In the past, I have expressed some of my opinions about the directions Nightwish and Tarja Turunen went after they separated. I have taken up the controversial topic of hiring Anette Olzon as the band’s lead vocalist (let’s call it the dark days) and I have also reviewed Tarja’s debut album.
And here we are now, some years after all this. Tarja is going pretty strong, while Nightwish has been struggling a bit, fired Anette and signed a contract with the Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen and has just released the brand new album with her taking the lead. And boy, it’s good!
I have to say, that even though I’m still living in the past, accepting only Tarja on the vocals in Nightwish, I cannot escape the fact, that Endless Forms Most Beautiful is one hell of an album. It has everything (and more, because Tuomas likes it big – and we love him for that) and brings back a lot of things that Nightwish has been most known for.
The new album reaches back to the epic battle between keyboards and guitars, is both lyrical and powerful and very entertaining to listen to. I almost cried hearing the beginning of Yours is an Empty Hope, because it was like being transported back to 2004 when Once was released and I first heard the beginning of Slaying the Dreamer. And I’m not saying that the news song is a copy of the other one. It just has those powerful, deep riffs that just rip my guts out (positevely!).
And then Alpenglow took me even farther back in time, reminding me the charming “rawness” of Oceanborn and melodic poetry of Wishmaster just before transforming into a completely new value of sound and duets.
There is a concept here, since Tuomas has been inspired by some works on evolution by Darwin, Higgs or Dawkins (who he also invited to take part in the making of the album!) – and the way I see it, it takes aim on the beauty of real world, the power of science and nature itself. It’s truly worth listening from the beginning till the end.
What is shocking here is that Floor, who is also a classical singer, doesn’t basically use her “opera voice” on Endless… at all. But what is even more shocking is that I absolutely don’t mind! I don’t need her to be a copy of Tarja, I need her to match perfectly to the music and she does that amazingly well, bringing also her rougher side to the mix (like in the already mentioned Alpenglow or the epic 24-minute-long The Greates Show on Earth).
I appreciate a lot the complexity of Endless Forms Most Beautiful, the richness of sound brought by many different factors such as choirs, orchestra, use of various instruments and – of course – beautiful lyrics, which Tuomas is known for.
I skipped last two albums, I didn’t buy them and I don’t really regret it. But this time is different. This album is different. And really worth buying it and enjoying it in the best quality there is. A big YES to Nightwish with Floor!
Released: 27 March 2015
|Endless Forms Most Beautiful
by Nightwish1. Shudder Before the Beautiful
2. Weak Fantasy
4. Yours is an Empty Hope
5. Our Decades in the Sun
6. My Walden
7. Endless Forms Most Beautiful
8. Edema Ruh
10. The Eyes of Sharbat Gula
11. The Greatest Show on Earth