Album Review: Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Posted by Reggie
Label: Nuclear Blast
Songs: 22 (deluxe version)
Length: 2 hours; 38 minutes (deluxe version)
Previous Albums: Angels Fall First (1997); Oceanborn (1998)’ Wishmaster (2000); Century Child (2002); Dark Passion Play (2007); Imaginaerum (2011)
Genre: Symphonic Metal
I had high hopes for a newly invigorated Nightwish. Not that Anette’s departure was a blessing, I actually liked Anette with Nightwish quite a bit. Lineup changes happen and sometimes it is unfortunate. But, after hearing Floor’s initial performances with the band on various YouTube clips I maintained the hope that Nightwish would continue to pump out highly fervent symphonic metal to the masses. I read that Floor was with the band during the recording process which was something new for the band. This led me to believe things would be just different this time around. Sadly, the only thing that is different that Nightwish acquired a new singer that’s sounds equally as excellent their previous front-ladies, but the passion in their music seems to be largely absent.
Endless Forms Most Beautiful basically continues where Imaginaerum left off. It feels like the same production value – like I should be watching a stage play backed by Nightwish’s songs. It does seem overall a bit more consistently heavy compared to previous albums, but mainly still feels like a continuation of their last album. While it was interesting to hear an album like that, I was hoping a new vocalist would take the band in, at the very least, a slightly new direction. However, Nightwish seems to be hanging on to the power of Imaginaerum. This is not to say that the entire album falls flat.
Yours in an Empty Hope is one of the most enthusiastic songs on the album. Its tempo is familiar and standard cookie-cutter for Nighwish. All of their albums (since Once at least) have a songs like this. On Dark Passion Play it is Bye Bye Beautiful. On Imaginaerum it is Storytime. On Once it is Wish I Had An Angel. So, you’ve heard these songs before just in slightly different forms.
The Greatest Show on Earth seals the deal at the end. A 24-minute opus is always a nice addition to any album especially if there is some diversity within. Nightwish nails that. Floor Jansen is probably the best replacement for such an esteemed band with former esteemed singers. She has huge booths to fill and fills them quite well. She has an excellent voice and was able to showcase her talents on this album. The music, however, falls flat most of the time and lacks any real progression toward anything new and fresh.
2.5 out of 5