This is a zine dedicated to Symphonic and gothic metal

REVIEW OF THE ALBUM OF NIGHTWISH “ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL”

Endless Forms Most Beautiful.jpg

“Endless Forms Most Beautiful” is the eight album of Nightwish.This is the first album of the band with Floor Jansen as new singer ,also the first to feature as full -time member Troy Donockley.This album also is the first without the drummer Jukka Nevalainen who according the band’s announcement took a temporary break because he suffering from strong insomnia.All drum parts were played by Kai Hahto from Wintersun and Swallow the Sun. In the album features only five members in the line- up despite the fact that is the first release with six members.Also in two songs of the album we have a guest appearance from British ethologist, evolutionary biologist  Richard Dawkins with spoken words.

The inspiration of the album based by the work of Charles Darwin and his book “On the Origin of Species”. The title “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” taken from him who use these words to describe the evolution from one common ancestor to all living organisms.

The first single from the album was the song “Élan” and this was leaked four days before its planned release date.This was very bad action ,but worst action was when Nightwish in their official facebook published the name of the person who leaked the single and putt her under the view of any fanatic people.One really big band DON’T REACT LIKE THIS! And hahaha according the words of Tuomas Holopainen the whole band feeling “VIOLATED”!

Nightwish have been at front line  of Symphonic Metal for 20 years.This band made great albums in the past but they are known also from their mastering of melodrama. After five albums in operatic style they finished the number one soprano Tarja Turunen , after a failed  as commercial film “Imaginaerum” , after the sudden loss of the second singer Anette Olzon , after the retired drummer Jukka Nevalainen and after one concept solo album of Tuomas Holopainen about  Scrooge Mc Duck, Nightwish brought in the band as new vocalist Floor Jansen former singer ,songwriter of the symphonic power  band After Forever  and  her solo project Revamp. So all we had many expectations for high level album according her voice witch running from operatic to any power metal style and of course her ability  to write  great symphonic metal songs.And what we listen in this album? Floor in second – third role with soft singing holding her back with only few minutes in operatic style.

Why you did this Tuomas? In that way keep as singer of the band your girlfriend  Johanna Kurkela singer in your first solo album “Music Inspired by the Life and Times of Scrooge “.

About the “Élan” cover , Nighwish made proclamation – contest about the best cover of this song.In this smart promotion hook up hundreds  of new singers all over the world.Ambition of them? Haha Tuomas make a good advertisement of the song and FREE!

Something about the players: where is the ‘old| great guitarist Empuu? His guitar didn’t has the old power!Also the guest drummer Kai Hahto played in all the album very good and make us to forget the absence of Jukka.

Let’s see track by track all the songs:

1. “Shudder Before the Beautiful”:

Opens with spoken words of Richard Dawkins and its lyrics talk about the ‘beauty of the world and everything it has to offer”. The sound remind something from “Once” and “Oceanborn” but not in the great moments of these albums.The riffs are heavy and behind is a strong chorus.I will keep from this song dual in the middle the great solo of Empuu guitar and Tuomas keyboard.

RUNNING TIME: 6.29

RATING : 9/10

2. “Weak Fantasy”:

The composition is from both Marco and Tuomas in a heavy way ,with dark lyrics, good orchestration and some powerful vocals of Floor.

RUNNING TIME: 5.23

RATING : 8,5/10

3. “Élan” :

This was the first single ,one folk song with soft catchy melody basically from Troy  and a sympathy performance of Floor.In the end everything are ruined from the voices of the crowd .I want to notice for this song that the melody has very clever notes, if you listen  to this song 20 times make you to hear this with pleasant feeling! In its lyrics again Tuomas use the phrase “meadows of heaven” ( I think this is the third time).

RUNNING TIME: 4.45

RATING : 8/10

4. “Yours Is an Empty Hope”:

And this track co – written by Marco Hietala . This is the heaviest track of the album with powerful riffs.The growls Of Floor under Marco’s vocals gave to the song dynamic energy.The choirs and the melodies of keyboards provide as well the piece.

RUNNING TIME: 5.34

RATING : 8,5/10

5. “Our Decades in the Sun”:

This is a ballad in tribute to the band member’s parents.A common track with few powerfully  moments of Floor and some keyboard melodies.But nothing more important!

