Released on: 2007-08-24
“I don´t hesitate to call "Amaranth" one of the best rock tunes of the year.”
OKEJ (S) / Anna Eklund
As four guys looking like they’re fresh out of high-school and a girl in leatherpants played at the legendary rock-venue Lepakko in Helsinki, Finland, no-one could’ve known that one day they would be performing gigantic tours and would become the most successful band to ever come from Finland with album sales in figures with more than six digits.
From their first album of "Angels Fall First" onwards Nightwish gradually grew, or rather evolved. The youthful admirations of favourite bands might've been obvious in these first recordings, but as years went by the maturity and the unrelentless way of the group doing their own thing made Nightwish a voice that stands out. The final shackles of labeling scattered with the release of their fourth album, entitled "Century Child". It strayed more away from the more obvious references to melodic “power” metal, and showed promise of a band that was really starting to find its own sound, a band that would yet become something greater. The orchestrations and the choirs met on this album were indeed magnificent and befitting the epic feel of that Nightwish had always yearned for. But this was a mere overture to what was to become. Nightwish's 2004 album "Once" was that which broke all remaining traces of separation between people.
The album sold platinum on its release day in Finland and later in Germany, and gold in Austria, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland, and went over the magical "1 million copies sold worldwide"-limit. Everybody knew of Nightwish. Hell, even the Finnish prime minister confided as a Nightwish-fan. The first era of Nightwish ended with an open letter in which the band fired it´s formidable frontperson Tarja Turunen. Was this to be the end of Nightwish? No one knew.
People took sides, and a true circus of the media-type began. Countless of pages of Finnish magazines alone were spent on this episode, but everything that needed to be said was already public. Slowly the ruckus ended in silence, and Tuomas retreated to his own confines bringing to life what was to be the future.
We sail on darkened waters. A sea-fare is a fitting metaphore as of the four elements water is the one representing emotions. On "Dark Passion Play" the music in conjunction with the lyrics conjure a brooding atmosphere never yet seen, or actually felt, in this magnitude in the saga of Nightwish. The fables and their reflections have always portrayed a deciphered view to their creator’s mind, in this case that of Tuomas Holopainen. The past years and the events leading to this day have naturally affected the outcome of this album, as it is known that Tuomas communicates best through music. And this music is filled with emotions, at times subtle – at times overwhelming.
I daresay it is this what makes Nightwish such a popular band. Excellent music is not only to be heard, it is to be felt. To be experienced. Sensitive music for sensitive people, if one was looking for a catch-phrase.
This sixth Nightwish album stands at a dividing line, separating what has been and what will become. And it stands strong; resonating the confidence of its composer. Confidence of a new time, never looking back but boldly doing whatever the heart desires. And yet again no signs of compromises shine through, the musical innocence is ever-present within these tunes.
These songs take us through multitude of emotions on their journey, and it is richer and more varied than before, touching lightly on more ethnic flavours and being as ever bombastic as it bloody well can be. The heavenly voice of Anette Olzon carries through bright and powerful – and also more varied that of her predecessor. She truly is what Nightwish's music deserves.
Despite the fact that this musical passionwork is heavy with darker atmospheres, within it still lie optimistic undertones. It tells us that even in the bleakest of times there is hope. The voyage ends safely on familiar waters. The sound of Nightwish reborn is ever-strong. Unfaltering.. “Amaranth” is the first single from “Dark Passion Play”. And it´s destined to be a bigger even earcatcher than “Nemo” was. The video for the song was again filmed by the well-known director Antti Jokinen, who also did the video for “Nemo”. Be prepared for the “Amaranth”!
|Track list||Total runtime|
|2||- Reach (Amaranth demo version)||3:57|
|3||- Eva (Orchestral version)||4:29|
|4||- While Your Lips Are Still Red (Theme from "Lieska")||4:19|