$26.35 (used)
Over the Hills & Far AwayOver the Hills & Far Away
Universal I.S. 2007
$6.00
$4.47 (used)

More places to buy NIGHTWISH music online Buy NIGHTWISH & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

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)

3.55 | 136 ratings
Angels Fall First
1997
3.98 | 237 ratings
Oceanborn
1998
3.50 | 151 ratings
Wishmaster
2000
3.34 | 135 ratings
Century Child
2002
3.61 | 196 ratings
Once
2004
3.81 | 192 ratings
Dark Passion Play
2007
3.75 | 136 ratings
Imaginaerum
2011
2.97 | 16 ratings
Imaginaerum - The Score (OST)
2012
3.76 | 125 ratings
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
2015

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

3.67 | 15 ratings
From Wishes to Eternity
2001
4.23 | 52 ratings
End Of An Era
2006
2.89 | 19 ratings
Made In Hong Kong (And In Various Other Places)
2009
3.93 | 22 ratings
Showtime, Storytime
2013
4.00 | 4 ratings
Vehicle Of Spirit (Wembley Arena)
2017
0.00 | 0 ratings
Decades: Live In Buenos Aires
2019

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

4.23 | 17 ratings
From Wish to Eternity - Live
2001
2.57 | 9 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 | 29 ratings
End of An Era
2007
2.80 | 5 ratings
Bye Bye Beautiful
2008
4.18 | 11 ratings
Showtime, Storytime
2013
4.67 | 3 ratings
Vehicle of Spirit
2016

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
3.75 | 25 ratings
Highest Hopes - The Best Of Nightwish
2005
2.50 | 2 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
5.00 | 2 ratings
Endless forms most beautiful TOUR EDITION
2015
4.50 | 2 ratings
Decades
2018

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

3.15 | 4 ratings
Demo
1996
2.91 | 5 ratings
The Carpenter
1997
4.00 | 6 ratings
Sacrament of Wilderness
1998
3.75 | 4 ratings
Passion and the Opera
1998
3.00 | 5 ratings
Walking In The Air
1999
2.94 | 8 ratings
Sleeping Sun (Four Ballads Of The Eclipse)
1999
2.61 | 9 ratings
Deep Silent Complete
2000
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Kinslayer
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Wishmastour 2000
2001
3.02 | 27 ratings
Over The Hills And Far Away
2001
3.50 | 7 ratings
Ever Dream
2002
3.78 | 14 ratings
Bless The Child
2002
3.90 | 11 ratings
Nemo
2004
2.68 | 13 ratings
Wish I Had An Angel
2004
3.32 | 7 ratings
Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan
2005
4.45 | 13 ratings
The Siren
2005
3.78 | 9 ratings
Sleeping Sun
2005
2.08 | 5 ratings
Erämaan viimeinen
2007
1.46 | 9 ratings
Amaranth
2007
1.15 | 8 ratings
Eva
2007
3.43 | 7 ratings
The Islander
2008
4.00 | 2 ratings
Dark Passion Play Instrumental Version
2008
3.17 | 6 ratings
Bye Bye Beautiful
2008
2.67 | 3 ratings
Amaranth
2009
3.50 | 6 ratings
The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
2012
4.00 | 4 ratings
Storytime
2012
3.63 | 8 ratings
Elan
2015
4.00 | 1 ratings
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
2015

NIGHTWISH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Once by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.61 | 196 ratings

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Once
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars As I travel back in time through the NIGHTWISH discography, the prog quotient dwindles somewhat, and the symphonic metal tag is more accurate, characterized by crunching riffs and actual orchestrations. For the first time, a non-Finnish orchestra is employed, the London Philharmonic.

Of this standard NIGHTWISH fare, "I Wish I had an Angel" and particularly "Nemo" (the hit single) are worthy romps, while wild and woolly opener "Dark Chest of Wonders", "Planet Hell", "The Siren", and moody closer "Higher than Hope" have their moments, but the latter part of "Dead Gardens" and the whole of "Romanticide" plumb pedestrian depths, the brilliant title to the latter notwithstanding.

