Nightwish
Angels Fall First


3.5
great

Review

by Thor USER (73 Reviews)
March 29th, 2006 | 7 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


Nightwish is a very unique band that have really stood the test of time in the world of power metal. They've released plenty of full length albums and have gained huge success within the underground metal scene. Their unique sound is achieved by the use of Tarja Turunen's operatic vocals and behind that the songs are dominated by the musical genius Tuomas Holopainen's keyboard work and songwriting prowess. But where did this band start" We're about to find out. Enter the realm where...

Angels Fall First

Nightwish's lineup on this album was:
Tarja Turunen - Lead vocals
Emmpu Vuorinen - Guitars, Bass
Tuomas Holopainen - Keyboards, Male vocals
Jukka Nevalainen - Drums

Every band has an image, feeling, or style that they try to use early on in order to gain attention. I already told you about this band's in the first paragraph, and you'll probably guess that they certainly used it to be known when this album was released. While the band's ideas and feelings were there at the time, the band had not fully become cohesive and their songs often become choppy and occasionally, it seems, uninspired. An example of the band's choppiness can be seen in the band's epic song "The Beauty and the Beast". It's a solid song, but there are too many breaks in between which can be confusing at times, especially since Tuomas isn't great at speaking English.

That was the major point behind this review right there; that the band had an image and signature sound, but they had not clearly mastered it yet like they would on their sophomore album, Oceanborn. No matter, every band needs time to develop, but that would still take away from the album's overall rating just because it occasionally just becomes difficult to listen to.

The rest of this review will be positive, so don't worry about this being a Nightwish flame fest. As far as talent goes within the band, Nightwish is right where they need to be. Tarja is an extremely talented vocalist who has clearly had plenty of vocal training to make her one of the best female vocalists I've ever heard. It's a pleasure to listen to her sing on every album because she never really has a bad moment, at least when she's singing. The intro where she speaks out a few lines in the song "Elvenpath" is slightly humorous because of the accent she has. No matter, that's not the main focus of the song.

Emmpu would be the master of the stringed instruments on this album. He does an above average job and delivers some pretty cool riffs at times, but for the most part he's just laying down a solid rhythm and groove for the rest of the band to follow. He does get to have some really cool lead parts though, like on the track "The Carpenter" where he and Tuomas have a bit of a guitar/keyboard duel, just like something you would expect from Children of Bodom. It's one of my favorite parts of the album. Emmpu has the space to be a great guitarist, but on this album he lays back for the majority of the songs instead of playing out. He could have played some more interesting harmony parts from time to time, but it's not all that bad that he didn't. His bass playing is often nonexistant, but you can hear it come out on certain occasions. When the bass is turned up it's usually laying down a pretty catchy and groovy line that's fun to listen to. You can tell that Emmpu isn't a natural bass player, but he does a good job at it anyways.

Jukka isn't exactly your typical metal drummer. If you're familiar with the metal scene, especially power metal, you'd know that this genre is loaded with plenty of double bass drum madness and an array of blast beats. This man just seems to avoid all of this and simply lays down the beats that carry the song along, with some occasional double bass, but not too much. His work is never the main focus of the album, but that's not what Nightwish is all about. I think the band could be really awesome with some better drum beats, but apparently the band didn't think so.

If you remember what I said earlier about keyboardist and male vocalist Tuomas Holopainen, you'd remember that I said he was a musical genius. I'm not going to go back on what I said. This man really knows how to write out parts for the band (I have read that he is the band's principle songwriter). His keyboard parts seem to always be the main focus of the album's twelve tracks, and for good reason. They're always adding some extra feeling and emotion to the band's songs and they never become hackneyed. Such examples of musical greatness can be found on the albums title track "Angels Fall First", where he doubles the part of a strign section and flut parts. It's just a pleasure to listen to. For all of you aspiring keyboard players out there, look no further than Nightwish. Tuomas really knows how to compose great metal songs that are just chock full of emotion.

Highlights:
The Beauty and the Beast
The Carpenter
Angels Fall First
Know Why The Nightingale Sings

Pros:
-- This band is very unique
-- Tarja has an amazing voice
-- Solid guitar riffs and occasional bass lines
-- Tremendous keyboard work
-- Good production quality

Cons:
-- Guitar work could be brought out more
-- Tuomas' vocals aren't very good
-- The band has not fully developed their greatness yet
-- Drums are too simple

Final Rating: 3.5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
March 29th 2006


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

To be honest, I feel this is Nightwish's worst album by quite a distance.



Good review, although you may have focused a little too much on the band rather than the album itself.

Neoteric
March 29th 2006


3243 Comments


This is the only Nightwish album I've heard and I'm not really into it.

talentless
March 29th 2006


94 Comments


Oddly enough, this is the only Nightwish album I don't own. I haven't heard it, but if Jukka was average on this album then he really stepped it up on Oceanborn. I like how he'll play a simple beat with his hands and add little bass accents.

But anyway. I was thinking about picking this up; maybe I should reconsider? This Message Edited On 03.29.06

Shattered_Future
March 29th 2006


1560 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you have every other Nightwish album, it's worth picking this up just to see where they started.



It's decent...nowhere near the level of their other albums, but still pretty good, especially considering the band's age.



Couple notes...Tuomas isn't the principle songwriter, he IS the songwriter, plain and simple. He has written every song for Nightwish, with only the barest minimum of other input from the band members. Which isn't a bad thing, mind you, as you can see througout the band.



The bass is actually mixed quite high in this release, moreso than the others...Marco still brings the most to the bass table, but Emppu did a good job with it, considering he isn't a bassist.



Oh, and Kakko > Tuomas. Plain and simple. True Nightwish fans know what I'm talking about.



Quality review as well.

Remial4
May 20th 2006


99 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review dude. Oh and me and my metal buddies are making a huge joke about Elvenpath now.

HAIL THE ELVEN POTH!! hehe

Remial4
July 14th 2006


99 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Kakko > Tuomas? Do you mean that BatB performance? Cus I think Tuomas's vocals fit much better in the song. That's all I know about what your talking about lol

Altmer
September 10th 2006


5701 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tuomas sounds good on Beauty and the Beast, but I'm listening to Astral Romance now, and he really butchers them.



But for some reason I like this album better than Century Child. It may not have the majesty but it definitely has more of the purity that the original Nightwish was about. This, and the next two albums are crystal clear, this is why Nightwish is so good.



Century child is a bridge to Once which really propelled them into the mainstream. Once may have more grandeur, but it really sounds all the same to me. I can't even tell Planet Hell from The Siren because of the intro.



I can discern any track on the first three albums.



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