Nightwish: Best To Worst


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Nightwish has been a very important band to me since my mid-teens. They were one of my first metal bands I got into and I loved the unity of the heavy instrumentation with the orchestra and the operatic vocals. I don't like comparing the supremely talented frontwomen of the band, since I think they all deliver standout performances on the albums they appear on. So the various singers the band has had over the years don't factor heavily into my rankings.

Dark Passion Play is very special to me. I'll admit that 'The Poet and the Pendulum' factors heavily into it topping my list, since it's my favorite Nightwish song, but I believe the rest of the album is incredibly strong as well. I know a lot of listeners had issues with Anette, but I love her voice and thought it suited the material on the album perfectly. The emotion she can convey with her voice makes you feel every lyric she sings. I'll never forget spinning the record for the first time and being completely enamored with the first track and then everything that followed. The only reason I don't listen to it as much now is because I played it to death in high school and early on in college, but I still love to break it out on occasion. Just the best for me.

Nightwish's holy quadrilogy! There's nothing bad about any of these four records. I love all of these albums, but Oceanborn and Once manage to edge ahead of the pack. Oceanborn has some magic to it where everything about it works. I'll admit I didn't appreciate it nearly as quickly as other Nightwish albums, but it's the one I return to the most when I reach for one of the band's records. It's not as polished as the others, but like I said earlier, there's just something about it that works. The band has a youthful energy and everyone delivers an incredible performance, especially Tuomas and Tarja.

Once is very sentimental to me, since it was the first album I heard from the band. I remember a friend showing me the video for 'Nemo' and just being blown away. I'd just dipped my toes into the world of metal before, but this is one of the things that made me jump in completely. It's a classic of the genre and arguably the most accessible in the band's catalog, so it's usually the other album I recommend to someone along with Dark Passion Play. I have nothing bad to say about Century Child and Wishmaster. Both are fantastic records. I just happen to enjoy Oceanborn and Once a bit more.

Imaginaerum, the second Anette album. This is kind of a Dark Passion Play sequel to me, but still a very worthy addition to the band's catalog. 'Slow Love Slow' is a standout Nightwish track for me and one of my favorites. It's just another solid release, which isn't a bad thing at all. I kind of wish the band had continued to experiment more on future releases like they did here.

Angels Fall First often gets forgotten about in my opinion. It's a great debut that's only crime is not being as good as some of the albums that follow. The production is a little rough and you can tell the band is still cementing their sound, but that doesn't stop it from being more than enjoyable. I know the temptation to jump to Oceanborn is high, but don't skip this album.

I didn't care for Endless Forms initially. It was just lacking something the first couple times I spun it, so I shelved it and didn't circle back for a good six months. When I revisited it, I don't know what my problem was because this is a great album. Definitely not my favorite, but still good. Floor does a fantastic job on vocals and I like to think she's a happy medium between both Tarja and Anette.

Human Nature is my least favorite album by a longshot. I hate to say this, but I feel like Tuomas doesn't care anymore or at least not near as much. He seems bored with the band and wants to score movies and tip his fedora to podcasts. There's a handful of decent songs like 'Music', 'Shoemaker' and 'Tribal', but most of them feel phoned in and even dull. I also feel like both Floor and Marco are very underutilized. You've got two dynamite vocal powerhouses and you're not using them to their full potential at all. The second CD doesn't do much for me and I feel like it should have been released as another Tuomas solo project. Not an awful record by any stretch, but I hold Nightwish to a much higher standard and know they can do better.

Created by: ickoriss | 13.05.2020






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