In contrast, the 2 epics on "Once" are signposts to a prog-metal oriented future. Both ooze fantastical bombast and are more cinematic than most soundtracks, with "Creek Mary's Blood" being primarily folk based and "Ghost Love Score" symphonic and operatic. Apparently the chant by John Two-Hawks in "Creek Mary's Blood" was meant to be Lakota but is mostly gibberish. I'm not sure if the band was duped or not along with their fans, but it's such a heartfelt piece and Two-Hawks' flute does appear to speak Lakota! In any case, everyone seems to have bought in to this more ambitious approach, even though this was to be vocalist Tarja Turunen's last album. The band wisely follows this with a rare Finnish song, the melancholic ballad "Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan".

Against the standards of fickle prog audiences, "Once" might be both too overwrought and not complex enough, but its unabashed blend of metal, symphonic and folk is certainly ambitious enough, particularly on the lengthiest numbers, reflecting where NIGHTWISH would gleefully go again and again in the years that followed. 3.5 stars.

 Wishmaster by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.50 | 151 ratings

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Wishmaster
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by FalconBleck

4 stars #36 Review

I should point out first that i corrected my previous review (Oceanborn), wich until another listen i realized that i was too harsh with some songs, so the score actually went up, but still 4 stars. Now let's see how this albums fares in comparison and stand-alone.

1. She Is My Sin 6/10 What a great and explosive start. The drums here sound like reggae for some reason and i dislike that, not only that, but the instrmental doesn't do much when Tharja is singing wich makes this song become boring quickly. It has a little nice solo and the chords are nice as always, so, it doesn't try much new overall but its just ok.

2. The Kinslayer 9/10 Now we're talking, those scales at the begining are what i like, and the chords that follow after are also really good. It plays exactly what it says, has the exact atmosphere needed. Really good, i wish it lasted more.

3. Come Cover Me 7/10 Tuomas, you're spoiling us with the great melodies, even though the start wasn't the best, you sure made up for it really quick. And as always the drums aren't your strong suit (as with many keyboard players). This one is a little less dynamic and more repetitive than the previous song, but still pretty good.

4. Wanderlust 7/10 Beethoven? Obviously an inspiration, sadly the song doesn't go much further with that in the overall song structure, it becomes really repetitive for a while until Tuomas enters again, and the song goes instrumental for a while, wich i apreciate even though it doesn't do much until the accapela part at the end wich is glorious and i also wish it was eplored further instead of going into a lame fade-out.

5. Two For Tragedy 6/10 I think that this piece could've been easily added to the previous song, that would've made it a more better a complete experience, in this overall CD package this song comes at the right time. Aside from that, it's pretty standard even more considering that Nightwish has done much better in the past with "Swanheart".

6. Wishmaster 8/10 What a way to break the ice, the other song finished on a really light note and this just explodes in front of you. Aside from that, i really like this one, the changes and time signatures, pretty nice stuff. It gets repetitive though, the overall structure is repeated 3 times and then it segues to a really nice and small solo that's always welcome, i would be happier if that part lasted more, wich it kind of does with the guitar part but it also leaves me wanting more.

7. Bare Grace Misery 7/10 What a voice, i really like those high notes, this song has all the nightwish staples also, where Tuomas charges on the strings and changes between that, a chorus and Arpeggios. Overall a nice song with nice changes that sadly is too short and that doesn't do much different, in this case, same is great but not better.

8. Crownless 10/10 WHAT? This insane! First time listening, reminds me A LOT of F-Zero. It has all, good solo, dynamic drums, lots of changes, good arpeggios, nice rythm overall, great singing, good choice of chords. The Stratovarius influence is strong in this one.

9. Deep Silent Complete 5/10 This is the first song that i ever listened by Nightwish, my mother used to play this one a lot and i always disliked it, it wasn't until i heard The Pharao Sails to Orion in where i became a fan. I understand why i dislike this song (obviously, since it was my opinion), the drums are stale, the rythm overall is boring and the song gets repetitive quickly, its like the most basic song that Nightwish can make, that isn't bad though, the chords are on point as always, and this song has a really nice change of pace in the middle, while i dislike it, it's still a job well done, and probably a good entry for people that aren't prog-rock fans.

