Nightwish
Oceanborn


5.0
classic

Review

by Frederick Metzengerstein USER (202 Reviews)
November 13th, 2007 | 25 replies | 5,271 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nightwish at the top of the top of their game.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Nightwish in my opinion, reached their highest peak early on in their career. Don’t get me wrong, "Once", and "Wishmaster" were brilliant pieces of work. Nightwish seemed to be at the full extent of their powers with their second album "Oceanborn. We got a glimpse at where they might be heading with their debut, "Angels Fall First".


Tarja Turunen: Vocals

Tuomas Holopainen: Keyboards

Emppu Vuorinen: Guitars

Jukka Nevalainen: Drums

Sami Vanska:Bass


On "Oceanborn", they managed to one up the songwriting, play each instrument to the best of their ability’s, and vastly improved singing from Tarja, never quite hitting this stride again. Although Marco wasn't in the band at this point to contribute his smooth crooning towards verses and chorus's, Tarja had delivered the best vocal performance of her career. Tuomas Huolapien was at the top of his game as well, masterfully controlling his keyboards to do his bidding, wrapping around verse after verse, painting a dreamy sounds cape of serenity and light, capable of entrancing those upon first listen.

Oceanborn displayed everyone’s ability to the max on this disk, if not very technical, the band succeeded at creating great songs with their own personality. Emmpu wrote catchy riffs and heartfelt solos, adding a sense of feeling that the the other instruments couldn't handle. Although mainly throwing power chords into the mix, they were well executed. Not often in a Metal band does the Guitar take a third seat, here they do, and for good reason. Tuomas, the songwriter of the band, displayed his knack for creating well structured songs with his key's, to wrap around Tarja's angelic voice, with the guitar providing a slight punch and aggressiveness. Tarja had amazing depth and showed great emotion as she poured through each song with her demanding voice. Unlike "Once" and "Century Child", where she switched up a couple vocal styles, she displayed her Opera style singing all the way through. Not a bad thing either because she can sing like an Angel. The bassist, "Sami", even though he's nowhere near as eclectic or powerful as Marco, he still adds a different perspective towards the music with his lower pitched vocal style. Jukka does a great job complementing the music with his drum fills. Never expanding into speedy territories‘, he plays according to the tempo. Never too technical or flashy, his performance was solid.

Too add more texture to the music being played, various out of the ordinary instruments were added to squeeze some Folk influence into the Operatic Power Metal Being played. The flutes had a prominent effect on many of their songs. One of their three stellar ballads, "Swanheart" made full use of the opportunity to use a Flute to it's extent. Emppu adds a beautiful solo, giving a very melodic feel. "Walking In The Air" of course was a remake of the famous song stemming from the widely acclaimed, "The Snowman". This was one of the simplest songs they played, yet still poured enough passion to create one of the strongest songs on the CD. The amount of feeling Tarja had put through, was out of this world. "Of course there was an instrumental song to be found on this album. An excellent song that has a bit of folk influence layering between the instrumentation. "Moondance" opens with a keyboard hit ushering in the silence. The guitars soon enter, adding rhythm and energy towards the song. It later slows its pace for a while as the flute makes a couple appearances. The song retains it's speed as the guitar and keyboards begin to pick up. The occasional background chanting is only adding icing to the cake, adding a European feel towards the music.

I have to say that Nightwish reached the pinnacle of their career early on with this gem of an album. Never again was this group so tight, nor would they reach this same level of excellence again. "Wishmaster" and "Once" are still great albums, just not as well executed as this album. "Oceanborn" is recommended for fans of Metal or those with an open mind that are willing to expand into music that is beautiful and captivating. The vocals might take a while to get used to, but trust me, it's worth it's weight in gold. A spectacular album that can be appreciated by those willing to go on a musical journey.

Pros:

Excellent Musicianship

Strong vocal performance from Tarja. Powerful and emotional

Ballads are top notch.

