Nightwish

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
I wonder what else you can review about a song other than its structure, lyrics and band member's performances.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I think Wiz prefers reviews that focus on the overall album, but I like discussing individual songs. Neither are bad in their own rights.
 

Black Wizard

Pleb Hunter
I think Wiz prefers reviews that focus on the overall album, but I like discussing individual songs. Neither are bad in their own rights.
Correct - a review which focuses on the overall album with references to specific aspects is far more interesting than the dull, derivative, descriptive format you've been rigidly adhering to. Nobody would ever review a book by rating each chapter out of ten and describing the plot.

As for your review of 'Angels Fall First', I didn't bother to read it as I was immediately put off by the format and ratings. I also don't care for the Tarja-fronted Nightwish albums as there's too much operatic vocals for me and I'm not a fan of her singing in general, so a review or description of this album doesn't interest me.


Moving back to the new album, does anyone know how to say the name? It is 'Human 2 Nature'? 'Human Nature'? Or, for the programmers among us, 'Human pipe pipe Nature'?
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Moving back to the new album, does anyone know how to say the name? It is 'Human 2 Nature'? 'Human Nature'? Or, for the programmers among us, 'Human pipe pipe Nature'?
I believe it’s “Human Nature”. :||: is representative of a severance.
Correct - a review which focuses on the overall album with references to specific aspects is far more interesting than the dull, derivative, descriptive format you've been rigidly adhering to. Nobody would ever review a book by rating each chapter out of ten and describing the plot.

As for your review of 'Angels Fall First', I didn't bother to read it as I was immediately put off by the format and ratings. I also don't care for the Tarja-fronted Nightwish albums as there's too much operatic vocals for me and I'm not a fan of her singing in general, so a review or description of this album doesn't interest me.
Cool. Feel free to skip the next seven as well.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
@MrKnickerbocker your comments on the English lyrics are incredibly pertinent to this one:


Jesus this one is a fucking joke. That said, I kinda like the way it’s performed. Does give off railway vibes and it’s kind of a bop. Still, Marco seems to be having too much of a gas with this one.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
@MrKnickerbocker your comments on the English lyrics are incredibly pertinent to this one:


Jesus this one is a fucking joke. That said, I kinda like the way it’s performed. Does give off railway vibes and it’s kind of a bop. Still, Marco seems to be having too much of a gas with this one.
CHRIST. They just get worse and worse. The music is so good, though! I will forever only listen in the language I don’t understand.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
my obsession with lists and numbers.
Well, it seems that you're not alone... :p

@MrKnickerbocker your comments on the English lyrics are incredibly pertinent to this one:


Jesus this one is a fucking joke. That said, I kinda like the way it’s performed. Does give off railway vibes and it’s kind of a bop. Still, Marco seems to be having too much of a gas with this one.
Oh.

While Stones and The Voice of My Father were pretty ok, generic yet relatively good translations, this one is... I don't know, I apperciate the effort, but this one is a bit tough, since the original version toys with very Finnish plays on words and that kind of stuff, it doesn't translate that well in the first place.

I wouldn't say it's that bad when it comes to rock lyrics in general, but it definitely loses a lot of substance - regardless if you understand the original lyrics or not - and feels a tad bit forced.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
And one more!

Imaginaerum

It's a pity that I've already used the word "pompous" several times, since it'd definitely suit this particular review even better than others. Tuomas goes all-out, I mean, for real this time, with the disneytimburtonorchestrasoundtrackwhatever thing, and the result is...

Well, it's actually very good!