10. Dead Boy's Poem 8/10 This is the better emotional song here, the lyrics, chords and notes reached by Tharja make this song really atmospheric and to top it off there goes the guitar solo. After the poem is read, the synths kick off and the song changes, it's really good.

11. FantasMic 7/10 With the lenght that it has and the start to this song it really feels like its going to take you places, sadly it falls short, while it has the adventure and many musical changes, it can get repetitive, specially the drums and guitar, and that distracts me a lot from the experience.

While i like the better songs on Oceanborn more, this album still gets a 73/100, this one has better standard songs and a better structure also, even though i almost jumped from my sit when "Wishmaster" started after "Two for Tragedy", good song but bad place to put it, this shows that Nightwish at that time was still having troubles with the song orders in their albums also, many of the songs on this album could've been great album openers.

Also, The Pharao Sails to Orion is the 9 closest to 10 that i have given, the 10 went on to Gethsemane so they share the score in some way. Something similar happens here with Crownless and The Kinslayer.

 Oceanborn by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.98 | 237 ratings

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Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by FalconBleck

4 stars #35 review

While Angels Fell Flat, this next album is what really got me started with this band, i even dare to say that i have some songs from this album on my phone, and i'm very selective about that. I already talked about the context on why i'm reviewing this band in my previous review, so i won't talk about that, instead, let's get righ into the music.

1.- Stargazers 9/10 As an staple from the previous album, i'm not a big fan of the overall synth sounds, but the playing here is superb and because of that this is a really refreshing and good change of form, this is the Nightwish that i started to love, that has a good sense of melodic rythms, that has greater range of emotions, that already by the first notes it imposes personality and that tries as less as posible to be monotone like their 90s contemporaries. Perfect time lenght too.

2.- Gethsemane 10/10 One of the songs that i have in my phone, although i don't listen to it as much, i really like the lyrics here and the classical piano sound wich is blended with the staple Nightwish string sounds that make for a really nice and coehesive sound that i really love, i see nothing wrong with it, contrary to the previous song, this one has a really nice and noticeable solo, while the previous song was perfect in the lenght, this one adds so much more that i can't recommend it enough, this album has been a bang so far.

3.- Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean 7/10 I already said that i listened to Nightwish because of my mother and all that, and i don't remember ever hearing this song, now its the first time that i'm listening to this album in its entirety and this song is relatively new to me. I really like the playing here, the time signatures and the bass lines, but not really fond of the voices here, i like the atmosphere but i'd rather not have the voices here for some reason. At the same time, the music doesn't really reflect what the title says. Reminds a lot of Dancing Mad from Final Fantasy VI at times, i really think that videogame music should also be considered on this site, since many of them are straight up progressive rock, and even more, some of those songs could be really good contenders to greats.

4.- Sacrament Of Wilderness 6/10 As an start i can say that i really like the synths and bass here, but that's mostly at the start, the rest starts to becoming a little generic and monotone, specially on the drums, i like the speed changes used but even then it's mostly the same song until it reaches the synth solo where the drums keep being simple and also the solo ends too early. This song fails to impress me compared to the previous ones.

5.- Passion And The Opera 7/10 Again, the nice bass at the start gets lost for the rest of the song, as always, the king are the synths here, with small parts that add protagonism to the guitars. The drums remain mostly non-special until the guitars kick in. At the solo voice part the song changes melody while the rest is mostly the same, a really nice and unique twist for the music. Still not better than the previous songs even considering this interesting new voice gimick.

6.- Swanheart 9/10 What a pretty ballad song in an overall hardcore metal package, its so beautyful that it almost makes me cry, voice, piano (harp) and synths (violin, flute), gives such an innocent and nostalgic feeling. The song gradually starts increasing in intensity so it brings the listener easier to where the album was, the guitar work here is precise the drums are a little repetitive but get the work done for the most part.

