Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

A solid melo-doom-ish debut - 88%

OSheaman, August 7th, 2003

Nightwish is definitely a unique band. That much is given. With these pioneers and forerunners of the symphonic metal/operatic vocals scene, we have a solid yet very different power band.

The sound in this debut isn't completely mature yet, but it's still very good. The overall atmosphere is some sort of melodic doom with the occasional symphonic interludes and acoustic guitar solos--it hasn't fully formed into the huge, powerful sound that has come to define Nightwish as a band.

The key here is, of course, the vocals provided by Tarja Turunen, who is a beautiful operatic vocalist with an absolutely stunning voice. The smooth, powerful vocals completely make the band, and Turunen pulls off her job completely. There is hardly a hitch in this album--if it weren't for the guitar and drums, you could almost imagine yourself listening to some sort of rendition of Puccini's Madame Butterfly rather than a metal album. The guitar playing is solid, although there isn't a lot of riffage overall. The solos are few and far between--the vocals are obviously center stage in this album--but the backup playing is solid and steady and when the solos do show up, they are done quite well. The acoustic guitar solos are very beautiful, but they tend to be just a bit too long. What is most notable is the harmonies you can hear with both the vocals and the acoustic guitars--the chords and melodies are really beautiful and calming in nature, while still carrying a bit of that punchy ass-kicking that defines metal as a whole. Drums are solid, but there are never any complex beats here (very similar to most Doom Metal compositions), so there's nothing mind-blowing going on in percussion.

Song highlights. Elvenpath has really awesome riffage and great harmonies vocally, with beautiful interludes on keyboard. Beauty and the Beast is one of Nightwish's most famous songs, and it is very well-done, with great vocals provided by both Tarja and Tuomas. Tutankhamen is probably the most headbangable (is that a word?) song on here, with a slow but steady doom beat provided by the drums. Know Why the Nightingale Sings has some really great riffage and some excellent interludes in between the beautiful vocals.

This album isn't quite as impressive as some of Nightwish's other stuff, but in general it is a very solid album. Fans of the style certainly won't want to miss it, and Doom Metal fans looking to branch out a little should definitely give it a try.