RUNNING TIME: 6.37

RATING : 8,5/10

6. “My Walden” :

We listen a Celtic song and the sound remind to us the song from “Imaginaerum” album ” I want My Tears Back”. Boring folk instruments with the drums and guitars in second back role.

RUNNING TIME: 4,38

RATING : 6/10

7. “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” :

As I wrote before this track is inspired from Dawkins book “The Ancestor’s Tale” Rocks well and here we have some good vocals from Floor but again she didn’t gives to us her stormy power vocals.The guitar riffs are good but not enough for a great guitarist as Empuu.

RUNNING TIME: 4.07

RATING : 7/10

8. “Edema Ruh” :

This track refers to the group of traveling musicians and actors according the book of Patrick Rothfuss “Th Name of the Wind” . A medium quality track  for the standards of Nightwish.

RUNNING TIME: 5.15

RATING : 6/10

9. “Alpenglow” :

This piece have the sound of the old Nightwish with good riffs but still Tuomas keep Floor to ” whisper” and not to sing.Is this good choice? no because with her powerful voice she would make the song one of the best of Nightwish.

RUNNING TIME: 4.45

RATING : 7/10

10. “The Eyes of Sharbat Gula” (Instrumental Track):

This is an instrumental track.Tuomas was inspired from the famous picture of Sharbat Gula , you know the girl with the fearful eyes in an issue of National Geographic .  Good orchestration with dramatic keyboards, good for soundtrack  sound but not for symphonic metal. This track is an intermission before the main attack of this album.Take a big breath!

RUNNING TIME: 6.03

RATING : 6/10

11. “The Greatest Show on Earth”

I. “Four Point Six”
II. “Life”
III. “The Toolmaker”
IV. “The Understanding”
V. “Sea-Worn Driftwood”

Here we run a long time track.I have to write a lot for this choice. The title taken from a book of Richard Dawkins about the life and evolution by natural selection. Beginning  with softly piano work after about 1,40 minutes starts the orchestration in epic motivo and backing choir and after about 3.50 minutes some operatic vocals. Under the folk sound starts the monolith of spoken words with few light moments of the female voice.

After the start  we have about  five minutes before  the rest of the band join in with medium riffs and enormous orchestral parts.Then there is some annoying sound of animal noises in a stupid break before Marco joining in duet with Floor for some minutes (but maybe the best moments of the album) and ending with cinematic awful spoken words! I don’t think that anyone has the desire to listen this song more than one or two times.

We have nine to ten minutes with spoken words from Dawkins about the beauty of life on Earth. Good words but thank you Richard if I want to listen ro them I will get an audio book for that. You want Mr Tuomas Scrooge Mc Duck ( or Mc fuck all the band’s members and the singer first) to make a long track as the brilliant song “Ghost Love Score” from “Once” or  the excellent “The Poet and the Pendulum” from ” Dark Passion Play”? Don’t put 10 minutes with boring spoken words.You gave the opportunity to Floor to sing only few minutes with operatic style.

RUNNING TIME: 24.00

RATING : 8/10

Finally the new album of Nightwish  is not a bad musically album but unfortunately is a big disappointment  for me and for Nightwish fans…And also for the fans of Floor Jansen!

I must add here the attitude of Nightwish to many fans of Greece during the release of this album. John Finberg the tour manager of the band wrote in his page on fb and twitter :

“Fuck you Greece , you are fucking up my plans for the fall by fucking up the world markets…I hope everyone  who voted against the bail out winds up living on the street with nothing…..fuck”.

Nightwish after many days in silence and under a storm of complain mails wrote as comment that the opinion of the manager is not the same as their own.Just this….

And later post a neutral message: ” To whom  it may concern,either now or in future,In light of the recent  misunderstanding over an outside comment in the social media.The thoughts and opinion of Nightwish are represented ONLY by the members of Nightwish.Now , stop being silly, close your laptops and go get some fresh air.” The word “sorry” is out of their vocabulary!!!! At lest the manager ask for apology and deleted his insults.

ALBUM RATING : 7,5/10

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