Cons:

None



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SynGates
November 13th 2007



2467 Comments


Cool review, but I never could get into these guys. Maybe I'll try again.

thesystemisdown
November 13th 2007



412 Comments


I've only heard Dark Passion Play; I hear this era was a bit better.

BallsToTheWall
November 13th 2007



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Much better. Start off with this. First album I had from them and my favorite.

Zoo
November 13th 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You're making a bee-line for Contributing Reviewer. Decent review. I agree with much of what you said /pos vote.

Willie
Moderator
November 13th 2007



15900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I've never been able to get into them... I haven't really liked any of their albums all that much. Once was ok, and the new one is actually pretty good... the older stuff, not so much.

Good review... another Pos from me.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2007



16299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I completely missed this review somehow. Well written, you write much better when you love an album, I can tell. Nightwish's best by far.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

BallsToTheWall
November 15th 2007



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, I noticed that the CD's that have had a greater impact on me, I tend to write with a better flow.

@Willie give this some time

BallsToTheWall
February 12th 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Amamazing. I still think this is Nightwish's best output bar none. Every song rules.

Poet
February 12th 2008



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Of course I disagree with that statement ;)

This is still my fourth favorite Nightwish album behind Once, Dark Passion Play, and Wishmaster.

EDIT: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres>Any other pokemon aside from Squirtle. This Message Edited On 02.12.08

SCREAM!
February 12th 2008



10025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gengar is easily the coolest pokemon fools

Digging: Old Witch - Come Mourning Come

BallsToTheWall
February 12th 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Wishmaster has nothing on this, hell you talking about fool.

Oceanborn-Century Child-Once-Dark Passion Play-Wishmaster. Truth, nuff said. #1, I guess since this was my first album and Once was your first, there's a bit of a difference. Power Metal sound appelas to me more than the overly epic stuff I used to like.

Nice avatar, Lugia pwns the 3, as demonstrated in the movie, such a long time ago.This Message Edited On 02.12.08

Poet
February 12th 2008



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol@Lugia.
Wishmaster has She is My Sin, The Kinslayer, Fantasmic, Dead Boy's Poem, etc.
You haven't heard Angels Fall First??
This Message Edited On 02.12.08

BallsToTheWall
February 12th 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Only album I don't have. Wishmaster is great, Nightwish has no bad album but Wish is basically an extention to Oceanborn. I agree Dead Boys Poem is fantastic, but I can't find a track that's better than the other On Ocean other than Walking In The Air as my favorite Nightwish song.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2012



1852 Comments


I absolutely love the sound on this album, makes the whole thing sound so glorious and classical. Tarja's vocals contribute to the beauty of the record overall. I felt a couple of the songs let it down slightly, but even they were overshadowed by the likes of 'Pharaoh sails to Orion' and 'Moondance'. Brilliant.

Digging: Black Anvil - Hail Death

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2013



9830 Comments


Sleeping Sun and The Pharaoh Sails to Orion define musical beauty

Keyblade
November 17th 2013



14626 Comments


This that shit

Digging: Kacica - Kacica

Geadom
December 7th 2013



2811 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listening to this fully like in.. ten years? Really good and imaginative, by far Nightwish best album.

The piano is soo fucking fitting and AGGRESIVE, and the guitars have a tremendous punch not find in subsequent albums. Drumming is standard PM fare, but Tarja vocals (and the male vocals on a couple tracks) are top of the game.

"Get away from me!
Take heed to thyself and see my face no more!
for in the day Thou see my face
Thou shalt die!"


(die
die
die )


FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2014



9830 Comments


One of symphonic metal's great masterpieces. Sucks that they aren't that good anymore, at least imo

EvoHavok
January 2nd 2014



1352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is their peak.

CalculatingInfinity
January 2nd 2014



1543 Comments


@Five Nightwish have Floor Jansen now so everyone can care about Nightwish again. Lets hope they can live up to their massive name with her this time round.

Digging: Supercell - Today is a Beautiful Day



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