Hapfairy's World

Symphonic metal news with a sprinkle of fairy dust

Nightwish Special with Timeline

Remember my poll where you could vote for your favourite Symphonic Metal band? Well Nightwish were our winners, and I promised you a special post about them. So here it is!


Click to see full size!


Angels Fall First (1997)

Fact: The band's debut album was the only one to feature Tuomas's vocals. He was displeased with his performance and later hired Marco Hietala so that he could write more duets. There is a remake of the song Astral Romance featuring Tony Kakko [Sonata Arctica] on male vocals.

Mini Review: The band were just finding their feet with this album, and had not really developed their own sound. The folk influences are more prominent here. It is nice to hear how it all began, but Angels Fall First is not a favourite album for many fans. I recommend listening once or twice, but if you don't enjoy it, move on to the next album. Personally I think there's a few good songs here, but Tuomas's vocals really are awful!

Angels Fall First (Buy USA)

Oceanborn (1998)

Fact: The ballad Sleeping Sun (a fan favourite) was remade in 2005 for a higher quality version. The band also made a new video for the song.

Mini Review: On Oceanborn the band began to develop more of a Power Metal sound. Although lacking in the Symphonic elements of later albums, Tarja's operatic voice carries this record. Many of the songs are dark, beautiful and almost dream-like.  The added vocals of Tapio Wilska [Ex-Finntroll] are an interesting touch.

Oceanborn (Buy UK)
Oceanborn (Buy USA)

Wishmaster (2000)

Fact: There are many fantasy influences on the album. Wishmaster features references to Lord of the Rings and Dragonlance, while FantasMic is an homage to Walt Disney - the song includes references to The Lion King, Beauty & The Beast, Fantasia, Mulan and more.

Mini Review: This album retains a more Power Metal style, yet there are some more epic songs that hint towards what is to come. A couple of the slower and mid-tempo songs are a little dull, but there are touches of brilliance. Personally, songs like Wishmaster, The Kinslayer, Dead Boy's Poem, FantasMic and Sleepwalker are on my regular playlist, but I find listening to the whole album a little tiresome.

Wishmaster (Buy UK)
Wishmaster (Buy USA)

Century Child (2002)

Fact: Some consider this to be a concept album, with its strong themes of childhood, innocence and loss.

Mini Review: Century Child is the first Nightwish album to feature an orchestra and choir, and is therefore their first proper Symphonic Metal release. The songs flow beautifully, except with the interruption of the cover of Phantom of the Opera - yet it's a brilliant song and a firm fan favourite, so it's unlikely to bother you too much. The overall sound is ethereal and magical, and establishes the style that continues with the following albums.

Century Child (Buy UK)
Century Child (Buy USA)

Once (2004)

Fact: This was the first time that Nightwish worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metro Voices choir, both of which would also feature on Dark Passion Play and Imaginarium.

Mini Review: This is my personal favourite of the band's releases. Here they fuse metal and orchestra to create an incredible sound. Each song has a unique atmosphere, from the moving Creek Mary's Blood to the heavy rage of Romanticide. Ghost Love Score is a must-listen for any Symphonic Metal fan - a truly epic tale of undying romance that set a new standard for the genre.

Once (Buy UK)
Once (Buy USA)

Dark Passion Play (2007)

Fact: This album is the band's most successful, selling over 2 million copies worldwide. In Finland, it has received 5 platinum discs.

Mini Review: Considering that the band were regaining their balance and adjusting to a new lead singer, this album does a pretty good job. Dark Passion Play has several songs detailing the band's feelings towards Tarja and her husband, but for many the best material here is that which moves back towards the usual fantasy magic of Nightwish. Despite being far removed from Tarja's operatic style, Anette Olzon makes a promising start, with the best of her vocals being on songs like Eva and Escapist [bonus track].

Imaginarium (2012)

- Imaginarium will be accompanied by a feature film, directed by Stobe Harju (who directed The Islander video).
- The film tells the story of an old man who dreams fantastical memories of his past.
- It will mostly be cast with unknown actors, and the band will feature as themselves.
- It will be released on DVD although they are hoping for a possible theatrical release in some places.
- The album and film were inspired by the works of Tim Burton [Director], Neil Gaiman [Writer] and Salvador Dali [Surrealist Artist].
- The album will feature a 20 minute long track.
- Anette will record her vocals in March 2011; she says that Tuomas has now got used to composing songs for her voice.
- 2 of the songs will feature no orchestration, the rest will be orchestrated by Pip Williams and the London Philharmonic.
- Tuomas has described a few of the songs. One will be a 'funeral march' influenced by Doom bands like My Dying Bride. One is like 'a rollercoaster ride'. One was a total change of style for the band and is 'a terrifically challenging and mind-expanding song'. Finally, one Danny Elfman-inspired song is being referred to as the 'Nukkumatti song'. Nukkumatti is Finnish for Sandman - this could possibly be a reference to Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics.

Nightwish (DEMO 1996)
Over the Hills and Far Away (EP 2001)

From Wishes to Eternity (LIVE 2001)
End of Innocence (LIVE 2003)
End of an Era (LIVE 2005)
Made In Hong Kong (LIVE 2009)

Tales from the Elvenpath (COMPILATION 2004)
Highest Hopes: The Best of Nightwish (COMPILATION 2005)
The Sound of Nightwish Reborn (COMPILATION 2007)

Notes: Images used for illustration purposes only - they belong to Nightwish. The buy links are for normal editions, UK and USA only. Sorry to other countries! The timeline is by me. :-) 


Post a Comment