7.- Moondance 9/10 Another one of those songs that i have in my phone, i have always been fond of instrumentals as you might now and this is no exception, it has a really nice russian winter feel to it, full of wonders in the night with a reflective visual spectacle that's bound to impress anyone who gazes into it and then adventure starts again. This song changes a lot and i really like the part where the piano and guitar switch notes. The only problem i have is that it's really short, it is ok as it is but i bet that they could've made more with it and that leads to...

8.- The Riddler 6/10 This song feels like an extension of Moondance until Tuomas kicks in the Commodore 64 synths for some reason. Aside from that and the chord progression used on the synths there's not much interesting going on really, it's really repetitive until it reaches a slow part and goes back again, i feel like they tried to do something that YES has done in some songs but it doesn't work when the overall rythm isn't interesing.

9.- The Pharaoh Sails To Orion 9/10 I have it on my phone, i listen to it a lot, i play it on the piano, this song is the closest to an experience, i really like how it's interesting for almost the entirety of the song, i'm a big fan of the piano on this one but i'm not a fan of guttural singing, it's just not my cup of tea at all (sorry Dreamtheather). For some reason the part that bores me the most in this song is the flute solo, wich hopefully is over soon, i mean, the synths and piano in this song are just too strong and fun to play that it overshadows the flute solo, not only that but all the instruments do a fantastic job in this song compared to the flute.

10.- Walking In The Air 6/10 Really atmospheric, but it sadly has a sickness that i call the 90's monotone Lars drum, it's really sad really, i'd rather not have the drums at all, because the rest do a nice job on an overall repetitive song. But wait, there's more, the song it's transforming... no, it just went back again to being repetitive, it's pretty, interesting, has nice chords but it ultimately tires me.

11.- Sleeping Sun 4/10 What is happening? Why did the album become so soft? Why is it ending like this? Again, the chords used are superb, i like the voice melody but come on, the same drums as the previous song? What a boring ending. Walking in the Air 2, but even worse because the previous song undermines the need for this one.

Overall it gets 75/100, wich award this album a well deserved 4 stars, i would have liked to rank this album higher but sadly it was highly inconsistent, yet it still a must hear album.

Review updated 17-7 : Fixed some review scores because i was too harsh, and modified some text.

 Angels Fall First by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.55 | 136 ratings

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Angels Fall First
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by FalconBleck

3 stars #34 Review

For an album that the band leader said was a demo, and it shows because i don't think that his singing was part of the plan (since he doesn't sing good at all), it is overall a really solid first album that has many of the tropes that the group is known for.

So, about me, what happened to the Steve Hackett reviews and why i'm reviewing Nightwish now? Well, i couldn't get into Steve Hackett so easily, while Voyage of the Acolyte is one of my favorite albums, the rest have some things that i like but not everything, so i decided to break my convention of reviewing everything from one artist and start reviewing what i want to review at the moment, that said i'll probably review a couple more from Nightwish and then do an "Steve Hackett: Revisited" with "Please Don't Touch". So... what about Nightwish? Well, it's a group that my mother has heard since the early 2000s and i realized that i have heard so much of them that i wanted to listen to their albums on their entireties for once and do a review of those, i really like the group but you'll have to find out why, so let's start with my first Nightwish review on the first Nightwish album.

1.- ElvenPath 8/10 This song is a heavy hitter, but then it becomes a little too repetitive, something normal for the 90s, but it still has more changes than anything else from the era, so already that extra-effort makes it much more approachable as a prog fan. As someone that plays the piano, i'm not really a fan of how those strings sound, but the fast part with the clavichord sound is really nice and its also a Nightwish staple. The biggest problem is that this song is too short and it could've used more from that small guitar solo.

2.- Beauty and the Beast 7/10 Boombastic intro that then dwelves into a nice little medieval sounding piano part that i enjoy a lot. While i'm not digging the male singing parts at all, Tuomas doesn't sing good, i can understand why he said that this album was a demo, because his singing is really awful. But on the plus side, the instrumental part at 4:48 is really nice. While the choir synth isn't very good, thankfully they had Tarja Turunen to rescue that part. I also would've made the instrumental part longer, it's really good and saves the rest of the song by a little.

