Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Nightwish: "Endless Forms of Beautiful"
I have liked Nightwish more in the past than you thought I might have. 2007/ 2008 was the peak of my interest in the band. Now after replacing their replacement singer the band have thrown their new singer t the wolves on the new album. It sounds like they want to carry more than her fair share and she need their help on this one. It doesn't sound like she finds her voice until "Elan". I have noticed this about the bands previous work , but on this album it's more apparent that they should be making soundtracks for melodramatic anime.
These songs begin to make you think that her voice doesn't have the balls to it their previous singers have had even when preoccupied with operatics, this is later corrected. The folk elements are still intact, but the band could stand to darken things up, this is way too happy, like the lyrics say they are dancing a jig at the funereal. They do gather a more powerful chug on "Your is an Empty Hope" which finds Floor Jansen bringing more metal to the mic.This would have been a better choice of an opening song."Our Decades in the Sun" finds Floor relishing the songs ballad like qualities. The guitar here is pretty tasteful, and though this kind of fluff isn't my thing , they are doing a good job of it. It is not unlike some of the post-Roy Khan Kamelot.
The album doesn't find the groove Nightwish needs to be in until "My Walden" then they hit the perfect blend of power-metal and folk that makes them who they are. Floor finally figures out what she is supposed to do with this band. The chorus is pretty happy, but it works for Nightwish and is consistent in the type of post- "Once" metal they kept churning out after Tarja left. The title track ebb and flows with another good cross section of metal with pop folk. To me the big choruses are on the cheese laden 80s side, but I also prefer black metal over power-metal. The intro of "Edema Ruh" sounds like it's going to go into something from a Disney princess film, but breaks down into a more subdued pop. There is some impressive guitar work sprinkled over it all.
"Alpenglow" sticks to a formula that at this point in the album is beginning to feel worn out. Sometimes Floor's melodies carry a little more bite than others. While she is going out saying it's the leak of the first single that is ruining the albums sales it's more likely going to be word of mouth that her studio debut with the band is pretty lukewarm. "The Eyes of Sharbut Gula" really needs to bring it at this point, but it's just an interlude leading up to the twenty three minute epic" the Greatest Show on Earth". This is a dramatic symphonic build for the first six minutes until any sign of rocking out occurs after a brief narrative. It finally gets heavy. Floor voice is coated in effect making me wonder why this hasn't been happening for the rest of the album. The first hints that she might actually be the soprano her bios all say she is. If she is she must be a second soprano, she doesn't wander to much above an alto register.They are none the less ambitious here so I'll give this an 8, but I don't think it's an album that I need to own.