|3. Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean|
|4. Sacrament Of Wilderness|
|5. Passion And The Opera|
|8. The Riddler|
|9. The Pharaoh Sails To Orion|
|10. Walking in the Air|
I can't begin to recommend this album enough. But first a warning, if you're into hard, head banging metal and that's the only way for you, don't bother buying this. These songs are about mood and atmosphere not energy and raw agression. Although I have received "you're crazy" looks from non-metal fans for saying it, the only real way to describe this music adequately is to call it hauntingly beautiful. Tarja's vocals are mind blowing. They are inspiring, powerful, serene, intense, majestic, haunting & clear all in one. It's not something that can be described, it's something that has to be heard. If the opening track "Stargazers" doesn't awe you the first time you hear it, I don't know what will.
What is amazing in this album is that there is a great variety of song styles. No two songs sound anything alike, yet it all blends together perfectly natural as an album. From the opening track which has a majestic, fast tempo to it, to the soft and serene "Swanheart" to the powerful and aggeresive "The Pharoah Sails to Orion" and ending with a haunting "Walking in the Air", there is not one bad song here.
If I have to find something to complain about it is that the male vocals on two songs (narratives) take some getting used too.Read more ›
It still boasts occasional riffing and drum beats in triple time. And there are still the odd growling male vocals (only on a couple of tracks, however). And the de rigueur juxtaposition of metal guitars with orchestration and synths accompanied by a crystal-clear operatic female vocal (from Tarja Turunen) is still the banner under which Nightwish proudly marches.
But whereas other Beauty & Beast/Goth metal bands (such as the dismal The Sins of Thy Beloved, or the aptly named Theater of Tragedy) wallow in the mire of doom and gloom, Nightwish takes the high road. Most of the songs are extremely upbeat, lively and seem to be full of -- dare I say it? -- joy.
Another difference is the presence of guitar solos. Many bands in this genre (even my beloved After Forever) eschew guitar solos for one reason or another, but Nightwish sprinkles their bombastic songs with an occasional fretboard flurry that ratchets up the excitment level a notch or two. Tastefully done.
The CD starts with a bang -- "Stargazers" -- and takes the listener on a brisk, but enjoyable, ride. This track has more in common with progressive rock's grandeur and majesty than it does with European Goth/symphonic metal. This is a great song, the perfect album opener. Lots of power and Dream Theater-like fast guitar/keyboard runs. (I love that synth change-up at 3:20 into the song!)
Some songs on Oceanborn are slower than others, and a flute plays a key role in a few (the beautiful "Swanheart," for one). But all are nicely done and worthy of repeated listenings.Read more ›
1. Stargazers: Good opener very power metal. 5/5
2. Gethsemane: This is another good song. It is like speed metal and power metal put together. Read more
Nightwish's sophomore effort Oceanborn, issued in 1998, has spawned a lot of hype... Read more