Power of Metal.dk Review

Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Style: Symphonic Power Metal
Release date: 27 March, 2015
Playing time: 01:18:54

It's been four years now since the release of Nightwish's masterpiece "Imaginaerum". Four years of drama and waiting for the next epic release of Finland's most famous Symphonic Metal band. And finally, the time for a new chapter in Nightwish's history has come with "Endless Forms Most Beautiful".

My expectations for this record were very high. I mean... it's Nightwish, they get better and even more epic with every new record. And with Floor Jansen on vocals nothing can go wrong. Which is actually true. Floor is amazing on this album. There are very low notes, high ones, she sings softly and aggressively. Although I expected a bigger usage of her operatic voice, I am very content now that she just uses it in two or three songs. Sometimes, mostly to support Marco's vocals, she even growls in the background! And once again I realize that it was the best decision Nightwish could have made to keep Floor as their vocalist.

Also, Troy Donockley, now being an official band member and Kai Hahto, replacing ill Jukka Nevalainen, do a great job. I knew that Kai, who was the drummer of bands like Wintersun before, would fit perfectly in the band and I really look forward to see him live on tour with Nightwish. And we all know that Troy is just amazing.

The opening track "Shudder Before The Beautiful" is one of my personal highlights. It makes me have this special "Once"-feeling again (which will always be my favorite Nightwish album). To be honest, "Shudder Before The Beautiful" even sounds like "Dark Chest Of Wonders". Just on crack.

As we reach the end of the album, the longest and probably most epic and bombastic song Tuomas Holopainen has ever written starts. With its 24 minutes, the song shines with complexity. Telling the story of evolution, from the first days of our planet earth and the origin of species to the history of homo sapiens and how we will cease to exist one day, "The Greatest Show On Earth" (which is actually life itself) creates a cinematic character with this special "wow"-effect. The orchestra is at its best in this song. The quotes by Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins (who also recites them) are simply inspiring. Actually, I don't know why so many people have a problem with Richard Dawkins, I am not into his theory, but the quotes used in this song couldn't be more true.

I hoped that there would be more guitar parts on "Endless Forms Most Beautiful", since I had the feeling they just forgot about guitarist Emppu Vuorinen in the first single "Élan". Glad they didn't on the rest of the album. There are so many parts where he is able to shine and also to show some new, Brother Firetribe-inspired (his other band) sides: classic rock, blues or even jazz.

But I guess they somehow forgot Marco Hietala instead. I always loved the duets of Nightwish, so where are they? Why does Marco happen to be something like a guest singer?

I have the feeling that Tuomas needs to take a break from songwriting. This big "Imaginaerum" project lasting for three years and his solo album "The Life and Times Of Scrooge" took all his inspiration. There are several songs which just sound like a copy of older Nightwish songs: "My Walden" is "I Want My Tears Back, Part II", "The Eyes Of Sharbat Gula" is "The Life and Times Of Scrooge"-inspired and "Yours Is An Empty Hope" contains "Romanticide", "Master Passion Greed" and "Planet Hell". Unfortunately, the rest of the songs is mostly just weak and average songwriting.

"Endless Forms Most Beautiful" may not be the best Nightwish album, but it is the perfect start for a new era. The story of Nightwish will always be a journey to the unknown and they will always be able to create something amazing, even at their weaker moments.

01. Shudder Before The Beautiful
Weak Fantasy
Yours Is An Empty Hope
Our Decades In The Sun
My Walden
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Edema Ruh
The Eyes Of Sharbat Gula
The Greatest Show On Earth
Label: Nuclear Blast
Distribution: Warner Music (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 80/100
Reviewed by: Sophie Ruhnke
Date: 30 March, 2015
Website: www.nightwish.com