ALBUM REVIEW: Nightwish – Human. :||: Nature.

With gaps of up to five years between studio albums, it takes some serious dedication to be a Nightwish fan these days. Since 2007, the band has only released four albums, but in that time, their fanbase has grown so large that the symphonic Finns (well, mostly Finnish) have been able to make that often treacherous leap from mid-sized venues to selling out full arenas. Continue reading

Nightwish – Beast In Black: Live at Arena, Birmingham (UK)

 

Swapping medium sized venues for full sized arenas can be a big gamble for a band, but after a highly successful show at Wembley Arena in 2015, Finnish Symphonic Metal act Nightwish decided to take the plunge and returned to UK shores for a lengthier three date arena visit in support of their recently released compilation album Decades (Nuclear Blast). Continue reading

BLOODSTOCK 2018- Part 2: Catton Hall, Derbyshire UK

SATURDAY

With everyone firmly into the swing of things by now, Saturday’s main stage openers Nailed to Obscurity opened proceedings strongly enough but were promptly blown out of the water by one of the major surprises of the festival – Power Trip. A combination of thrash and early death metal, the Texan act were a blur of riffs and speed, whipping up the early afternoon crowd into an explosive cyclone of energy. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Auri Discusses Making Their New Album

Auri, the incredible side project of Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish is bringing forth their new opus; the self-titled album Auri tomorrow, March 23rd via Nuclear Blast. Holopainen is joined by his Nightwish bandmate Troy Donockley, as well as incredible Finnish singer Johanna Kurkela. Together they unite to create a mind-blowing dreamscape of compositions, full of all the depth and texture you would expect from this talented trio. In this exclusive video, watch the members of Auri discuss mixing the album at Real World Studios. Continue reading

Lyric Video: Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Nightwish has released their second single for the title track of their album Endless Forms Most Beautiful, out now via Nuclear Blast Records. Stream the lyric video below.

Endless Forms Most Beautiful Single tracklist:

1. Endless Forms Most Beautiful (album version)
2. Sagan (instrumental) previously unreleased
3. Endless Forms Most Beautiful (alternative version)
4. Endless Forms Most Beautiful (radio edit) previously unreleased

Buy ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’ digital copy here:
AMZ MP3: http://geni.us/NightwishEndlessEPAMZ
iTunes: http://geni.us/NightwishEndlessEPiT
Google: http://smarturl.it/NIGHTWISH-FormsEP-GP

NIGHTWISH members include:

Floor Jansen – Vocals
Tuomas Holopainen – Keyboards
Marco Hietala – Bass & Vocals
Emppu Vuorinen – Guitar
Troy Donockley – Pipes, Flutes, Whistles
Kai Hahto – Drums

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Nightwish and Delain Book Spring 2016 North American Tour

nightwish delain tour

Finnish symphonic metallers Nightwish have confirmed their 26 dates headlining North American tour with Delain as support in early 2016.

Feb 19: Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
Feb 20: Webster Theater – Hartford, CT
Feb 21: Metropolis – Montreal, QC
Feb 22: Music Hall – London, ON
Feb 24: Carnegie Music Hall – Pittsburgh, PA
Feb 25: LC Pavilion – Columbus, OH
Feb 26: Royal Oak Music Theatre – Royal Oak, MI
Feb 27: Rave – Milwaukee, WI
Feb 29: First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
Mar 01: Burton Cummings Theatre – Winnipeg, MB
Mar 02: O’Briens Events Center – Saskatoon, SK
Mar 03: Winspear Center – Edmonton AB
Mar 05: MacEwan Hall Ballroom – Calgary, AB
Mar 06: Wilma Theatre –Missoula, MT
Mar 07: Showbox SoDo – Seattle, WA
Mar 08: Knitting Factory – Boise, ID
Mar 10: Knitting Factory – Reno, NV
Mar 11: City National Civic of San Jose – San Jose, CA
Mar 12: The Grove – Anaheim, CA
Mar 14: Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ
Mar 15: City Auditorium – Colorado Springs, CO
Mar 16: Uptown Theater – Kansas City, MO
Mar 18: Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK
Mar 19: Aztec Music Hall – San Antonio, TX
Mar 20: New Orleans Civic Theatre – New Orleans, LA
Mar 21: Iron City Live – Birmingham, AL
Mar 23: The Ritz – Tampa, FL

