(note: I like the European cover art better than the American cover art, so I’m using that instead.)
For their second album, Nightwish became a more bombastic, power metal band. They also added a new bassist, marking their first album as a quintet.
Tarja Turunen: vocals
Tuomas Holopainen: keyboards, backing vocals
Empuu Vuorinen: guitar
Sami Vänskä: bass
Jukka Nevalainen: drums, percussion
- “Stargazers”: The guitars and keyboards sound excellent, and I like the new direction for the lyrics.
- ” Gethsemane “: Like “The Carpenter” , this song is inspired by the story of Jesus, focusing on his crucifixion. It’s one of the best songs on the album.
- “Devil and the Deep Dark Ocean”: In this song, a mermaid encounters the Anti-Christ. While the instrumentation is excellent, I don’t care for the vocals.
- ” Sacrament of Wilderness “: This was the first single to reach #1 in their native Finland. Another one of my favorites.
- ” Passion and the Opera”: I like the drumming on this one.
- “Swanheart”: I love the guitars on this one.
- ” Moondance “: This is a short instrumental track serving as an interlude.
- ” The Riddler”: I like the imagery and message of this song.
- “The Pharoah Sails to Orion”: This song was inspired by Exodus. It’s got a great keyboard.
- ” Walking in the Air”: This is Nightwish’s first cover. The song was written for the animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman. Tarja is so beautiful on this one.
Final Verdict: This is an excellent album. I have to agree with Loudwire’s ranking for this.