3.- The Carpenter 3/10 Tuomas singing is awful, as previously stated, then the instrumental here is uninspired as well, clearly made for vocals, and since the vocal part is mostly done by Tuomas, then this is bad. The only saving part is the small solo near the end, that sounds like egiptian, with those synth flutes, but that doesn't save this overall boring song.

4.- Astral Romance 6/10 Has a really nice rythm going on from the start and it keeps increasing tension with every lyric that's passing, just really beautyful, but then it gets completely destroyed by Tuomas singing, all that built tension fades, but then they repeat the first act but with only instrumentals, and that's what the song should've been, atleast here in the album because the live versions are pretty nice since they don't have Tuomas singing... or they could've just let Tarja do that part in the album version. It is really frustrating to hear Tuomas sing specifically at that part, because otherwise, this theme would've been an instant classic, while it is, for the most part thanks to the concert versions, this album version is just a no from me.

5.- Angels Fall First 7/10 The title track is a nice little ballad, that has some really nice piano, guitar and flute chords that i like, the flute solo was really nice also, it eases the repetitivness of the song. A really nice song to appreciate Tarja's singing and natural instruments in general. I really dislike the ending though, like it reaches nothing, i don't think that it was really that difficult to finish the song either.

6.- Tutankhamen 5/10 This one really has the egiptian vibe going on, with all those flute sounds and armonic structures, it's ok, reminds me a lot of the previous songs. Supreme singing by Tarja, as you would expect, but the song aside from that has some interesting synth bits (reminds me of Moondance a little) and nothing else really, it's repetitive and mostly boring, it would've been better if this where a part from a bigger more developed song.

7.- Nymphomaniac Fantasia 8/10 That bass is aweosome, but as always the synth and voice take the cake, and this song really transports you into another place, has a nice flute solo that doesn't sound like a synth, nice non-flat drumming, overall a good song. What reduces the score here is the lenght, it's too short, the 90s synth sounds and the repetitive chords that try to make like an orchestral sound when it really wasn't needed when the guitar was doing the work.

8.- Know Why the Nightingale Sings 6/10 This album has some instances of flat drums accompained with interesting bits, and through the entirety of the album there are many chords that are repeated throught so far, i can hear an structure being used, that always culminates on a guitar and then a piano solo, both wich are very short and not the most interesting ones. In this song you have every trope of the album put together and despite that, it still makes an overall nice song, that gets quickly forgoten by everyone because it offers little interesting things and the ideas where already developed better on some of the previous songs, this song and the weakest of the previous ones show that this album was an structure test.

9.- Lappi (Lapland) 9/10 And this is the big end, on point and precise intro, then tense insteresting instrumental and build up, this song feels already different than all of the album, this is the ground where they explored the most, they where really trying to find their sound and succeeded. The thing is that not only they do show a nice piece of music here, but also some very refined play from part of every one, good choice of chords and an overall progressive structure that doesn't get boring or repetitive for the most part, i really like it.

Overall this album gets 66/100 wich grants this album with 3 stars.

 Oceanborn by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.98 | 237 ratings

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Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by 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.

 Endless Forms Most Beautiful by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.76 | 125 ratings

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Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars With prog metal groups having been added to progarchives faster than food trucks in an abandoned lot, it's somewhat surprising that the latest offering from one of the least metallic, most progressive and most internationally successful has only received reviews from a few odd fanpeople immediately upon release. With a concept as grandiose as anything from the 1970s but a great deal more penetrable, not a growl in sight, and only occasional raucous riffs dotting the mostly symphonic and occasionally Celtic backdrop, this 2015 issue picks up where the superb "Imaginaerum" left off. The apparently contentious split with former lead singer Annette Olson has occasioned the ascent of the equally expressive Floor Jansen for another engrossing romp.