Imaginaerum is a ride. It's bold and magical, with very gloom edge. The presence of the orchestra takes another step forward, being a very dominant element in more than just one or two tracks. While most of the songs are indeed very good and the orchestral arrangements are in all their boldness, rather creative, the only thing the album really suffers from is the very stuffed, almost suffocating mix. The songs, beefed up with various layered instrumental tracks, choirs, vocals and everything blend together very well and really take you to another world in all their megalomaniac glory and it's hard to find any truly weak links in the songwriting. Even the somewhat lame Arabesque kind of fits in there. While the magnificent use of orchestra and cinematic feel is what really defines this album, it also really lifts up the lighter arrangements, such as the opener, Taikatalvi or jazz-like Slow, Love, Slow, which takes you right into some crepuscular Jazz club. The mentioned two, Turn Loose the Mermaids and brilliant The Crow, the Owl and the Dove really give the record much needed air in between more sturdy arrangements. The signature sound of the band is not completely diminished, but it's definitely often overshadowed in the mix - a thing that they acknowledged later, since the following album is much more of a "band record." While there aren't that many creative riffs or notably memorable quitar parts, there's definitely quality, if not that much quantity. I'd say that the opening riff of Ghost River is one of their best, and the song overall is damn dynamic one, with some epic contrast between very aggressive performances and a children's choir.

Storytime, I Want My Tears Back and The Last Ride of the Day are probably the most straightforward tracks and - surprise - became setlist staples for years to come. While they're all good and enjoyable, I think they're far from the best and most innovative "Nightwish rockers", especially the two first mentioned, but damn catchy they indeed are and The Last Ride of the Day really makes you want to ride into the sunset, haha.

The more "sophisticated" songwriting is presented in the form of Scaretale and the... perhaps even a bit too ambitious Song of Myself. Scaretale has some brilliant orchestral pieces, in my opinion, and Marco really delivers his HO-HA part brilliantly. Also, there's Anette's famous SQUEEEEEEEEEELIG PIGS. Altogether, it's good fun, but outside the above average symphonic parts and playfulness, I don't think it's really too outstanding. The riffs, good as they are, aren't really anything that special, but yeah, it works? As for Song of Myself, it's a mammoth song, where plenty of time is dominated by... just spoken word. There' some depth and beautiful lines there, but I don't think it'll ever go down as one of Tuomas' best works. Piano Black is a brilliant section and yeah, there's some absolutely massive and catchy parts, but overall, maybe it's just a tad bit too much after... well, all this. Rest Calm kind of falls in between being a mammoth song and a "rocker", since it doesn't really have that many different motifs and parts in it, but the chorus and changes are crafted cleverly and I quite love the bombastic vocal and instrumental delivery in that one.

Imaginaerum might be the most consistent Nightwish album. Funny enough, the very consistent megalomaniac, pompous mammothness is also it's most off-putting element. The album has a brilliant flow, is very enjoyable thorough, the orchestral arrangements are really above average in symphonic metal when it comes to being creative and offering hooks, but at the same time, it often feels that the band itself is quite buried in the very crowded mix and as epic and glorious as all of the songs sound, it's quite a noise feast overall. That really elevates the calmer songs into high value, and fortunately the song order and pacing is well-thought. There's some great work by Anette, who's showcasing some brilliant versatility by nailing edgy stuff like Ghost River and Scaretale and giving that soft and calm presence in Turn Loose the Mermaids, for example.

So, probably the most consistent and bold Nightwish record to date. What defines it, is Tuomas' dominant vision of the story and overall package he wanted to give. And as it is, it's absolutely great. The very same thing, however, is what - for me anyway - kind of makes it so overwhelming. But once you really embrace it, it's truly one hell of a musical ride, even if it makes you more tired than it probably should.

It's tough one to score, but somewhere around 4.5/5 even?

Endless Forms Most Beautiful

And here we are with Floor and Troy as full-time members!

