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Excellent debut! - 90%

Silmaril, May 25th, 2003

This debut album by Nightwish is a very well achieved and enjoyable record. Even though it sounds different than the other Nightwish releases, it doesn't mean that it is less "Nightwish" than them, you know what I mean?
Anyway, the guitars here have slower, longer and also more crunchy riffs, the keyboards don't have much predominance, and I'd prefer calling this a sort of ambient-metal, rather than symphonic metal, given that there's a strong acoustic component.
Elvenpath is a good starter, with a fantsay theme to kick off this album, followed by Beauty and the Beast, two of the best tracks in the album, Astral Romance is also good, and the title track is an acoustic track where we can hear a very sorrowful Tarja. Tutankhamen returns to full metal with an Egyptian feeling and to the mystic lyrics. Nymphomaniac Fantasia features acoustic guitars in the beggining, a symphonic component, metal instrumentation and keyboard sounds in the end.
Know why the Ninghtingale Sings is the song which pleased me the less, and it's followed by the 4-part ambient song Lappi. This is one of my favourite songs, the first track is acoustic and sung in Finnish, the second part consists of drums and keyboards, the third part uses metal guitars together with piano and keys and a return to the use of vocals, absent in the 2nd part. The fourth and last part is an acoustic ending with Tarja not singing any lyrics but just using her beautiful voice with an ambient purpose. This final song is a beautiful ambient effort, not just for metal fans, I think anyone can enjoy it!