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Everyone who knows anything about Nightwish knows that Nightwish's lead singer was replaced by a more poppish one, and it shows on this CD. Annete just doesn't have what Tarja had, but the band was mostly(key word mostly) able to compensate for the lack of female vocals.
The album starts with a dark, Poet and the Pendulum, which is nearly fourteen minutes of good music. This song highlights the entirety of Nightwishes range with soft parts, loud parts, slow music, fast music, male vocals, and female vocals. This song shows that Nightwish may be a changed band, but is still very very good.
Next comes Bye Bye Beautiful, which is thoroughly enjoyable. Marco provides the chorus and Annette provides the main part. I began to see the adaptation this band had to go through. After this comes Amaranth, which people(mostly Tarja fans) say is too poppy. It's not. It's a very solid song which, yet again, shows that Nightwish has had to change, and that the change isn't for the worst.
It is here the album begins to slip, showing Annette isn't nearly as strong as Tarja was. The Cadence of Her Last Breath is a boring song and Annettes vocals don't give the song the depth that Tarja would have given it. This song is made up for by Master Passion Greed, a song entirely sung by Marco. It has attitude and brings the life back into the album, that was lacking in Cadence.
The next group of songs are not bad, but not memorable either. Eva goes by slowly, with very little guitar. Sahara drones on with a boring eastern tone. Whoever Brings the Night has awful lyrics and a whiny Annette. For the Heart I Once Had is just boring.
Then the new Nightwish comes in strong, with Marco doing a folklike the Islander with a normal voice. It's an amazing song, even without the guitars. Then comes an instrumental Last of the Wilds, in which the fiddle and guitar intertwine perfectly. This is the best song on the album.
Seven Days to the Wolves shows that Marco can still do duets with Annette like he did with Tarja. This is also a great song which I wish the album would end on...it doesn't. The album has to have the worst, most torturing Meadows of Heaven last. The gospel in it might, just might, have worked with Tarja but it overpowers and crushes the song.
So now, you might be wondering why this album isn't lower graded. The potential in half of the songs leaves me not able to wait to see their next album and hoping the pick to follow the Annette path and not still try to do the Tarja style, which didn't work on this album.