NIGHTWISH – Dark Passion Play

  • 8.5/10
    NIGHTWISH - Dark Passion Play - 8.5/10


Release Date: September 26, 2007

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Nightwish has taken a sweeping turn. Tuomas Holopainen (composer and keyboardist) along with Marco (bassist/vocals), Jukka (drums), and Emppu (guitarist) slipped a “goodbye” note to Tarja Turunen at the end of their prior world tour, firing her from this renowned Scandinavian Metal band forever. In secret, they held auditions for a new vocalist and eventually found one. Her name is Anette Olzon: former vocalist of Alyson Avenue. Her vocals differ enormously from Tarja’s by the fact that she does not have the Operatic qualities of Tarja, leaving Anette with a lot to live up to. Anette, instead, has more of a poppy voice, and at times wispy, which affects the approach of the new album.

This album has Nightwish music, but with unexpected vocals. Opening with the near 14-minute song “The Poet And The Pendulum,” the diversity of this album is let loose. With fierce instruments of the orchestra and a gentle mood, it turns Nightwish onto a whole new path. “The Poet And The Pendulum” is much like Metal film music with relaxing violins intertwined within the drums and guitars. By Marco singing along with Anette, they successfully create an emotive piece.

The track “Bye Bye Beautiful” is a lively twist. It starts off with palm-muted guitars and nice keyboards, then surprises you with dark tones. This song is quite rhythmic and the simple lyrics say a final goodbye to Tarja. Mixed with hidden whispers and the orchestra, this song still doesn’t create the same beauty as “Wish I Had An Angel” in Once, but instead seems as if the voice of Marco and Anette are competing.

Then arrives the single “Amaranth” … its charming piano and demanding guitar snake together and overthrow the previous song. Anette’s voice has a mysterious beauty to it in this piece. The music seems as if it is chanting to you (with the help of the chorus), creating a mythical feeling.

“Cadence Of Her Last Breath” starts off with heavy breathing, a quick keyboard, then it soars to a different level with deep guitars, before going back down with Anette’s delicate vocals. This song is like a roller coaster; comprised of strong points and weak ones.

Next is the aggressive “Master Passion Greed.” Marco mainly sings in this track, along with the chorus. War-like drums from Jukka are strong for a few seconds then become mixed in with repetitive guitar riffs, creating an unexciting theme until the orchestra goes a bit crazy at the end, adding the main color to this song.

“Eva” arrives and changes the monotone mood to a ballad. This song is very slow, and doesn’t have a very intriguing sound. The guitar solo is full of sorrow and is very depressing, but sounds somewhat like the solo in “Dead Boy’s Poem” from their previous album Wishmaster.

Opening up with a fantastic riff followed by a muted guitar, the music in “Sahara” is okay, but not the best or truly indicative of Nightwish’s potential. The vocals tend to be very choppy at times, and at others light as a feather. Then, Anette transforms her usual Pop-like vocals in a startling way by shockingly changing her style into a Middle Eastern theme.

“Whoever Brings The Night” opens with heavy guitars and a surprisingly creepy voice from Anette. The pulsating drums help to bring an eerie/dark tone to this one.

“For The Heart I Once Had” is by far different from the “old” Nightwish. With its Poppy tone and nature, this song fits Anette’s voice perfectly. This is a very pleasant track that strays away from what Nightwish is known for.

Entering with such an amazing shock effect are the tracks “The Islander” and “The Last Of The Wilds.” These songs have a Folk Metal twist; full of acoustic guitars, flutes, and feathery drums, these tracks let out an extremely relaxed and outstanding vibe. Marco’s usually strong and fierce voice slows down a bit and lightens up to better suit the Folk Metal path.

“7 Days To The Wolves,” a very well-known track, is up next. It’s a very repetitive song, but Marco really hits off the ending with the orchestra, showing his prevailing vocal chords yet again.

Ending the album is the moving tones of “Meadows Of Heaven.” A soft and expressive ballad, it doesn’t show the full potential of Tuomas’ composition acumen. However, the flutes are very nice and soothing with the drums. The song ends unexpectedly with a gospel choir, adding yet another surprise from Nightwish.

Nightwish have brought many different opinions upon themselves due to the new vocalist, Anette, and the unique new style of their music in Dark Passion Play. This album is truly the start of a new Nightwish!


  • Jacky Linville

    Jacky was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the state of Georgia in the USA. She's a die hard Metal fan. Due to no musical influences besides The Beatles growing up, it was a little difficult to find her true "vibe" in music, but once she heard Children of Bodom she was hooked like a kid to candy. When she started playing guitar, she got more turned on to Metal. Playing guitar was influenced from Metal to Classical music. Her guitar idols are Zakk Wylde and Dimebag. She listens to everything from Slayer to Bach to true 80's. She's the kind of chick that'd rather be at a Metal concert standing next to some old sweaty guy than be at home watching movies.

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