The subject is Darwin's theory of evolution and the title is a quote from "The Origin of Species", with the NIGHTWISH concept focusing on how lucky we are to be alive, given that the likelihood of our ever being conceived is infinitesimally small. My intellectual problem with this is the same as stating that if everything is great then nothing is great. Everybody we meet is as equally fortunate. Now, if we could make the acquaintance of those who were never squeezed into existence that would be another matter. In any case, Nightwish does justice to the bombastic theme from the outset with "Shudder Before the Beautiful, and the sequence beginning with with the mostly gentle "Our Decades in the Sun" and ending with the dazzling "The Eyes of Sherbat Gula" is uniformly ravishing. The most identifiable aspects of their sound apart from the vocals would be the synthesized and bona fide orchestrations, the gallivanting melodies, and the frequent interjections of pipes and flutes from one Troy Donockley. The gravitas of occasional narrator Richard Dawkins, a renowned author and biologist, rounds out the cast.

While our favourite prog is often challenging and intellectually and emotionally satisfying, it's rarely this entertaining as well. It might even bring a lump to your throat.

 Angels Fall First by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.55 | 136 ratings

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Angels Fall First
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars 'Angels Fall First' is the 1997 debut album by Finnish symphonic metal group Nightwish, who would go on to become one of those most popular and prolific bands of the genre.

Compared to later releases, however, 'Angels Fall First' sounds very raw, and at times, slightly disjointed and directionless, lacking the epic bombast that the band would incorporate on future albums. However, there's still a clear vision here of what the band want to accomplish, and there's no doubting the writing talents of keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen and guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and the potential they display.

While 'Angels Fall First' is full of tasty guitar riffs and some fantastic interplay with keyboards, as well as a good balance of both male and female vocals, I find that most songs seem to deviate from the hook that first got my attention. Songs like 'Elvenpath', 'Tutankhamen' and 'Beauty and the Beast' have some incredibly strong and memorable melodies, but after a few minutes I find myself not really paying attention. It's almost as if the ideas are there, just not quite the ability to flesh them out into full songs.

Still, this is a young band in their early days, playing a style of music which is equally in its early years, and so it's forgivable that this album just isn't overly memorable. No doubt Nightwish will improve vastly over time, but 'Angels Fall First' is best left for the die-hard fans of the band.

 Dark Passion Play by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.81 | 192 ratings

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Dark Passion Play
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars While I believe that "Imaginaerum" was the ultimate expression of vocalist Annette's collaboration with NIGHTWISH, "Dark Passion Play" really laid the foundation for the new and more progressive metal style with accent on progressive. Here we find the band at times awkwardly morphing from balladeers to untamed wild, which dampens the impact of the nonetheless impressive opening epic and several other tracks. Growly vocals and chugging heavy guitars don't do much for me although I do appreciate the potency of cuts like "Whoever Brings the Night" when Annette sings. Of course ballads like "For the Heart I once had" and "Eva" are majestic. The trouble is that the band sometimes seems gripped with an irrational fear of becoming the CARPENTERS, so they crank up the generators and go full tilt, culminating in a betwixt and between blend.

Still, the Pip Williams conducted orchestra and the gospel choirs add gravitas and cinematic buzz to tracks like "Sahara". A guest appearance from piper Troy Donockley formerly of IONA, who later joined NIGHTWISH full time, injects a Celtic veracity to the Tull-like "The Islander", which offers an Anderson-like vocal performance from Marco Hietala. It even sounds like something KERRS PINK might have done in their less cluttered past incarnations. Donockley also splashes the exquisite closer "Meadows of Heaven" in which the band and Annette really appear to have fused.

As you can tell, I'm a bit mixed on this one but that's not to say there aren't plenty of passages that genuinely excite. Overall, it's a positive effort that just needed a few years to work out the kinks, which they did on "Imaginaerum". 3.5 stars rounded down.

 Oceanborn by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.98 | 237 ratings

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Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Nightwish's best album

3.5 stars

"I'm listening to some super music right now"...

