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Eating humble pie - 50%

Naudiz, April 26th, 2012

Even the biggest careers start small.

Of that, Nightwish can tell you a thing or two. Admittedly, the 1997-released debut laid the foundation for the later unique style of the band, but it isn't completely persuading, neither compositionally nor vocally. No trace of the genius of later albums, but you have to remember that the band members where only about 20 years old when this lp came out. If you look at it that way, Angels Fall First is relatively good, although the production is abysmal and Tuomas should have kept his fingers away from the microphone.

With "Elvenpath", Nightwish waste the best song on the album right at the start. The thereby high expectations could not be fulfilled. The only track that is halfway on the same level as "Elvenpath" is "Astral Romance", but sadly only on the first half. The other one is gloriously ruined by Tuomas' howling.

A Beauty and the Beast concept could be, how surprising, found on the same-named song. The idea by itself is quite nice, but there's Tuomas' voice again, and who knows the concept of Theatre of Tragedy could be disappointed, because Nightwish cannot reach the same level.

The surprising highlight of the album is the quadrinomial Lappi-Suite, which consists of two "normal" and two instrumental parts. The influences of Finnish folklore may need getting used to, but they give the suite a certain melancholy thatis very fascinating. Just typical Finnish.

Conclusion: A nice, but not world-shattering debut.

Favourite songs: Elvenpath, Lappi-Suite.