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nightwish endlessformsmostbeautiful
Artists: Nightwish
Title: Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Genre: Female Fronted Metal
Release Date: 27th March 2015
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Album Review

The appetiser ‘Elan’ was promising, a lot of expectations were set on NIGHTWISH's new long-player ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’, not least because of Floor Jansen's, NIGHTWISH's new female vocalist, debut on the long-player. Don't get me wrong, I personally wouldn't consider ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’ a bad record but still, something's missing, some innovation, some fire. Something unexpected. But NIGHTWISH bet on continuity and so the opener ‘Shudder Before the Beautiful’ starts with the usual heavy metal elements mixed with the orchestral character NIGHTWISH have raked for themselves. The record has its heavy, raw, and dangerous moments with ‘Weak Fantasy’ and ‘Yours is an Empty Hope’ and soft, fragile, personal ones with ‘Our Decades in the Sun’ and ‘The Eyes of Sharbat Gula’. Even though NIGHTWISH themselves consider the record to be more uplifting and life-affirming than their earlier works, the dark and mysterious elements still prevail.

Of course the addition of band member Troy Donockley who is a learned multi-instrumentalist focused on folk is not forgotten and those elements are not missed out on either, as the single ‘Elan’ or the epic ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ rightfully demonstrate. It is those elements that give the songs a root, an interwoven history – and they are most fitting if one considers the major theme of the record which is beauty, particularly natural beauty. That's why NIGHTWISH hired Richard Dawkins, the celebrated and yet controversial scientist, to reverse some lines on the record. Lines of beauty, of humility, of reverence like in ‘Shudder Before the Beautiful’: “The deepest solace lies in understanding/ This ancient unseen stream/ A shudder before the beautiful”. As an environmentalist myself, there is no bigger joy than having a band dedicate a whole record to the beauty, wonder and superiority of nature as this topic is still touched upon too rarely despite its important contemporary context.

Personal highlights are the instrumental ‘The Eyes of Sharbat Gula’ and the epic twenty-five minutes long ‘The Last Show on Earth’ because in those songs NIGHTWISH bring the big guns in and you have to be an equal to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by composing such a long song like the latter and making it worth listening to because of all the different layers of musical elements that afford surprises. Touché, Tuomas Holopainen! Furthermore, only in ‘The Last Show on Earth’ we get to hear Floor Jansen's soprano voice in full glamour and having been a long-time AFTER FOREVER fan, it is great to listen to Floor climbing the heights of the musical ladder again. Floor is definitely doing a great job on the record but it would have been desirable to have her vary in pitches, however, her pop vocals prevail on the record. No, ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’ is definitely not a bad record and it will definitely excite all NIGHTWISH fans because it offers the usual variety and epicenes but it revels in the habitual rather than setting the sails to a new adventure.... Despite the adventurous character of the record with all the talk of nature and beauty.


01. Shudder Before The Beautiful
02. Weak Fantasy
03. Élan
04. Yours Is An Empty Hope
05. Our Decades In The Sun
06. My Walden
07. Endless Forms Most Beautiful
08. Edema Ruh
09. Alpenglow
10. The Eyes Of Sharbat Gula
11.The Greatest Show On Earth


Erno "Emppu" Vuorinen - Guitar
Troy Donockley - Folk Instruments
Tuomas Holopainen - Keyboard
Floor Jansen - Vocals
Marko "Marco" Hietala - Vocals, Bass, Back Vocals
Kai Hahto – Drums


Cover Picture

nightwish endlessformsmostbeautiful


Music: 7
Sound: 10
Total: 8 / 10


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