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Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Jun 11th, 2015

Nightwish: Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Nightwish

Nightwish
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
(Nuclear Blast)

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The eighth, and one of the most anticipated albums, from Nightwish once again answers, how will the new singer sound? The world got its answer through various YouTube clips and the live record, Showtime, Storytime, released as the debut of former After Forever, current ReVamp vocalist Floor Jansen. After Anette Olzon’s ousting mid-tour, Jansen was brought in quickly with a crash course on the set and finished the tour.

Inspired by Charles Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species, the title is taken from a quote within. In comparison, Imaginaerum is said to be a tribute to the imagination as Endless is an homage to science and reason. Of course inescapable comparisons come with the territory, though Jansen’s voice and delivery are distinctively her own, there are moments when she goes into Tarja’s domain and carries the similarly smooth, poppy sound of Olzon.

There are definite hints of Imaginaerum, Dark Passion Play and previous works throughout. Jansen’s Nightwish studio debut is officially introduced to the world on “Shudder Before the Beautiful.” As heavy guitars crunch and angels sing, the song opuses mid-tune with symphonic choruses and the beginning-to-end bombast expected from a new Nightwish disk opener. “Weak Fantasy” takes a dig at the constraining reigns of religion while filling the walls with the sounds of conquest throughout the decadent halls of history. “Elan,” the first single and video, hints and haunts of “The Islander” as Jansen could walk hand in hand with Olzon in some parts. It’s inspired by the stories and history of some of the abandoned, vacant buildings in Finland. “Yours is an Empty Hope” turns darker with a melancholy touch as classical symphonic power showers on the heavy riffs nailed down. It’s a more damming song with musical and vocal warnings of forewarned fate. The reaper’s breathe can almost be smelled from the haunting words dripping from Jansen’s lips, like a dark fairy tale warning to be good or no sleep for you tonight. The counterbalance of parental love and protection from childhood-adulthood comes on “Our Decades in the Sun.” Tranquility flows like a swan’s feather brushing the water, bringing things down to a somber verse. “The Eyes of Sharbat Gula” carries the instrumental allure of dramatic piano keys and marching drums summoning the images seen by the eyes of National Geographic’s 1985 “Afghan Girl.”

The main act and closing song is 24 minutes long, in five parts, an almost biblical undertaking in scope and vision about life and natural evolution. “The Greatest Show on Earth” is both a grandiose opus and historical epic of sound and history told with music. Musically, this is the Nightwish we all love and are inspired by with incredible ensembles and orchestrations. Vocally, it’s a new day, with a new voice. Jansen doesn’t act or sing like she’s in anyone’s shadow and will take the world on a new ride where audiences will be floored.

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Nightwish: Endless Forms Most Beautiful