NIGHTWISH members include:

Floor Jansen – Vocals
Tuomas Holopainen – Keyboards
• Marco Hietala – Bass & Vocals
Kai Hahto – Drums
Emppu Vuorinen – Guitar
Troy Donockley – Pipes, Flutes, Whistles

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Kamelot – Haven

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Haven (Napalm), American Power Metal band Kamelot’s eleventh studio album and second since the departure of Roy Khan, is an album that sounds like a musical at heart, like it was fastidiously crafted to be performed on Broadway. Its stylings and symphonic groundings and Tommy Karevik’s leading man performance all point to it, and so effective is their dramatic voice, perhaps taking their work to the theatrical stage is the next step they need to take to fully realize a legacy that has been consolidated by consistency.

Historically, the Floridians have always been walked on safe, and not the wild, side. A touch of fantasy, a host of symphonics, with soaring, immaculate vocals on top, they have always delivered and always sounded utmost in their professionalism and musicianship, but never truly excited; a band that, while most definitely best in class (though perhaps by default), are at times too slick and lack the insanity/genius of a great.

The heady mix of Savatage, Dream Theater and Queensrÿche coupled with effective symphonics and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical theatrics is near-perfected in opening duo ‘Fallen Star’ and ‘Insomnia’, up there with the best tracks of the bands’ career, but it is with ‘Under Grey Skies’ and the addition of Charlotte Wessels’ (Delain) dreamy vocals and Troy Donockley (Nightwish)’s tin whistle that matters bloom and the full epic musical scale of the vision for the album begins to be realized. It sails close to the Eurovision ballad wind, but it’s a beautiful song fully suited to a soundtrack or a musical. Elsewhere, downtuned staccato rhythms underpin grandiose unveilings and Karevik dispels any notions that the band can’t succeed without Khan with an assured performance; actor, narrator, singer, frontman and further proof that the line between Kamelot’s albums and musical theatre is a thin one.

All the previous criticisms can apply: this is a slick, professional band, but on Haven Kamelot have once again verified they are best in class, and have found an emotional connection. No longer cold to the touch, they are bringing to life their vision most effectively and with genuine zest. While retaining all the expected hallmarks, it is most definitely meticulously put together (if the devil is in the detail, then Haven is positively Satanic) but there is something more to it; something exuberant bubbling through. You would expect a band entering their third decade to have the requisite chops, but you wouldn’t necessarily expect them to be injecting such vitality and vigour into the mix.

 

7.5/10

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STEVE TOVEY

Nightwish Reach #34 On Billboard US Top 200 Album Chart

nightwish billboard

Finnish symphonic metallers Nightwish have sold 18, 342 copies of their new album Endless Forms Most Beautiful in its first week of sales in the United States and hit #34 on Billboard US Top 200. The album was produced by Tero “TeeCee” Kinnunen and the album features the participation of London’s The Metro Voices choir group, London’s Young Musicians Children‘s Choir, and the Orchestre De Grandeur led by the esteemed orchestral arranger Pip Williams, who teaches Music and Music Technology at the London College of Music. Professor Richard Dawkins not only narrates the introduction to the album’s opener, “Shudder Before The Beautiful,” but also the album’s closer, “The Greatest Show On Earth,” which takes its name from his 2009 book on evolution.

They will be out on tour with Sabaton and Delain across North America and dates are posted here.

NIGHTWISH members include:

Floor Jansen – Vocals
Tuomas Holopainen – Keyboards
Marco Hietala – Bass & Vocals
Emppu Vuorinen – Guitar
Troy Donockley – Pipes, Flutes, Whistles
Kai Hahto – Drums

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Lyric Video – Kamelot – Veil Of Elysium

kamelot

Symphonic metallers Kamelot is streaming their lyric video for “Veil Of Elysium” off of their forthcoming album Haven, out May 4, 2015 in North America via Napalm Records/ADA/Warner and May 8, 2015 for the rest of the world via Napalm Records/Universal. View it below.

The album was produced by acclaimed music producer Sascha Paeth and mastered by Jacob Hansen. Additional guests include Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Troy Donockley (Nightwish) and Charlotte Wessels (Delain). The cover and artwork was created by Stefan Heilemann and additional art/layout was done by Gustavo Sazes.

