Nightwish - Dark Passion Play review



Reviewer:
7.5

1125 users:
7.72
Band: Nightwish
Album: Dark Passion Play
Release date: 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.


 



Written on 28.09.2007 by Member of Staff since 2006.


Comments

Comments: 101   Visited by: 437 users
28.09.2007 - 18:12
Deadsoulman
Lemmyng
I was really expecting a sordid piece of dump for this album. Once had already let me down big time, and the poppish single Amaranth and its Avril Lavigne-esque video didn't do anything to appease my fears.

BUT, I must say this album is surprisingly not bad. The Poet And The Pendulum is a splendid epic opening track. Bye Bye Beautiful, Master Passion Greed clearly belong to the Nightwish I used to like, while The Islander and Last Of The Wilds show a new, folkish direction that I really enjoyed as well. Some of the songs here sound like old Dark Moor to me. Alos, I really like the use of the orchestral parts (which was the strongest point on Once as well).

Unfortunately I think it is too long, as you pointed out in the review, and about half of the songs serve as fillers. One last thing, I'm definitely not a fan of the new vocalist. Oh yeah, she can sing, I just don't like her voice. Anyway, it fits here.

Altogether, this is a fair review, I'd give this album around 6.5 or 7. Good but not outstanding, except for the first song.
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28.09.2007 - 18:15
GT
Coffee!!
Nice review Baz...I'm really looking forward to getting the album myself and your review only made me want it more
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Dreams are made so we don't get bored when we sleep
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28.09.2007 - 18:22
Spyroid
Rosetta Stoned
I have only listened to the album twice, but I think it's brilliant. Totally outstanding. And I love it already. Most albums need to grow on me, but this didn't as well as Symphony X's Paradise Lost. This has not happend to me with a new metal release since 2005 so I am really pleased.
Maybe I will like it less after some weeks? I'm really in a "Nightwish-period" now so you never know. Still, today I'd give it at least a strong 8.5.
And besides - I love Anette! She's totally different but as I use to say - Nightwish has released five great albums with Tarja, and since the new album is great aswell - why complain?

Good review though Baz, I'd really like to see your ratings on production, performance e.tc. aswell but otherwise nice work, and great that you got it finished the same day as the release!

Peace
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28.09.2007 - 18:24
Spyroid
Rosetta Stoned
Haha and one more thing - an instrumental bonus CD! What more can you want from a symphonic metal band? Cradka loves cheeesy soundtrack metal!
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28.09.2007 - 18:37
Ivan
Admin
Great review, Baz! I must admit that I love the new album like some teenage fanboy, from the first song to the last, with all my criticism sound asleep - so it's good that I decided not to take on this review myself

Amazing stuff really - after all high expectations it still manages to impress, especially with it's diversity - it's not often that a band releases an album with such variety of tracks, and each one has something unique to itself...
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28.09.2007 - 18:54
annodomini
At last Nightwish did something Outstanding and A real masterpiece, there was some albums near to it but DPP is absolutely briliant, unusual melodies, briliant orchestration and superb vocals...something really incredible
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there is nothing left to die for...
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28.09.2007 - 18:57
Der Meister
Account deleted
This album drives me nuts! I think the music is by far the best they have ever made... BUT... I just can't like the new singer's voice! I'm trying, and theres like two songs where she fits (Amaranth and Eva), but I'm just not able to enjoy some of her performances. Sometimes she sounds like such an Evanescence-clone that it hurts my ears. I'm being harsh, it's just that this makes me go crazy because I really like the music! And Marco's vocals are godly, they could do well with just him singing if you ask me!
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28.09.2007 - 19:02
Metal Maiden
Megadead
I'll keep it short - being a huge sympho-fan, i was always attracted by Nightwish...Sure, they were cheesy, commercial, an so on, BUT, they had something in them, something that hypnotyzed me - and that thing was Tarja...And, that thing is no more...I just don't like the kind of singing Anette has to offer...I never did...It's nothing personal...And given the fact most of the instrumentals are AWESOME, i can only imagine what could have happened if Tarja was behind the microphone...I agree with Meister, i would have probably enjoyed it more with only Marco on the vocals...Sorry, Nightwish, i'm sure you did your best, but it's just not enough for me...For now, Epica's Divine Conspiracy is still the best damn album with female vocals ever made IMO...
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28.09.2007 - 19:38
Angel-Dust
Account deleted
Well, I really think this is a great review, it goes deeply in details and it hits the good and the bad.
All I have to say is that their music is still good, they just lack a good, strong, up to the challenge vocalist.
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28.09.2007 - 19:39
annodomini
metal maiden - i think AF - Decipher is the best...Epicas new have some really weak songs like Never Enough and it pushing the level down of this album...
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there is nothing left to die for...
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28.09.2007 - 19:45
Ernis
狼獾
It's a nice review....and I like the album.....well I'd say that for instance Eva is actually a beautiful song....but you have to be in the mood in order to listen to it...otherwise it is a bit boring....but in live it's a nice song for catching breath between the violent pogo sessions during the heavier tracks.....
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Go ahead, make my day...
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28.09.2007 - 19:49
Metal Maiden
Megadead
Written by annodomini on 28.09.2007 at 19:39

metal maiden - i think AF - Decipher is the best...Epicas new have some really weak songs like Never Enough and it pushing the level down of this album...


Here's not the place for this discussion, so let me just say it has NO weak songs IMO, and Never Enough is just as amazing as every other song in it...
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28.09.2007 - 19:57
NortheRnmost
I agree with cradka that this album hit me right from the first listen, not like two previous albums which grew on me track by track. And I must also agree with Baz that "Dark Passion Play" is very varied. It has something for everyone. But "Sahara" and "7 Days to the Wolves" are my very favourite songs here. "Sahara" is very enchanting and "Wolves" sounds great with its progressive elements reminding me more of Tarot than Nightwish. On the other hand the playing in "Master Passion Greed" sounds like rather typical hard hitting new age metal what doesn't impress an old school metal fan like me.
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28.09.2007 - 19:57
Bararey
Winter is Coming
Interesting review, seems not biased,, the problem is I cannot digest Anette's vocals, but I guess that's only me being closed minded,, I still did not hear the entire album, only the two released ones and the beginning of Bye Bye Beautiful and Master Passion Greed,, I am still hesitant if it is worth buying or not
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"Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died."
Ser Jorah Mormont
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28.09.2007 - 20:03
annodomini
You can download it , listen and decide buy or not
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there is nothing left to die for...
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28.09.2007 - 20:03
Demonic Tutor
The Enemy Within
Yep, totally agree with your review Baz. Lots of fillers but overall this new album comes as a good surprise. I like Annette's voice, however, if it were up to me, Marco Hietala would just be the lead singer.
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28.09.2007 - 20:18
annodomini
Agnette for me is more sincere and her voice is somehow closer to heart than Tarjas. I cant imagine Tarja singing these songs.
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there is nothing left to die for...
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28.09.2007 - 21:16
Jonathan Tweet
Account deleted
anette's head bobbing is very obnoxious
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28.09.2007 - 21:17
iaberis
Advice Troll
Probably their best album so far. I like more songs in this than in all their other releases together!
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Bitch! Please
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28.09.2007 - 21:21
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
well - Bye Bye Beautiful, Amaranth, Islander, Poet And The Pendulum are great, Eva, Last of the Wilds and 7 Days to the Wolves somewhere above average, Master Passion Greed, Whoever Brings the Night average and the rest - especially Meadows of Heaven i dont like much...but it is on every album - something you like, something you dislike...i think 8 will be my rating...
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So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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28.09.2007 - 23:13
Lupas
Maximus
Nice Review Bas . I had to wait until my order will arrive and then i give my point of view onto this album
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"For what point has this life if you can't realise your dreams?" -- The Divine Comedy
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28.09.2007 - 23:41
Piro
Bah, I liked the album, but it took too much into the mainstream with it. Personally, I really liked their earlier stuff better.
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<Philosophy>Insert Intelligent Sounding yet meaningless Philosophical Quote Here</Philosophy>
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29.09.2007 - 00:36
Angellorus
Account deleted
Irregular album. Extremely varied, which isn't a good idea. I like very much The Poet and The Pendulum, Bye Bye Beautiful, Master Passion Greed, Whoever Brings The Night and Last of The Wilds. But there are another songs that I really HATE: Cadence of Her Last Breath, For The Heart I Once Had, 7 Days To The Wolves and Meadows Of Heaven.

And most of the time, Anette's voice sounds weaker than it should. Decent voice, but Nightwish deserves a better one.
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29.09.2007 - 01:08
insanity.peppers
Still has quite a mainstream sound, but I'm enjoying it quite a lot. Like Once, there are definitely enough keepers in this album to keep me listening to it. I miss Tarja's voice but I think on a personality level Anette seems to fit the band which can only help the music in the long run. Bye bye Beautiful should be LONGER!!!
I don't know if they should have had Marco singing the whole thing, but it would be cool if they started making their vocal roles more 50/50 (they're getting there).
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29.09.2007 - 02:10
Raziel X
I like the album and in few days I will have the 2CD version at home. Yes, there are some fillers, but if all metal albums had such a fillers, the life would be easier. And the other ones, like Poet and the pendulum (which can even match the power of mighty Ghost Love Score), Sahara, 7 days to the wolves and Last of the wilds (which reminds me a bit of SuidAkrA´s Dead man´s reel in a positive way) are wow. Also, For the heart I once had, even though it has some more pop-like heartbreaking groove, I like it, esp.Anette´s sweet voice. I think here she showed maybe for the only time her real capabilities.
Of course she hasn´t that "soars high in the sky, above you, impudent mortals"-type of voice, but now the female voice is more a part of the music, of the overall sound.
And the album is IMO one of the smoothest I have ever heard. Those 76 or so minutes pass as fast as a short death metal CD
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29.09.2007 - 03:38
art_is_war
Account deleted
A really enjoyable album, but Nightwish fall into a bad trap of of running over 50 minutes. Music like this gets tiresome after that limit. If they trimmed a few of the weaker songs like, say, Eva, the album would have been truly amazing. I haven't heard it quite yet enough to pick out the other weaker tracks. I like the dabbling in folk towards the end of the record, it's neat. Annete is a good singer, and when she hits the high register (not nearly often enough) like in the first slow bridge on track 1, I nearly came. All that said, on Poet and the Pendulum, at about 7:30 the band launches into one of the most intense symphonic metal sequences I've possibly ever heard. This alone makes this record worth it. I get chills down my spine every time, and it's pure headbanging bliss.
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29.09.2007 - 03:39
art_is_war
Account deleted
Oh yeah, Meadows Of Heaven is pretty damn queer.
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29.09.2007 - 04:03
Graveheart
Interesting, there's an instrumental bonus disc. To which one should I listen first?
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29.09.2007 - 10:47
annodomini
I think the problem why so many people Hate this album is that they were expecting an old Nightwish... I was ready for a new band and i am rate it like a new era (like they say) and Its a really superb album if we forget what was in the past.
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there is nothing left to die for...
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29.09.2007 - 10:53
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
well...i got what i need in half of the tracks and looking forward to see The Poet And The Pendulum performed live i really dont need old NW - i need good quality power metal
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So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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