Review Summary: While not being impressive by any means, Over The Hills And Far Away is still a solid release that will almost certainly satisfy fans of Nightwish.
It's always risky for a band to do a cover song. At best, the band pulls the cover off well, adapts it to their style, and sometimes even makes it just as good as the original. At worst, the band does not transition the song over to their style in a smooth way, the song is butchered beyond recognition, and it draws the ire of their original artists' fans. With Over The Hills And Far Away
, Nightwish take an even bigger risk than usual by basing an entire release around a cover song. Fortunately, this EP falls into the former category.
The EP begins with the title track (originally by Gary Moore
). The song works because, not only did the band successfully adapt the song into their signature style, but they took an already great song and arguably made it even better. It is a song designed to get the listener into the album, and to capture their attention. In other words, it's the usual Nightwish opening track.
Most of the EP lives up to the expectations set by the title track. Both "10th Man Down" and "Astral Romance", while not being among Nightwish's finer songs, still manage to be good enough to keep people interested, while doing nothing truly impressive. However, "Away" gets a little boring. If it were cut down from 5 minutes to 3 minutes, it would be a much stronger track, but at the length it is, it feels unnecessarily drawn out. The EP sometimes sounds a little unfocused, because while being presented as an entirely new collection of songs, it is a compilation of unreleased tracks (save for the title track).
Ultimately, Over The Hills And Far Away
is a solid addition to the Nightwish catalog, that while not being impressive by any stretch of the word, will certainly please fans of the band, and will hopefully leave a positive impression on a new listener.