Cutting to the chase, this is an excellent, well-written and band-sanctioned book about Nightwish, one of Finland's top Heavy Metal groups. If you want to know more about them, how they got started, their tours, the music, their climb to international fame as a heavy metal band, the changing line-up, their passion for their music, the recording of all their albums, the contractual disputes, the interpersonal dramas within the band, the dramatic firing of their lead singer, her replacement, working to maintain their popularity and following after Tarja's firing - it's all here. As well as a whole slew of photo's (32 full color plates to be specific), you also get an extensive discography, a tour history and stage diagrams. As another reviewer mentioned, the quality of the book itself is great too. If you want to know more about Nightwish, my recommendation is "buy this book, you won't be disappointed."
The book's author, Mape Ollila, a Finnish journalist and music editor who has followed the band pretty much from their startup and traveled with them on tour a number of times, has done a great job with this book. It's not just a flattering write-up, Ollila knows the band, had free access to them, and it's very much an "official" bio. As well as band members, he's also interviewed industry and record label insiders, families and friends, the stage crew, peers in the music industry. You get a fairly complete picture of the band, it's members and it's history, in many cases it's a "warts and all" view, which is the exception rather than the rule for an officially sanctioned bio. That said, Ollila also comes to his own conclusions about various events within the band's history, and writes about the negatives as well as the positives.
The band s founder and songwriter Tuomas Holopainen comes across as a fascinating figure. Apart from their music and the very public firing of their lead singer, the incomparable Tarja Turunen, in 2005, I really didn't know much about the band until I read this book. Tuomas comes across right through the book as an outstanding musician whose life is centered on Nightwish. A really creative and totally driven person but throughout the book one thing that stands out is his inability to communicate with the rest of the band, which causes problem after problem. Tarja Turunen, the band's former lead singer, also comes across as another fascinating figure. Ollila documents her transformation from shy schoolgirl to superstar diva very effectively, as well as giving a very clear picture of the events that led up to her being very publicly fired from the band. Ollila pretty much blames Tarja's manager, whom she had married, for driving a wedge between Tarja and the rest of the band.
When Tarja was fired in 2005, it was a major news story in Finland - ten minutes of prime time news on TV with Tarja in tears for much of it. And then front page news for months on end in the mainstream press as well as in the music news. As another reviewer pointed out, the Tarja/Tuomas saga drew the kind of publicity in Finland that Britney Spears or Paris Hilton does here in North America. Even the Finnish prime minister was asked to weigh in on the split. Her replacement, Annette Olzen, IMHO just doesn't come across the way Tarja did. The book doesn't go much beyond this but all said, it's a great book about a great band! Well worth the read for anyone interested in Nightwish.