The most healthy chemistry this band has ever felt is also translated into the production approach, as this one is much more of a band record than the previous one. The orchestra is still there and once again, Tuomas proves that his pompous and corny even naive ambition is - whatever faults you may see in that - the very thing that keeps pushing the boundaries and defines the overwhelming yet emotionally evoking Nightwish sound. The Greatest Show on Earth might benefit from some trimming and arguably The Eyes of Sharbat Gula isn't exactly quite as brilliant and ingenious instrumental as you'd hope for, but there's still some very innovative use of orchestral elements and after a couple of mammoth-sized records there's still some fresh ideas to be found. The Greatest Show on Earth is undoubtedly the centerpiece of this album. I remember being almost afraid of it, as I was sure they wouldn't be able to pull it off and it would fall into it's own ambition... but it works. I wouldn't say it's the most beautiful thing they have ever recorded, but there's some unique, epic and evoking beauty in it.

As for rest of the stuff, it's a mixed bag. Or actually not, it's very solid bag, but the balancing on the razor's edge is done with like... one toe only, this time. It's so close that it'd step into the pitfall, but somehow, it doesn't. Bullet dodged. What I'm trying to say is that EFMB is almost desperately - even if not entirely intentionally - trying to tell everyone that HEY WE'RE THE NIGHTWISH YOU LOVED BACK THEN and doing something absolutely new at the same time. Fortunately, the mixture of the mentioned elements blends together somehow. While the songs aren't exactly career-highlight material, there's some unyielding grandeur in them, most notably in the mentioned album closer epic, also in stuff like Edema Ruh and even in the almost terribly familiar songs like Shudder Before the Dark Chest of Wonders or Yours is an Empty Dark Chest of Master Passion Greed, not to even mention the Elan in the Last of the Waldens. Oh well, to be fair, I think that My Walden is actually quite good mixture of both old and new, the album opener really makes you feel good and even Elan, in all of it's simplicity, sounds very good-spirited.

The mix is great, giving the band proper more spotlight and overall, making the album sound very dynamic. One of the most dynamic performances, for me anyway, is Weak Fantasy, which doesn't quite blow the roof off, but along with My Walden and Yours is an Empty Hope offers some glimpse at the potential the current line-up might has. Even if the songs, for the most part, are kind of playing safe, there's some carefully planted seeds of the growth we'll hopefully see in the upcoming album later this year.

This is even more biased review than some of the earlier ones, but um... I suppose it really lands somewhere around 4/5?

It's so close, so darn close that the familiarity, the laid-back feel of it and not letting Floor to really showcase her skills kind of turns against them, but it doesn't - not this time. When I first heard the record, I remember the safe, but empowering and evoking feeling. And the small glimpses it drops here and there of the power that just awaits to be unleashed are, this time, enough. Another record like this would probably feel like bit of a disappointment, but back in the day, this really did the trick. The sheer good vibe of the record shouldn't give such a good grade alone, but I dare say that EFMB is one of their most dynamic and good-spirited records, where everything kind of falls into place harmonically, even if it doesn't offer too much new and exciting. It's a solid album with one or two truly amazing highs and notably few lows - and the terrain between those feels safe, nice and harmonic - even when there's no scent of adventure in the air.

So, as a quick overall summary, it seems that I wasn't capable of giving below 4/5 scores after the debut... Biased as I indeed am here, I think it also tells something of the overall quality and consistency of their recordings, which are a bit overwhelming at times, but also somehow manage to make it through, even when something seems absolutely ridiculous and even megalomaniac.

Then again, it's the very same thing that - in my opinion - prevents the 5/5 grades. The albums are, for the most part, harmonically and carefully put together with very few truly weak songs, but their bloated and sometimes even "suffocating" nature, along with couple of occasional low points here and there, makes them a bit too overwhelming to really reach that 5/5 status for me. That's why I'm very fond of the live recordings with Floor, where the band chemistry, song selection and overall performance often gives the definite Nighwish experience for me. I still love the albums, and granted, I haven't embraced the earlier ones quite as much as their more recent outputs (that is to say, from DPP to Endless Forms...), but there is something in their format that doesn't quite fit my personal idea of a true 5/5 album - if one wants to give that much value to sheer numbers anyway. Great record is a great record, no matter if it's 4 or 5 out of 5.
 
