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Dark Passion Play

Finland Country of Origin: Finland

Dark Passion Play
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Power, Symphonic
1. The Poet And The Pendulum
4. Cadence Of Her Last Breath
5. Master Passion Greed
6. Eva
7. Sahara
8. Whoever Brings The Night
9. For the Heart I Once Had
10. The Islander
11. Last Of The Wilds
12. 7 Days To The Wolves
13. Meadows Of Heaven

Review by Monika on February 23, 2008.

With what I’ve come to expect from Nightwish based on their previous albums, I was very, VERY curious when the news of Tarja’s parting came out – I mean, Nightwish was very much recognized because of her grandeur, strong and clean voice combined with the sound of goth metal. Hence, the arrival of Dark Passion Play was very much anticipated, at least by me. And while not everyone may agree with my opinion – this is what I have to say about this album.

First and foremost, at the beginning I thought Anette’s voice sucked; I now must admit that I was simply comparing her to Tarja, which was totally unfair. As I read about Dark Passion Play, this album brings changes to Nightwish – not only member-wise, but also sound-wise. Therefore, while keeping some of the “old” Nightwish in mind, Anette with her softer, maybe a little rock/pop sounding vocals, brings the first taste of the New Nightwish. Tuomas, as expected, visualized and created a great album; his keyboard work is close to perfection, the combination of orchestra with the choirs in the background give songs a lot of depth. Guitars, bass and drums are perfectly put together with the keyboards, sound is very powerful, strong and concise, and the whole album is very well recorded. You will also find quite a lot of Finnish folk music influences in some of the material on this CD, and you will hear more of Marco’s singing – the guy is awesome, and his raspy voice adds a lot of attitude to Anette’s softer performance.

Dark Passion Play is a very ear-friendly album. With that said though, I think that it as a whole, it lacks the luster and the majesty that we’ve experienced before. I also think that, even though it is still a good album, I find myself listening to it – not experiencing it as I would with previous work of Tuomas and the rest. I no longer get goosebumps like I used to. There are a few songs, such as “Amaranth”, “For the Heart I Once Had” and “Bye Bye Beautiful” that I find myself humming during the day, but still, not what I have grown accustomed to.

Well, all in all, if you’ve listened to Nightwish before– you may have a hard time getting used to this “new” sound. I know I did. At first I hated it, now it’s grown on me. If this is the first album from Nightwish that you’ve heard – you probably like it, and you probably like it a lot. It is a very, very strong release for Nightwish, especially since a new era has begun for this band. So – a good beginning, let’s hope that change will be good for them. I will look forward to hearing more from them, and hope that this “different” Nightwish continues the legacy of the “old” one.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 9
Atmosphere: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 10
Overall: 8

Rating: 8.2 out of 10