Rating:
7.5
Nightwish - Dark Passion Play
26 September 2007


Disc I
01. The Poet And The Pendulum
02. Bye Bye Beautiful
03. Amaranth
04. Cadence Of Her Last Breath
05. Master Passion Greed
06. Eva
07. Sahara
08. Whoever Brings The Night
09. For The Heart I Once Had
10. The Islander
11. Last Of The Wilds
12. 7 Days To The Wolves
13. Meadows Of Heaven
14. Reach [Amaranth demo] [bonus]

Disc II [limited edition]
01. The Poet And The Pendulum [Instrumental]
02. Bye Bye Beautiful [Instrumental]
03. Amaranth [Instrumental]
04. Cadence Of Her Last Breath [Instrumental]
05. Master Passion Greed [Instrumental]
06. Eva [Instrumental]
07. Sahara [Instrumental]
08. Whoever Brings The Night [Instrumental]
09. For The Heart I Once Had [Instrumental]
10. The Islander [Instrumental]
11. Last Of The Wilds [Instrumental]
12. 7 Days To The Wolves [Instrumental]
13. Meadows Of Heaven [Instrumental]

Disc III [Limited 3CD Box Edition]
01. Escapist
02. Meadows Of Heaven [orchestral version]
03. The Poet And The Pendulum [demo]


All eyes have been on Nightwish over the last three years following the huge commercial success of previous album "Once" and of course also the dramatic letting go of previous vocal powerhouse Tarja. Now more than ever Tuomas and company have immense pressure placed upon them to deliver the goods with the sixth full length edition to the Nightwish catalogue.

As bombastic and grand as they have ever sounded, the fourteen minute monster of an opening track "The Poet And The Pendulum" is not just a statement to anyone who may have questioned the future of the band, but is also if you will, the title track with the pendulum on the front cover of the album and is also the epitome of the whole album to come. The band sound as heavy as they have ever been before - full of sound, many layers, the backbone of the music is still the same but of course the slightly different line-up brings with it some slight changes. One of the unique selling points of Nightwish was Tarja and her strong, classical, operatic voice booming over the metallic symphonies, but Anette has more of a rock type of singing that just does not project as Tarja's did, it isn't as powerful and has nothing really unique about it at all, but this still doesn't mean she doesn't have a sweet voice.

"Dark Passion Play" although still very much a Nightwish album is one of the most adventurous outings of the band's history. The album is more diverse than anything we have heard before and must be the bravest as well opening with a near quarter of an hour epic. "Amaranth" sounds very commercial and appealing to the wider audience, "Master Passion Greed" must be the heaviest thing this band have ever put onto CD with furious guitaring, double bass drumming and Marco taking to the lead vocal position, and to another far out tangent of the musical spectrum of the album we even have strong folk elements with "The Islander" and "Last Of The Wilds" that seem to work surprisingly well. The band clearly show with this album that they are not just a typical, simple one-track female fronted symphonic metal band that many people may pass them off for these days.

This is a long album running in at just over seventy-five minutes and so almost inevitably we have some forgetful and morbidly bland tracks, "Eva" being the worst culprit here, I am sure this track must have some deep value in it somewhere but you just can't hear it. It is the slow track of the album that is neither stirring or emotional, nothing special here at all. "Sahara" and "7 Days To The Wolves" also slip way below the radar as well as a couple of other average tracks on the album that unfortunately fail to capture your imagination.

It is difficult to say the least to simultaneously arouse the attention of the two worlds of popular commercial success and the more underground true heavy metal listeners, but this album is one that will please both camps. This still has that Nightwish charm about it, but if you purchase this album hoping it will be just like the others you may be a little let down - not because this is of a lesser quality, but has just adopted a slightly different style which may in fact introduce new fans to the band. "Dark Passion Play" will understandably split the listening audience as most things would after such a change, but this is probably the best album the band could have made given their circumstances and the pressure, and they certainly deserve a thumbs up for the brave effort.


Band profile: Nightwish
Album: Dark Passion Play


 



Written on 28.09.2007 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
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Mr. Doctor - 02.12.2011 at 17:45  
Written by Guest on 15.07.2010 at 02:00
Why is it, that everything non-Tarja is pop to the ears of Nightwish fans?


I like to think I'm in a pretty neutral ground here as it has been a long time since I heard Nightwish and all but regardless if I like both vocalist or not, Annette sounds definitely more pop (just talking about the vocals here).

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