Nightwish
Dark Passion Play


5.0
classic

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
September 30th, 2007 | 103 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nightwish release their best record to date, one that is bound to be a classic for many years to come.

Nightwish were up for a challenge after their old vocalist managed to get herself fired. The band were due a new album this year, and how they would cope with the new vocalist was a mystery (and how they pulled it off the way they did is still a mystery). Rumours were the band went more poppy. They would go louder. They would go more orchestral. They would suck with the new vocalist. They would rule with the new vocalist. Well, 28th of September was due and my pre-order came in the mail. I don't think I've ever been more excited for a new record (perhaps because it's Nightwish? I don't know...)

And I don't think there is a single album that compares to this one this year. It is quite simply the most astonishing, exhilarating, eradicating slab of music I have heard since, well, probably Nightwish's last album. It's got everything a Nightwish fan wants, and more. It's almost everything the hype said it would be (except bad.) It is indeed more experimental (with a couple of tracks ranking among the most un-Nightwish songs Nightwish have ever done.) It is also indeed more poppy, with a couple of choruses that make me jizz my pants everytime I hear them.

First of all, the musicianship, especially Tuomas', is unparallelled and unrivaled. What they lost apparently in vocal skill, is more than made up for by orchestral arrangements that are so grandiose at times I thought I was listening to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. The Poet and the Pendulum, the album's opening track and epic, is an absolute winner, with the orchestral intro being one of the many highlights on the album. Anette even does some *gasp* operatic vocals at the start. The choirs, the epic storytelling, it all fits and I don't think Tuomas could have written anything better even if he tried.

However, Tuomas is not the only one who completely rules on this album. The big surprise for me this time around is Emppu Vuorinen, the guitarist. I swear I haven't heard riffs that completely baffle me since I've listened to Reign in Blood. Master Passion Greed's intro is an absolutely exterminating piece of music, crashing out of your speakers with such insane intensity it gives Morbid Angel a run for their money. Emppu also gets a moment of the limelight on Whoever Brings the Night, a nice Arabian-themed mid-paced metal monster with another dose of thrash/power-infused riffing and a chorus that rings through my ears every time.

Second, the variety and experimental nature shown on the album is far beyond Nightwish have ever tried on other levels. The Islander is a genuine Irish folk song, written by Marco, and it just completely kills. Especially the vocal duet at the end is a marvel to behold. It also shows another side of Marco's singing, who proves that he can do more than just yell like a madman: he is actually a skilled vocalist, moreso than anyone had previously anticipated.

Another folk element is Last of the Wilds, another riveting track. It could be best described as Flogging Molly meets Celtic traditional meets Ensiferum. It is one big orgasm of celtic instruments with a bodhran, a whistle, a violin, and a melody that is to die for. And it's not even spoiled by bad grunting vocals, because it's an instrumental! Oh, and did I mention it completely kicks the absolute living daylights of Moondance? It's just that intense.

The ballads are not forgotten, though. Whereas Eva is just the modern day cousin of Sleeping Sun, well-executed but not something the band hasn't ventured into before, Meadows of Heaven is one of the best tracks on the album. The gospel choirs at the end are a marvel to behold and the soulful singing Anette does at the end proves that she may not be the operatic mistress like Tarja was, but she has a lot more variety in her voice and pulls off a lot of different styles well. (Check out the Arabian chants at the end of Sahara!)

And then there's still a catchy element to the band as well. Amaranth features one of the best choruses I've heard in many years, sticking in your head like glue. Cadence of Her Last Breath is indeed a little too reminiscent of Evanescence, but without the silly vocals and another burning riff from Emppu. Bye Bye Beautiful just completely stomps, with a kind of techno beat that reminds me of I Wish I Had an Angel, the way it was meant to sound. Last but not least there is For The Heart I Once Had sounds like the upgrade of Nemo, a mid-paced rocker with a good use of orchestral choirs and yet another melody that leaves me stunned as to how the band thinks up all these winners.

