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Nightwish had with “Once” a huge success, after that they split with singer Tarja Turunen. Now, approximately two years later, it´s finally time for the new album and a new singer. And to say it right away, this album is a hit, with songwriter Tuomas Holopainen in his best form. It starts with the grandiose epic “The Poet And The Pendulum”, full 16 minutes Nightwish-power at its best, uniting all trademarks of the band! And it continues like that, sometimes hard´n´heavy (“Master Passion Greed”, “Bye bye Beautiful”), sometimes with ballads (“Eva”, “The Islander”) and naturally also this ear candy we expected (“Amaranth”, “Cadence of her last Breath”).
In my opinion a great album, but it requires a bot more time to appeal than the previous ones. Therefore listen, listen again, and once again. Then you will be
One more remark about Anette Olzon, the new singer: It was clear that the band didn´t want a Tarja-clone, therefore it is clear that Anette´s voice is totally different. Less diva, more Rock. Whether you like it you have to decide for yourself. I am pretty excited to hear the old songs with the new voice! 9 Timo Päßler, transl. K. Weber
What ever you think about Tarja Turunens voice you have to admit that for a metal singer it´s unusual and recognizable. Anette Olzons is not! Without commenting any further Tarjas sacking, I have to wonder how it´s possible that, out of the thousands of applicants, Olzon was the most interesting choice for Nightwish? Of course deciding on just a Turunen clone would have been ridiculous, but one would still have expected someone with a bit more character and personality in her voice. But Olzons singing itself is more than ok.
So, ”Dark Passion Play”? Quite frankly it´s, despite the obvious change in singing, a logical continuance to ”Once”. Tuomas Holopainen has once again managed to squeeze in a lot of orchestrations and other trademark Nightwish stuff, almost to the point of exhaustion. Especially as the album with its thirteen songs is over 75 min. Long. Of course Tuomas Holopainen has had a long time to prepare the material, but as Nightwish sound is so massive it all gets a bit overwhelming. Therefore the beautiful, Jethro Tull influenced, acoustic song ”The Islander”, sang by Marco Hietala in a clean voice, turns out to be the most memorable bit on ”Dark Passion Play”.
For those who were concerned that Nightwish tale was at an end, ”Dark Passion Play” brings some reinsurance that this band isn´t going anywhere. Nightwish is still here, and hasn´t even changed as dramatically as expected. ”Dark Passion Play” proves that Nightwish wasn´t just about Tarjas voice... 8 Sami Iivonen