Nightwish: Wishmaster

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Nightwish: Wishmaster
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Nightwish: Wishmaster
Operatic Power Metal, Symphonic Power Metal
Century Media Records, Spinefarm Records
May 29th, 2000
Release length: 53:37
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Wishmaster is the third full-length release by the now well known act Nightwish, and is one of those albums that meets with great speculation and argument. A rather dramatic departure from the band’s original sound presented on their debut full-length Angels Fall First, this release finds a bit of a more upbeat version of the band, but one that shows great promise, talent, and maturity none the less. It also features some of the band’s catchiest and intoxicating material up to that point.

Nightwish continue to incorporate more orchestral elements to the music, adding more to the band’s sound outside of relying greatly on Tarja’s beautiful operatic vocals. Instead, we have a beautiful and well rounded release that is packed with upbeat, yet still heavy music that continues to grow for the better. Sure, there are the typical slower paced tracks on here, such as “Two for Tragedy” and “Dead Boy’s Poem”, but even these tracks are greatly improved and are actually very moving ballads. While these are worth taking note, it’s the faster and heavier tracks here that really drive the album along. “The Kinslayer”, “Wanderlust” and the title track “Wishmaster” are all amazing songs that are infectious enough that they will wind up stuck in your head for a good while.

However, while the vocals really push the catchiness of the songs, it’s the keyboards of these tracks that make them infectious. The guitars on this release do a great job of really driving some of the tracks, such as on “Bare Grace Misery” which features a nice guitar/keyboard solo duel, as well as “Crownless”, which is really focused more on the other instruments involved then the keyboards, as does “Deep Silent Complete”, which is easily the best track off the entire album thanks to it’s musical beauty and structuring, but for the most part the guitars don’t really do that much for the album. When you look at the material presented here, the keyboards are what really help Wishmaster by presenting a beautiful, yet often haunting ambience to the music. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the songs are actually still enjoyable, it leaves a layer to the music feeling a little undiscovered, like there is potential that has yet to be put into play.

But, either way, it’s safe to say that Nightwish have clearly gone on the right patch with Wishmaster, however obscure that path may be from their original recordings. Practically each song on here can stand up on it’s own, from the power ballad tracks, the keyboard oriented songs, and the very few that rely on every other instrument of the group to get the point across, making many of them unique through either being upbeat and enchanting, or simply heavy and highly enjoyable. Either way, Wishmaster is an album that you should definitely check out, as it’s a solid effort with enough replay value that you’ll enjoy this album time and time again.

01. She is My Sin – 4:46
02. The Kinslayer – 3:59
03. Come Cover Me – 4:34
04. Wanderlust – 4:51
05. Two for Tragedy – 3:50
06. Wishmaster – 4:24
07. Bare Grace Misery – 3:41
08. Crownless – 4:29
09. Deep Silent Complete – 3:58
10. Dead Boy’s Poem – 6:47
11. FantasMic – 8:18
Overall Score: 7/10


Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.