Haven Track Listing:
01: Fallen Star
02: Insomnia
03: Citizen Zero
04: Veil of Elysium
05: Under Grey Skies
06: My Therapy
07: Ecclesia
08: End of Innocence
09: Beautiful Apocalypse
10: Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)
11: Here’s To The Fall
12: Revolution
13: Haven

Kamelot North American Tour With Special Guest Dragonforce:
Apr 27: Soundstage – Baltimore, MD
Apr 28: Trocadero Theater – Philadelphia, PA
Apr 29: Webster Hall – New York, NY
May 01: The Palladium – Worcester, MA
May 02: Metropolis – Montreal, QC
May 03: Phoenix Concert Theater – Toronto, ON
May 05: Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
May 06: Mojoes – Joliet, IL
May 07: Mill City Nights – Minneapolis, MN
May 09: Garrick Centre – Winnipeg, MB
May 10: Louis Pub – Saskatoon, SK
May 11: MacEwan Hall – Calgary, AB
May 12: Union Hall – Edmonton, AB
May 14: Regency Center – San Francisco, CA
May 15: City National Grove – Anaheim, CA
May 16: The Marquee – Tempe, AZ
May 18: Ogden Theater – Denver, CO
May 20: Emo’s – Austin, TX
May 21: New Orleans Civic Theater – New Orleans, LA
May 22: Iron City Live – Birmingham, IL
May 23: House of Blues – Orlando, FL

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Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Endless_Forms_Most_Beautiful

Nightwish, the rulers of symphonic metal have returned and are ready to take over the world with their new album Endless Forms Most Beautiful (Nuclear Blast). This much anticipated album is the first studio album with not only Metal queen Floor Jansen on vocals, but also Wintersun drummer Kai Hahto, who took over when long-time drummer Jukka Nevalainen had to drop out due to health issues.

Composed primarily by Tuomas Holopainen, the sound on this new album hearkens back to the old Nightwish but one major difference is the vocal performance given by Floor. While she is fully capable of the high operatic capers we know from former Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen, there is little of that on this album. Instead, we get to enjoy her full range of power and emotions, from very small and sweet vocals on ‘Élan’ and ‘Our Decades in the Sun’, to the intense and distorted power in ‘Yours is an Empty Hope’. In fact, this album shows an even greater range than her own projects (After Forever, ReVamp) have done.

The album also contrasts with previous Nightwish works in subject matter; while Imaginaerum (Nuclear Blast) dealt with the world of the imagination, this album describes the beauty of the natural world. In fact, the album title is a quote from Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

‘Élan’ is the first single and video for the album, even though it is one of the softest songs on the album; Troy Donockley’s whistles give the son a Celtic vibe, and Floor’s vocals are sweet at first, however, this sweetness does not last the whole song, since towards the end a very pleasing modulation brings more powerful vocals. It might not be the song most representative of the album, but it is beautiful and driven. On the album ‘Élan’ is followed by ‘Yours is an Empty Hope’, a song that brings all the bombast one can hope to find in a Nightwish song. The heavy guitar riffs are supplemented with an excellent orchestra and choir, and it is the heaviest song on the album. Floor totally rips on these vocals, and it a very intense song to experience. Tuomas’ genius as a composer is demonstrated by the contrast between this and the next song, ‘Our Decades in the Sun’. Despite the gentility of this song, with ethereal choir song and such sweet vocals by Floor, the song still doesn’t fall flat, has an astounding energy for a song so serene, and is definitely one of my favourites from this album.

‘Weak Fantasy’ is epic, the title track is very catchy, and ‘Edemah Ruh’ is very smooth. However, there is one song that stands apart from anything Nightwish has ever produced, namely ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’. This is the last song on the album, and lasts a staggering 23 minutes 58. There is no real good way to describe this song, other than as varied as nature itself; it has operatics, power vocals, narration, and instrumental sections and varies from intense piano to orchestral masterpieces, to heavy metal.

Trying to pick out highlights form this album is like trying to pick needles out of a stack of predominantly needles. There may be an occasional pin, depending on your personal tastes, but there is not a strand of hay in sight.

 

9.5/10

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LORRAINE LYSEN