I like Nightwish. There, I said it. I don’t LOVE Nightwish, but I was a big fan of theirs back when they released ‘Once’, had the video for ‘Nemo’ on Kerrang repeatedly and had operatic sex bomb Tarja Turunen on vocals. I have recently gone back through my CD collection in the advent of 2014 approaching, to find the hidden treasures I have bought in the past and forgotten about. When you own like 1400+, you start to lose some in the madness. Nightwish was one of those artists, so I’m dusting them off to see if they still appeal to my tastes.
I have like, five (FIVE!?) Nightwish records. That, I definitely had forgotten. I thought I only had two, three at a push. I first got into them just after I left high school and went to university. My little hometown had fuck all in the way of decent record stores apart from Barnstorm Records, to which I owe a lot. But Glasgow had a Virgin Megastore (remember those?) and about 3 HMVs, so I was in heaven. I then discovered a love for symphonic metal and power metal, which was fully realised by the fact I could get these kind of records in the shops. It was the birth of my CD collection’s true expanse into what it has become today.
And Nightwish were a firm favourite of mine back in the day. They had some great songs, and a real sense of the grand and epic. Tarja’s voice was so different to anything I had really experienced before, and female-fronted metal bands were reasonably rare at the time. 2004’s ‘Once’ was truly a great album for its era; it contained all the good things about symphonic power metal with female vocals, without falling into the missteps that so many copycats (and the band themselves) fell into afterwards. ‘I Wish I Had An Angel’ was a storming track, and the always catchy ‘Nemo’ are still good tracks, almost 10 years later. Tarja was a bona fide opera singer, so she could do epic SERIOUSLY well. Nightwish could do epic properly too, with the huge ‘Ghost Love Score’ and ‘Creek Mary’s Blood’.
Nightwish lost something for me when Tarja left; both they and Turunen’s solo records failed to leave much of an impression on me (although I still like ‘Amaranth’ and ‘Eva’ from ‘Dark Passion Play’) and they faded from my radar almost completely. They became a band for me that I had good memories of ‘back in the day’, but held nothing for me as I moved towards more brutal and obscure directions in music. But listening back to them now, I can still see why I liked them. I could probably put together a personal greatest hits for people who wanted to hear the best of them. And here it is:
1. Sleeping Sun
4. I Wish I Had An Angel
5. Dark Chest of Wonders
6. End of All Hope
7. Angels Fall First
8. Nymphomaniac Fantasia
9. Ghost Love Score
10. The Poet and The Pendulum
11. Sacrament of Wilderness
And, here’s another reason I, at 18, was smitten by Nightwish. Back when Tarja was stunning. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hmzR1CKGtA