Nightwish - 2000 Wishmaster

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ARTIST: Nightwish
ALBUM: Wishmaster
LABEL: Spinefarm
SERIAL: SPI087CD
YEAR: 2000
CD REISSUE: 2007, Spinefarm, 0602517449350 * plus many others..

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Tarja Turunen - vocals * Emppu Vuorinen - guitars * Tuomas Holopainen - keyboards * Jukka Nevalainen - drums * Sami Vanska - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 She Is My Sin * 02 The Kinslayer * 03 Come Cover Me * 04 Wanderlust * 05 Two For Tragedy * 06 Wishmaster * 07 Bare Grace Misery * 08 Crownless * 09 Deep Silent Complete * 10 Dead Boy's Poem * 11 FantasMic

RATING: image

Background

One could easily claim 1998's 'Oceanborn' was Nightwish's breakout album, but 'Wishmaster' is likely their seminal album.

Coming fresh out of the success of ending up second in the Finnish national song contest (prelude to Eurovision) with 'Sleepwalker', they recorded a killer symphonic power metal album, and due to its resounding success went on a world tour and recorded their first live DVD.

The Songs

'Wishmaster' is ever so slightly frontloaded, starting off with one of the all-time fan favourites 'She Is My Sin', and it only gets better from there until the end of the first half of the album.

'The Kinslayer' is the first Nightwish song I ever got into, and seriously how great is that tricky riff? The ominous narrated sentences are also unique in their discography up until that point.

'Come Cover Me' is a love song relying on Tarja Turunen's seductive voice and the challenging vocal melodies, and 'Wanderlust' is simply and purely power metal in its greatest form.

'Two For Tragedy' is a cookie-cutter Nightwish ballad, but they weren't so ubiquitous back then.

'Wishmaster' is, of course, the band's greatest hit, an homage to the great literary fantasy traditions and the song that launched a million misheard lyric videos. It was never my cup of tea but I admire all those tricky guitar runs.

'Bare Grace Misery' is somewhat bland and undistinctive, and 'Crownless' is another great speedy power metal fun slide, this time mostly keyboard-led.

'Deep Silent Complete' is my underdog favourite - stashed away in the more casual half of the album, ethereal, relaxing and ALMOST easy to sing (Tarja doesn't make it easy for everyone).

'Dead Boy's Poem' is an attempt at complexity that didn't go over too well, at least not in accordance to my tastes (perhaps they should have added a few more parts and reworked the existing ones).

But 'FantasMic' lives up to its name - it's a multipart 8-minute mini-epic, and it's famous for its spectacular 'wish upon a star' recurring line and the flute break near the end.

In Summary

This album is the highlight of Nightwish's style when they were young and not obsessed with the idea of incorporating everything into their albums.

It started inconspicuously with a Finnish orchestra on several songs on 'Century Child', then the entire London Philharmonic Orchestra on 9 out of 11 songs on 'Once', then they made the current record holder for the most expensive Finnish production.

'Dark Passion Play', and for the latest album, they decided to make a companion-piece movie. For this reason, 'Wishmaster' is probably the favourite album of fans of a more minimal style.


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