In 2007, I ranked Nightwish
and Pip Williams's Orchestral Version of "Dark
Passion Play" as the number one metal album of the year.
This album is the second disc from the Collector's Edition, and I consider it "the better version" of the two because I felt that not hearing the vocals gives listeners the best opportunity to fully appreciate the awe-inspiring genius of Tuomas Holopainen
's complex compositions. On a number of levels, a strong argument can be made that Holopainen is the formost metal composer of our time. With all the technical musicianship featured throughout all of the songs, it's the ensuing emotions that proves his status. Every note isn't just played for the sake of playing. Holopainen's strengths are feeling out what intrument plays which notes as well as what parts become foreground and background.
For example : two songs, "Bye, Bye, Beautiful" and "Amaranth
", feature the bass lines as foreground during the verses, which would not be the case if vocals were placed over them. In terms of instrument selection, you almost can't go wrong when you have over one hundred and twenty musicians involved. If you love harmony - it's breathtaking. The masterpiece, therefore, is "The Poet and the Pendulum
" complete with a rousing orchestral score, two choirs, and a cello solo in the middle movement that seems to play on the very strings of your own heart. A tell tale heart is even featureed pumping out its final beat before the conclusion of the score.
- The X factor to all of Nightwish
's songs is Emppu Vuorinen. If Holopainen with his songwriting, lyrics, and keyboards makes Nightwish
", it's the guitar work of Vuorinen that makes Nightwish
The first minute of "Master
" should put to rest any doubt of the afformentioned statement. A final point should be made that by claiming the Orchestral Version as the better of the two albums is in no way discrediting Anette Olzon
as a competent singer.
Rather, releasing an album with no vocals instead reinforces the overdue argument that Nightwish
is not just a great "female-fronted band" but a truly excellent heavy metal band regardless who's behind the mic, period.