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Nightwish - Endless forms most beautiful | FESTIVALPHOTO

Nightwish - Endless forms most beautiful



Nightwish are set to release their eighth studio album, "Endless forms most beautiful" on 3oth March in the UK (three days earlier in Europe). As the first album since Floor Jansen replaced Anette Olzon on vocals there has been a huge amount of speculation about the album, and the release of the single (Elan) has intensified the online debate.

As I predicted after first hearing the album, the vocals in this album are already dividing opinion before the release of the album. Because Floor Jansen has done both operatic vocals and metal vocals (including growls) in After Forever or Revamp then many fans expected or hoped for Nightwish to either return to the operatic style of vocals or at least move toward a metal style, but in practice the vocals here are not hugely different in style to those of Anette Olzon on Imaginaerum. That's bound to upset some fans of the older material, but I don't think there was ever a chance of Tuomas going back to the style of the old Nightwish - he's moved on musically. What I would say about the vocals (and the music) is that you shouldn't judge them based on hearing one or two songs - like Pink Floyd, Nightwish are a band best listened to by listening to the entire album rather than picking out individual tracks.

I first heard the album at a listening session almost two months ago, and ever since I've been impatient for the chance to hear it again. Now I finally have the album to review it's pretty much been on constantly for the last couple of days - and that should tell you how good the album is.

This is a stunningly good album - Tuomas has once again excelled himself in writing this album.

I'm not going to go through and describe each track individually - I'm sure there will be plenty of other reviewers doing just that, but instead I'm going to give my overall feelings on the album and comment on a couple of tracks.

The album opens with a spoken introduction before the music starts, and it only takes seconds before you know you're listening to Nightwish.

The orchestrations are simply fantastic throughout the album - probably the best yet on a Nightwish album - and that is saying something given how good they are on previous albums.

The songs range from heavy with plenty of guitars to soft and intricate with almost no guitar - there really is a wide variety here, as there was on Imaginaerum.

The vocals have definitely grown on me the more I listen to the album. Early in the album they do seem a little low in the mix and fail to really impress, but at other times - during parts of "The greatest show on earth" for instance, they are more powerful and impress far more. It'll be interesting to hear these songs live, as I suspect they'll sound more powerful then.

"My Walden" opens with a verse in Welsh - not something I'd expected from a Finnish band. That opening verse features vocals from Troy (which I think is the first time he's contributed vocals to Nightwish rather than being limited to the pipes. Troy's pipes add to the Celtic feel and there is a choir adding backing vocals on the chorus.

The album has eleven songs, but it's the final one - "The greatest show on earth" that stands out. Why? Well it's almost an album in itself, clocking in at almost 24 minutes (in comparison, Slayer's "Reign in blood" clocked in at around 29 and a half minutes for the entire album). The song is divided into several sections, with some being instrumental, others having vocals (from both Floor and Marco), there are spoken parts, sound effects, orchestrations - the works.

This is an absolutely fantastic album from Nightwish. I've already ordered my copy, and I'm looking forward to hearing the new songs played live when the band tour towards the end of the year including a date at Wembley arena (their only UK date this year).

Track listing:

1. Shudder before the beautiful
2. Weak fantasy
3. Elan
4. Your's is an empty hope
5. Our decades in the sun
6. My Walden
7. Endless forms most beautiful
8. Edema Ruh
9. Alpenglow
10. The eyes of Sharbat Gula
11. The greatest show on earth

Skribent: Anthony May
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