Review Summary: With entrance of Anette Olzon, The album plays out very very nicely1 of 3 thought this review was well written
Dark Passion Play is a hit or a miss for most Nightwish and non-Nightwish fans. As for me, it is a hit.
High expectations were set out for this album due to the fact that its the first with Anette Olzon and without former vocalist Tarja.
The album has a huge production and cost around 500,00 Euros to complete. Making it the most expensive finnish Album yet.
It starts off nicely in a progressive nature with "The Poet and The Pendulum" which is a little disappointing as an opener in my opinion after hearing what "Once" had with the great entrance of "Dark Chest Of Wonders". This doesn't make it a terrible track though, as the orchestra's potential is brought out to its fullest here.
We all discover that Nightwish still has a grudge on the former vocalist with such tracks as "Bye Bye Beautiful" and "Master Passion Greed" Sadly, I dont think these songs can cut it live because of the neutral decisions of fans and press alike. The choir chosen for this album makes Dark Passion Play a complete score more than an average album.
Marco finally gets to star in this album more. His track "The Islander" has a folk tale aspect which makes the album fit for a king. Nightwish had not conducted an instrumental since "Moondance" therefore "Last of the wilds" makes you want to listen again and again due to its Celtic styles.
Anettes vocals make a large change on the album and although I hate to admit it, I prefer the new Nightwish compared to the old. Anette isnt very operatic which makes you wonder how the old tracks will work, and after browsing through youtube its up to you to make your mind up
The album has the most powerful ending that any Nightwish album has to offer with the track "Meadows of Heaven" featuring gospel vocals and a complete potential of orchestra. Although, matched with Anette, the gospel doesnt seem to suit her voice when she is singing too.
Overall, Dark Passion Play is a great passion to my ears, and my favourite album so far