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Black Wizard

Pleb Hunter
Your post sucks, 2/10. I would go into more detail, but that would bore you.
Response to reviewer: I would like to thank the reviewer for considering my post, but I feel they missed the point. I strongly urge the editor not to send posts to this reviewer again due to their flippant, dismissive and unconstructive comments. Their review was not solid, 0/10.

I believe it’s “Human Nature”. :||: is representative of a severance.
Tommy Hoppo has clearly lost the plot. He has combined all the most pretentious aspects of Dream Theater and Epica then thought "this is not enough".


We should be getting a music video for 'Noise' at some point. Some Brazilian Youtube channel has uploaded a 15 second preview:

 
  • Haha
Reactions: Jer

Black Wizard

Pleb Hunter
I stumbled across a review of 'Human 2 Nature' (I'm running with this) from a Finnish website which is, thankfully, in English.


I'll summarize a few key points which I found the most interesting. :)

Before the writer starts his review he discusses the growing popularity of Nightwish and the lack of attention they get from Finnish media. Globally, the writer attributes much of their rise in popularity to YouTube reaction videos and Discord groups who collectively request Nightwish reviews from YouTubers such as vocal coaches. I watched a vocal coach do a reaction video for the seminal Wacken 2013 version of 'Ghost Love Score' and it was quite interesting but I don't feel the need to watch ten more people react to it. Still, it's an interesting point to make with the use of this type of media that the band haven't been involved with all all. Perhaps Tommy Holopopopo shut down the forums because he didn't want all the YouTube plebs signing up.

A bunch of journalists were invited to listen to the album with the band in some remote, snow-covered village in Finland and asked to switch off their phones or any recording devices. He discusses each track in turn but, thankfully, doesn't rate or rank any of the songs and there is no overall score at the end. There is so much more to music than numbers.

The writer seemed to be very impressed with the vocals of all three singers on the album - Floor, Troy and Mark - and, take note @JudasMyGuide, he makes one key comment which might just be the most important thing in the whole article:

"the one thing that it does, it once and for all puts to rest all the concerns voiced after Endless Forms, that Floor’s vocals weren’t utilized to the max. Now they truly are."

'Noise', the song for which a 15 second preview has been leaked (see a couple of posts ago), seems to be about our addiction to technology and the Internet - somewhat ironic given the writer's theory behind their rise in popularity! It's a topic other bands have addressed before, such as Delain's 'Generation Me' and some other band have a song called 'Hashtag Your Life'.

In general it seems like this is going to be a very impressive album, even with Tommy's pomposity in the orchestral piece with quotes from actors and such.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Correct - a review which focuses on the overall album with references to specific aspects is far more interesting than the dull, derivative, descriptive format you've been rigidly adhering to. Nobody would ever review a book by rating each chapter out of ten and describing the plot.

As for your review of 'Angels Fall First', I didn't bother to read it as I was immediately put off by the format and ratings. I also don't care for the Tarja-fronted Nightwish albums as there's too much operatic vocals for me and I'm not a fan of her singing in general, so a review or description of this album doesn't interest me.


Moving back to the new album, does anyone know how to say the name? It is 'Human 2 Nature'? 'Human Nature'? Or, for the programmers among us, 'Human pipe pipe Nature'?
Rude, man.

Wow, I haven't been here for a while but some people really have it as their mission to pester Diesel away.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Oceanborn (1998)



1. Stargazers - From the very opening of "Stargazers", you can already tell that this album has a much bigger sound and scope than its predecessor did. The band kicks in behind Tuomas's synths and Emppu gets a nice lead piece that acts as a sort of riff to the sound. The verses aren't exactly mindblowing and Tarja can be hard to understand in places, but there's a lot of energy that makes it that much more enjoyable. The chorus isn't the "hookiest", but it's one of the album's most memorable all the same. All the parts in this song are solid to good, but really what makes "Stargazers" what it is is the entire band working as one unit and filled with a lot of yearning to make damn good music beyond that of the predecessor. I don't like this song as much as a lot of fans seem to, but it's an undeniably iconic force to be reckoned with all the same. Certainly a good mission statement on the record as a whole. 8/10

