Saturday, April 4, 2015

Album of the week: Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Nightwish

After a two year wait since the band put out their live concert album Showtime, Storytime, the band finally released a new studio album featuring Floor Jansen as their new vocalist. It has been a long wait for this longtime Nightwish fan. After listening to Showtime, Storytime for well over a few dozen times, I knew what to expect from Floor Jansen as a singer. She is definitely no Tarja Turunen or Anette Olzon, the band's previous singers. I think Floor is an immensely talented singer in her own right and the band made the right choice in making her a full time member. After hearing the first single "Elan" back in February when it was released, I loved the song immediately and it made me become excited for the release of the album. Being the impatient person I am I decided to download the new album via Google Play instead of waiting for my 3 disc version of Endless Forms Most Beautiful to arrive in the mail when it came out this past week.

After listening to Endless Forms Most Beautiful every day this week (once at work and once at home), I honestly am going to say that I enjoyed this album immensely but I can't say whether or not if it is the band's best album to date. Putting Endless Forms Most Beautiful up next to say Oceanborn or Once when Tarja was still in the band is a difficult choice to make since I am both a fan of both Tarja and Floor. I think in a couple of years down the road I will have to see how well this album
holds up.

For those still mourning the loss of Tarja (after ten years since her firing) and those who loved Anette's work, well don't bother listening to the album and just stick to listening to your favorite Nightwish albums. Floor sounds nothing like neither singer nor is she going anywhere. Floor is definitely a powerful vocalist but she can also tone it down when needed like on "Our Decades in The Sun". I just find her vocals so enjoyable. She is a good fit for the band in my honest opinion. I think Floor's shining moment on the album is on the 24 minute long track "The Greatest Show On Earth". I think skeptics (who are willing to listen to the album with an open mind) will be surprised to hear what Floor is capable of as a singer.

As for the music on the album is concerned, I was not disappointed in Tuomas Holopainen's talent as a composer. He really created some memorable songs on the album like "Elan", "Our Decades in the Sun", "Edema Ruh", "Alpenglow", and "The Greatest Show On Earth". I find myself listening to "Edema Ruh" and "Alpenglow" over and over a lot. Next to "Elan", those two songs are the catchiest tracks on the album. I do wish that "Sagan" was included but it was cut and put on the "Elan" single as a b-side. I am really digging the addition of Troy Donockley who plays pipes, flutes, and whistles. His work on "Elan" is fantastic". The use of pipes gives the band's sound a folk element to it. Unfortunately drummer Jukka Nevalainen had to leave the band temporarily to address his issue with insomnia. In his place Kai Hahto from Wintersun is filling Jukka's shoes until he returns (which from what I read online could be years). I think Kai  did a great job on the album considering what big shoes he had to fill in. Of course I can't forget about guitarist Emppu Vuorinen and bassist Marco Hietala whom both never disappointed me with their abilities as musicians.

The only song on the album that fell flat with me was "Weak Fantasy"but overall I thought the album was worth the wait. Up next for me is the band's show at the Concorde Music Hall in Chicago, IL on April 18. I am most excited to see and hear some of the new album live in concert.


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