Nightwish
Endless Forms Most Beautiful


3.5
great

Review

by Oranges. CONTRIBUTOR (72 Reviews)
April 9th, 2015 | 96 replies


Release Date: 03/31/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born."

Nightwish have had it rough over the past decade. From the constant lineup changes to the colder reception of Imaginareum and Dark Passion Play, the band’s studio output has felt very lackluster for the most part. The mesh of folk music and symphonic metal has slowly become more and more stale, and there’s generally been a lack of interest and intrigue. So, with the introductions of new vocalist Floor Jansen and instrumentalist Troy Donockley, it seems as though Nightwish could go either way with their newest outing. Despite all the initial skepticism surrounding what the end product would hold, Endless Forms Most Beautiful is, surprisingly, a substantial step up from the band’s previous two albums, and may just be what Nightwish needs to bolster their status as one of Europe’s more prominent symphonic metal bands.

Opening track “Shudder Before the Beautiful” sets up the album perfectly, with a spoken word intro by Richard Dawkins followed up by intense guitars, robust orchestral music, and strong vocals. “Weak Fantasy” and “Élan” are more folk-influenced, throwing in some soothing pipes, mellow whistles, and even a brief bouzouki break halfway through the former track. Jansen’s vocals are especially worth mentioning, because they nail the sweet spot between both the more operatic tones and poppier styles of previous vocalists. Tuomas Holopainen’s keyboard and piano additions blend in perfectly with the aggressive, vigorous guitars and the trumpeting (no pun intended) symphonies.

Unfortunately, the band still occasionally ends up falling flat. The main problem here is that there are times when Nightwish seem to feel a little too comfortable with doing more of the same, resulting in some stagnation all around. Additionally, the death growls on “Yours Is An Empty Hope” can come off as awkward and even unintentionally hilarious. Despite this, the album manages to hit its peak with the mammoth closing track “The Greatest Show On Earth”. Split into five separate pieces, the song sees Nightwish transitioning between melodic piano sections, bombastic orchestral harmonies, adrenaline-pumping guitar riffs, more Dawkins monologues, and random animal noises.

Endless Forms Most Beautiful is primarily more of the same, but it would be unfair to say that’s a negative. Ultimately, Nightwish have managed to create a consistent album that doesn’t end up sounding tired or uneventful. While Endless Forms Most Beautiful is still a far cry from the band’s more acclaimed works such as Oceanborn, it seems as though this is just what Nightwish needed to get back on track in the studio. It may not be The Greatest Show On Earth, but it’s still a damn good time nonetheless.



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user ratings (236)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4)
The new lineup is experiencing some growing pains but it provides a new or refreshing idea for every...

SgtShock (3)
More focused and ambitious than their previous releases, Endless Forms almost breaks the familiar wa...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2015


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is currently available to stream from Spotify. This was actually kind of a tough one for me. Big props to ComeToDaddy for proofreading. As always, c/c welcome.

rufinthefury
April 8th 2015


2945 Comments


I actually just re-listened to some Nightwish songs a few days ago on a nostalgia trip for middle school. They were about 100x cheesier than I remembered.

I think I'll pass on this.

Hawks
April 8th 2015


50129 Comments


Dark Passion Play was so bad it ruined the chance of me checking out anything else by this band so I'm gonna pass as well. Sweet review though. :]

Digging: Cradle of Filth - Cryptoriana ? The Seductiveness of Decay

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2015


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Graci, Hawks. Yeah, I didn't think you would be eager for this one, haha.

Darkwatch025
April 8th 2015


333 Comments


I thought Dark Passion Play was fucking great! I don't understand how anyone can say it was bad. Last of the Wilds, Sahara, Bye Bye Beautiful, Amaranth, the Islander...all awesome songs in my opinion.

Hawks
April 8th 2015


50129 Comments


There's this thing called opinions my man.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2015


16338 Comments


The cheese is strong with this band

Digging: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers

trackbytrackreviews
April 9th 2015


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It just seems kinda stupid to say I'm not gonna check any of their next albums because I didn't like the current one

Tunaboy45
April 9th 2015


15496 Comments


Great review oranges, might listen to this

Digging: The National - Sleep Well Beast

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2015


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude. I think you'll dig it.

trackbytrackreviews
April 9th 2015


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dae find Once better than Oceanborn? I certainly do

Artuma
April 9th 2015


28970 Comments


this band was the shit when i was like 9

Digging: Gang of Youths - Go Farther in Lightness

PlatonicMushroom
April 9th 2015


728 Comments


"melodic piano sections, bombastic orchestral harmonies, adrenaline-pumping guitar riffs, more Dawkins monologues, and random animal noises."

oh shit gotta listen

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2015


10124 Comments


Cheese can be good

Digging: Wolves in the Throne Room - Thrice Woven

trackbytrackreviews
April 9th 2015


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Grilled cheese yeah

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2015


10124 Comments


4 real

DrJohn
April 9th 2015


1041 Comments


good review... can't stand the band though.

Poet
April 9th 2015


6003 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Nightwish have had it rough over the past decade. From the constant lineup changes to the colder reception of Imaginareum and Dark Passion Play, the band’s studio output has felt very lackluster for the most part."



Imaginareum was actually one of the more acclaimed albums. As for this album, it was somewhat a grower for me. It's more of a 4.25 than a 4.5, but whatever I'm rounding up. It was nice to see that Tuomas remembered that they had a guitarist and that solo section in Shudder Before the Beautiful is a great reminder of the Oceanborn/Wishmaster days.

trackbytrackreviews
April 9th 2015


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't forget the flute parts!

Cryptkeeper
April 10th 2015


1697 Comments


Are these guys as cheesy as I think they are?

Digging: Deca - The Ocean



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