2. Gethsemane - God, these are some gorgeous keys. The piano-laced opening repeats itself twice before heading into the verse, which is a very interesting decision. It took some getting used to for me, but I've come to like it. Tarja takes the guise of Jesus in the garden in this song, although there are a lot of Tuomas-isms that perhaps don't make it as specific on the topic as one first expects. The chorus balances operatic vocals with ones closer to spoken word in a nice balance. The instrumental is guitar-oriented but features some flute accompaniment to bring to life the garden better. The bridge is quite nice as well, and the song gets quieter before entering the outro, which is primarily a lovely piece of music. Not a big fan of Emppu's solo there, however. I do love the way he brings the song to an end though, it's a nice swirling piece that makes for one of the most genius parts of the entire song. "Gethsemane" doesn't particularly blow me away, but I've always enjoyed it, even more than "Stargazers" actually. It doesn't knock itself out of the park, but it's pretty good song all the same. 8/10

3. Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean - And then we spring to life again and plunge fathoms below the ocean's surface to meet the unlikely protagonist of this Night-tale. Tapio Wilska joins the band as the "Devilvoice", an interesting way to balance the song against Tarja's singing. Their back-to-back piece starts spinning a story of the devil apparently falling in love with a woman who wants nothing to do with him. The band throws some heavy bits in here, particularly in the instrumental section, where it seems to stray into thrashier territory. The highlight of the song is Tarja's ending piece about "setting the dolphins free", as she soars about the foam with the music and vanquishes her unsuitable admirer. Or does she? I can't really tell, but it makes for some great story telling. This one follows the previous two incredibly well and it's grown on me a lot since I first heard it. Nothing that really breaks it above the really strong category, but enough that warrants many more listens. 8/10

4. Sacrament Of Wilderness - I haven't sung Jukka's praises yet but allow me to do so here. His drumming in this intro gives it such an extra boost in power as the synths spin a wondrous picture of snowy wilderness before Tarja steps in to lead us on another adventure into Tuomas's dreams. It's a very strong song with the exception of the chorus, which doesn't really grab me and actually knocks the song down a notch. It just doesn't seem that interesting, compared to other Nightwish choruses both on and off this album. The bridge is gorgeous though, and I dig the instrumental sections. With a stronger chorus this one would have the same rating as the first three songs. 7/10

5. Passion And The Opera - Some guitar to kick off this song, which is interesting but not terribly gripping. As soon as that verse comes in though, we're in much better territory. This song has some great lyrics, but it's Tarja's performance of them that makes it stand out. And her performance on the chorus is just gorgeous. You haven't heard anything yet, though, because after a sort of musical interlude (featuring some of the most metallic riffs on the album) things change course and Tarja starts vocalizing in the most mesmerizing of ways. She almost sounds like a bird, and it's such a nice piece overall. The outro isn't as gripping but it holds its own. This song used to be my favorite from the album, and while I won't say that anymore, I still think it's a very strong one, at the same heights as the first three tracks. 8/10

6. Swanheart - And now we enter the first ballad on the album, driven by flute and piano. And... it's nothing to write home about. The lyrics are interesting, but the song sounds too much like a hymn for my taste, particularly in the chorus. It's a bit grating to be honest. The best part of the whole song is Jukka's drumming which kicks in later on. Emppu even makes an appearance, and guides the outro section, which isn't bad per se, but isn't terribly interesting at the same time. I've debated about what to rate it, and I think it's probably a below average number. I get what they were going for, but I'm not a fan. One of my least favorite Nightwish songs. 4/10