Then there are Sahara and 7 Days to the Wolves, two songs that remind us of the symphonic nature of Nightwish. Sahara combines the symphonic element with powerful riffing, another beast of a chorus, and a really captivating Middle Eastern melody line. 7 Days to the Wolves is probably the least interesting track on the album, but again, the chorus has some lovely vocal harmonizing and Tuomas' orchestral arrangements are grand.

There is no doubt that this album will be called overly pompous because of all the different styles and the use of a full orchestra. Indeed, Nightwish falls into a sense of bombastic pretentiousness only all too often on this album. The miraculous thing is, every line they have written for this album is good enough to make up for it. Despite all the album's different sides, musically and emotionally, it all feels like one coherent piece and I can hear the Nightwish signature style on every song. Fans can rest assured: this is the album we've all been waiting for the band to make. It comes at exactly the right time in the band's career, after a period of great turmoil, and I can't wait to see the band perform their new compositions live. I have serious doubts about any better albums coming out this year (especially since so many good ones have been released already!), this is probably going to top my best-of list and for a good reason. Nightwish, I salute you once again.



Recent reviews by this author
Frank Turner Tape Deck HeartBrand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
Metallica MetallicaSlayer World Painted Blood
Katatonia Night Is the New DayRammstein Liebe Ist Für Alle Da
user ratings (752)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 30th 2007


3771 Comments


Oh s'hit now i have to actually listen to this. *sigh*

Digging: The Flaming Lips - With A Little Help From My Fwends

Kiran
Emeritus
September 30th 2007


6001 Comments


Ok, so we have the 'best album yet' review, 'worst album yet' review, and a track by track that I'm not going to read mainly due to the fact that the person who wrote it has a username named after one of the songs in this album so it's bound to not be worth my time.

Who's word should I take on this album.

Hmm.

freudianslipknot
September 30th 2007


803 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Since the Sputnik reveiws are somewhat varied , I have just done a cursory scan of reviews on the net and virtually all of them are very positive. I will get this. Still, I don't have the Highest Hopes (!)

Neoteric
September 30th 2007


3243 Comments


tbh I doubt you could figure this is a classic in two days, especially with this being a new release and all

Altmer
September 30th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It leaked before, though

Neoteric
September 30th 2007


3243 Comments


okay

spoon_of_grimbo
September 30th 2007


2241 Comments


i'm not a massive fan of nightwish, but this review has persuaded me to have a listen to this album. great review!

BallsToTheWall
September 30th 2007


44630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I highly disagree with what i've heard from this. Not better than Oceanborn for sure. I'll still give this a run although I dislike Annete's vocals.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Kiran
Emeritus
September 30th 2007


6001 Comments


I just saw the video for the single Bye Bye Beautiful. Apart from the video being really odd, the song was a bit dull tbh. The song bored me compared to a lot of the stuff I've heard from Nightwish before.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2007


16437 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I liked Shattered Future's review better, but this one was still well written. Got my vote. The new vocalist doesn't sound that good.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

sharkboy
September 30th 2007


33 Comments


lol you ejaculated while listening to this?

Altmer
September 30th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not literally

sharkboy
September 30th 2007


33 Comments


lol sperm

Poet
September 30th 2007


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

LOL@not reading mine because my name just happens to be Poet and the Pendulum. Thanks for making me feel so welcome here Kirgasm (I salute you)

oh, and Altmer....what was that about Poet and the Pendulum again?? Do you think it's on par with Ghost Love Score...if not a little better?

Altmer
September 30th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think they are quite different songs. I like both very much. I don't know if it's better or worse.

Crimson
September 30th 2007


1935 Comments


There's three and they all operate from a different vantage point, so I guess it's all fine and dandy.


I'm not against having several reviews for an album, it's just irritating to see 3 in a row on the page.

Poet
September 30th 2007


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just wished they would've included The Escapist on the regular version, that is a fantastic song.

Shattered_Future
September 30th 2007


1541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Am I the only one that doesn't like the gospel choir parts? I think they absolutely murder the song.

jrowa001
September 30th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ive always wanted to like Nightwish but every time im just left with no feelings for them then set them aside. good review, but from what ive heard from this album, it wont get me hooked

Poet
September 30th 2007


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uh...I think you are Shattered Future...because that is my favorite part of the song.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy