Nightwish - Angels Fall First
1 November 1997

01. Elvenpath
02. Beauty And The Beast
03. The Carpenter
04. Astral Romance
05. Angels Fall First
06. Tutankhamen
07. Nymphomaniac Fantasia
08. Know Why The Nightingale Sings
09. Lappi (Lapland)
    1 - I: Erämaajärvi
    2 - II: Witchdrums
    3 - III: This Moment Is Eternity
    4 - IV: Etiäinen
10. Once Upon A Troubadour [2004 digipack Spinefarm re-release bonus]
11. A Return To The Sea [2004 digipack Spinefarm re-release bonus]
12. A Return To The Sea [2007 re-release bonus]
13. Nightwish [demo] [2007 re-release bonus]
14. The Forever Moments [demo] [2007 re-release bonus]
15. Etiäinen [demo] [2007 re-release bonus]

Nightwish is the band among bands. The epic among epics. The... oh you get the point. This Finnish power/symphonic metal act has more or less acquired a status of having no truly bad songs. Even those who are not fully Nightwish enthusiasts (unlike me) often have a hard time finding something really big to complain about. That's partly what this album is here for! Angels Fall First, the first release by Nightwish was quite odd. The band lacked a bass player at this point and they were still pretty inexperienced, not to mention that the lyrics were very weird. I'd give you examples, but you wouldn't believe me. Let's take a dive in the world of 1997's Nightwish.

The CD opens up with Elvenpath, which is definitely the best song of the album. It's still one of the live favorites whenever they decide to play it, it has many of the elements which makes Nightwish a successful formula today what's with speedy solos, excellent vocals & a very catchy chorus. The only weird thing in this one is well... the lyrics, but also the fact that they have sampled clips from the animated Lord of the Rings movie. (WTF?)

The album continues with Beauty And The Beast. This song is a duet between Tarja & Tuomas (Nightwish's main songwriter & keyboardist). Tuomas voice, however, is not much to cheer about. It's not a big surprise that he eventually stopped performing vocally in the band. The song has a catchy chorus but other than that I don't care much about it.

Next is The Carpenter. This was the very first single Nightwish released and it actually sold well, which is funny considering it's horrible. The construction is awkward, the chorus boring and on top of that Tuomas sings in it. And as mentioned, his vocals scare me.

Astral Romance & Angels Fall First comes next, both are ballads. They are not very good. I can't say much more about them, except that you can hear elements of what signifies Nightwish today what's with the opera & epic feeling. But sadly it's not executed too well. The lack of a bass player is VERY evident.

Tutankhamen is a bit better than the 2 prior tracks. It has a bit of an Egyptian feeling and a fair chorus. It's decent on the whole.

Nymphomaniac Fantasia has the honor of being called the weirdest Nightwish song ever, and Tuomas himself is ashamed of the lyrics he wrote for it. He should be.

Know Why The Nightingale Sings is a lot better than all tracks on the album except Elvenpath. It sounds more like that song, making it successful and definitely the second best track.

Finally the album ends with Lappi [Lapland] that is an epic clocking in at 9:20. I love epic tracks normally, but this one lacks structure. Really, it does. It has a segment of witch drums that is kind of pretty, but other than that it stinks. In Nightwish's latest effort (Once), there's a song in Finnish that is very beautiful. But in Angels Fall First, Tarja gives us the impression that Finnish is impossible to sing in a nice manner because in Lappi it makes you cry. And not in a good way.

Looking back on this review I guess it does look like I butchered the first album of my favorite band. This is not true. I am just being a bit critic. While it is definitely the worst Nightwish release ever, it's still worth a listen. If not else to experience the roots of Nightwish. Because this is where the legacy of the world's most epic band begins. So do like me, and walk the path of the elves!

Band profile: Nightwish
Album: Angels Fall First


written by Lanfawn | 07.05.2004

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Bad English

Almost 20 years have passed since Nightwish released their debut album Angels Fall First. Many things have changed, but after their latest album Endless Forms Most Beautiful was released 2 months ago, I have been wondering which album is their best and who is Nightwish, what does this band stand for?

Listening to the latest one, and comparing it, I really think it is a masterpiece, because it brings us back to days when genre was young, when bands played what they felt, when they were influential, not inspired by others (mostly starters of genre). This is middle '90s gothic without unnecessary, boring and progressive keyboard parts. Keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen is the main man in this band - songwriter, poet, and lyricist - but in this album you don't hear anything that should not be there, because Tarja's stunning voice blows everyone away. Keyboard element flows like in one melody; a mix between guitars, drums, and Tarja's vocals.

published 27.05.2015 | Comments (37)


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Spyroid - 04.07.2006 at 02:20  
I though MS staff didn't allow song-by-song reviews And I didn't wrote a such, wich I wanted to do
Lucas - 04.07.2006 at 21:45  
I agree, I don't like it either..
Spyroid - 13.07.2006 at 15:27  
Well, I have nothing against the review, I am just annoyed that it got accepted. When I wrote the comment, I had just written a review to wich I wanted to do song by song, and I read that it was forbidden. 10 minutes later I just read a random review wich is a guest review with song by song. To bad.
Lanfawn - 13.07.2006 at 22:14  
You guys do realize that this review of mine is like 2 years old, right?
4look4rd - 31.07.2006 at 22:50  
Amazing album! the best treck is Angels Fall First, I think it was Thoumas "first grate lyric" =)
Kib Thanyarath - 21.07.2007 at 18:11  
my fav song on this album is Elvenpath
Ernis - 05.10.2007 at 23:02  
It's a good review....I like it....and I agree that Tuomas indeed doesn't have a voice....
4look4rd - 30.11.2007 at 16:51  
its my favorite Nightwish album (wierd) because its the only one that lacks all that symphonic crap that gets really old.... really fast
angel_heart - 01.12.2007 at 15:49  
Since when is "Astral Romance" a ballad?
Uirapuru - 16.03.2008 at 10:33  
this album is really nice. i just listen nightwish becouse of some few songs, so im not an expert in this kind of music. But this album sounded better to me than Oceanborn, Century Child and any other. It has beautiful songs, and the Lappi song, with folk instruments (and Tarja in her finnish singing) its very nice. Best track: Lappi (Lapland): Erämaajärvi.
Slayer666 - 07.01.2009 at 20:58  
"A deeper shall be the wound between your legs" from Nymphomaniac Fantasia.
No comment.
Ellrohir - 30.09.2009 at 10:45  
"Beauty And The Beast" and "Nymphomaniac Fantasia" are the higlights...plus some bonus songs of 2007 re-release (including their first demo)...otherwise i found this album weak compared to what came next...
ErnilEnNaur - 10.09.2010 at 01:54  
It really makes you wonder how they went from this to the mind-blowingly awesome Oceanborn. Biggest leap in quality in the history of metal?
Vonpire - 06.10.2011 at 15:50  
Written by Uirapuru on 16.03.2008 at 10:33

this album is really nice. i just listen nightwish becouse of some few songs, so im not an expert in this kind of music. But this album sounded better to me than Oceanborn, Century Child and any other. It has beautiful songs, and the Lappi song, with folk instruments (and Tarja in her finnish singing) its very nice. Best track: Lappi (Lapland): Erämaajärvi.

Jair Crawford - 08.12.2011 at 08:43  
I, too, like Angels Fall FIrst better than Oceanborn. Why? Oceanborn was a technical masterpiece. Angel's Fall FIrst might have lacked the technique we hear in Oceanborn, but I feel it had more heard and soul.
bayern - 04.06.2015 at 00:38  
You can not compare Angels Fall First, Oceanborn, Wishmaster, Century Child , Once with the recent 3 craps DPP , Imaginaerum and EFMB, different kind of music and Tarja is Tarja of course.

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