7. Moondance - Time for the band's first fully instrumental song! Some piano to start with before we launch right into a stomping number that seems built for a ballroom dance. It all slows down as a flute takes center stage in a piece that conjures up the moonlight quite well, before rocketing back into the pummeling jig session as hand claps help bring this nocturnal piece to life even more. It's a really joyous instrumental with a lot of soul, and manages to erase any disappointment of "Swanheart" to place us right back at the place where most of this album has been treading. 8/10

8. The Riddler - We move from the stomping "Moondance" into an intro that sounds incredibly like ABBA. Very interesting to hear in a Nightwish song. The lyrics question a lot of life's aspects, and Tarja gives another strong performance, particularly in the chorus, which is actually one of the album's best. I'm not as enthused about the bridge or the music that separates the verses from chorus, however, and the song doesn't interest me as much as others on the album, but it's pretty strong all the same. 7/10

9. The Pharaoh Sails To Orion - Now this is a hell of a way to open up a song. Ambient music conjures up a harbor where a pharaoh (played by Wilska again, making this a sort of sonic sequel to "Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean") gets ready to take a star-ride into the heavens. Pummeling drums sets us on our course into the skies before Wilska and Tarja duet again, although it's less successful in my opinion than in their previous song. The chorus doesn't grab my attention much and is actually one of the album's weakest. I do like the vocalizing before the final chorus, but a lot of this just don't interesting me as much as a lot of the other songs on here do. A lot of the aspects that made D&TDDO work so well just don't come together as much on here, although the ending is kinda cool. It's a good song, but not the masterpiece that a lot of people think. 7/10

10. Walking In The Air - And now we head into the epic cover of Howard Blake's theme from The Snowman. Apparently this is one of Tuomas's favorite songs ever, and it makes sense that Nightwish would take a shot at it - a shot that is incredibly successful to boot. Tuomas's keys and synths back Tarja's gorgeous voice in creating a very childlike state of wonder as we journey through the atmosphere. Emppu even gets a solo in to bring it all to life that much more. Like so much of this album, it's a pretty strong song that doesn't quite break into higher realms of excellence, but there's a consistency throughout that makes me enjoy it a ton. 8/10

11. Sleeping Sun - Technically this is a bonus song, but it's been included in every reissue of Oceanborn and personally, I don't think the album is quite the same without it. The way it builds up from the ambiance of Tuomas's keys into the verse, lead by Sami and Jukka in the rhythm section is fantastic, and Tarja gives off one of her all-time greatest performances here as well. This one was inspired by an eclipse, and it's such a brilliant set of lyrics, all building to the iconic chorus, which hooks the listener quite well. Emppu gets another solo to boost things up even more before the final repeat of the chorus. This is more than a bonus track, it's actually the best song on the whole album. Finally breaking into the excellence that Nightwish will repeatedly hit in albums to come. Not quite one of their best, but it's up there. 9/10

I have a ton of praise to heap at this album. It's such a solidly consistent record (with the exception of "Swanheart") that always makes for a fun listen. It's a big step above the debut and has a lot of soul that makes it even better than the sum of its parts. Everyone is giving it their all, the songwriting takes a leap forward, it's just a really satisfying record. It's easy to see why a lot of fans consider it the be-all-end-all Nightwish record. I personally think it's not quite there although intensely set in the right direction and flows better than some other albums with some great songs and some not so great ones. It's not quite as bombastic as I like my Nightwish to be, but it's a great, intense album all the same.

Average Rating: 75%
 

Black Wizard

Pleb Hunter

It looks like we'll be getting the video for 'Noise' on Friday. I wonder who will be to first to review/describe the song... :eek:
 

JudasMyGuide

Ever the Southern Gentleman
So, Noise is cool. The main riff + the strings definitely copy some older song (can't put my finger on it right now), but in general it feels rather fresh. That part about 3:50 sounds even kinda Epica-ish (well, or Planet Hellish, you decide).

But it's catchy, lively and a preview that made me really care about the upcoming album. Well, apart from the second CD, that is, but I guess that's to be expected.

Yup, and Floor is finally fully present. Like finally.
 
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