...said one of my best friends during my campus years. Intrigued, I immediately came to his room to check his affirmation, and... what an ear-shock! A female opera singer over a power metal song? What was this? Never heard that before! In my defence, at that time, I suppose many other people haven't either, as this was the album that really started it all...

Whereas the debut "Angels Fall First" was still hesitating in its approach and incorporated gothic touches, this second opus saws the band now fully assuming their lyrical heavy metal orientation by pushing its concept to the maximum. Both uncommon and refreshing in 1998, "Oceanborn" marries raging and energetic guitars though elaborated compositions with superb melodies, sometimes epic, sometimes melancholic, sublimed by Tarja Turunen's ethereal soprano voice. A classically trained female vocalist, bringing her talent and her 3 octaves range to this genre, was quite atypical at the time. Her crystalline interpretation literally carries the music to a whole new dimension, magic, enchanting, elegant, out of this world...

Not everything is perfect though. The disc contains some of the band's best tracks, but also less catchy passages.

The fast-paced "Stargazers" is a glorious heroic heavy metal opener that directly transport you into another place. Its dark interlude is beautiful. Completely different, the melodic mid-tempo "Gethseman" is tragic, even touching at times. However, my favorite tune is undoubtedly "Passion And The Opera". Epic and haunting, with Tarja's aerial vocalizations and a thrilling finale! The instrumental "Moondance" opens with piano and, supported by rocking guitars, possesses quite dancing folk vibes and numerous rhythm changes. A fairy tale... "The Riddler" is energetic and powerful, whereas "Walking In The Air" is a cover of "I'm Walking In The Air", from Howard Blake's 1982 film "The Snowman". NIGHTWISH's revisit is ethereal and floating...

As I said, some titles have less seduced me. The lyrical "Sacrament Of Wilderness" contains charming moments but is overall rather average. I'm not really fond of the two songs with Tapio Wilska - ex-singer of their fellow countrymen Finntroll - either. "Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean" is raging and oppressive, but fails to really lift off. Same goes for the "Stratovarius-esque" "The Pharaoh Sails To Orion", which includes pleasant Egyptian touches though. "Swanheart" is a melancholic and gracious ballad, but a bit soapy.

Anyway, "Oceanborn" remains an influential breakthrough album, paving the way for a new genre and for future female vocalists in the metal sphere. NIGHTWISH has now definitely crafted its own identity as well as its leadership. With this impacting second opus, the Finnishs impose themselves as one of the most important formation on the nascent revival scene at the end of the 90's and will gain international notoriety. Unfortunately, the later releases won't match the same level of quality and inspiration...

One of the best power/heavy metal with female singer record, and the one to start with if you're not familiar with NIGHTWISH. Fans of progressive metal will also appreciate the numerous ambiance changes within the tracks. A journey through a fairy tale suspended world...

 Wishmaster by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.50 | 151 ratings

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Wishmaster
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Hamster! A dentist! Hard pawn! Steven Seagal! Warrior! This rifle! In me! The Whismaster!

Guilty Pleasure #4

Nightwish is not a band that changed much in almost 20 years. They don't go too far of what we known them for, and that's both a blessing and a curse: you know what you get but it's not thinking outside the box past Oceanborn. That's why you don't need a lot of their albums, and this one is definitely a good purchase. In the same vein as Oceanborn (but not as good), the key word here is catchiness. Lots and lots of hooks with colorful songs full of gothic imagery and lyrics to roll your eyes at (cheesy factory).

It's very entertaining and perfect for jogging (Wishmaster, Crownless, She is my Sin), this album will give you a quick jolt of energy wherever you're listening to it. Emmpu is killing on the guitar in this album, very good rhythmic and Malmsteen solos are welcome by the kid. Power metal beats and rumbling bass are also provided. But what is the band without Tarja and Tuomas? The more I think about it, the more I realize that this album was their golden age. The genre wasn't saturated by wannabes and they had a solid formula to exploit.

Thumbs down although for the ballads and the more than weird art cover. What were they going for? Pinocchio by the lake? Tom Sawyer praying by the Mississipi? A supplication to a flock of geese?

Thanks to [email protected] for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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