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Angels Fall First

73 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 6, 2001
$10.99 $0.50
Audio, Cassette, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

1997 debut album Nightwish includes: Tuomas Holopainen (vocals, synthesizer); Tarja Turunen (vocals).

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Elvinpath
  2. Beauty And The Beast
  3. The Carpenter
  4. Astral Romance
  5. Angels Fall First
  6. Tutankhamen
  7. Nymphomaniac Fantasia
  8. Know Why The Nightingale Sings
  9. Lappi (Lapland): I. Eramaajarvi
  10. Lappi (Lapland): II. Witchdrums
  11. Lappi (Lapland): III. This Moment Is Eternity
  12. Lappi (Lapland): Etiainen

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Century Media
  • ASIN: B00005A0N4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,230 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By EMAN NEP on January 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
One of my favorite bands! Fortunately, even their first one is rather good. Tarja's voice is truly wonderful and I think anyone who disagrees needs to have their ears checked! Second, the guitar work and background music is outstanding, to say the least. But I have to the slam the gavel down on the male vocals. They are mostly devoid of any emotion whatsoever, almost as if they were thinking "Yeah, right, like we're ever going to hit it big!" Little did they know . . . .

ELVENPATH: A good opening song. Lots of heavy guitar sounds for those of you that like your songs hard and heavy. Tarja is obviously still struggling with English pronunciation a bit. Notice how she says "swayrds" instead of "swords".

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Starts off great . . . and then the terrible male vocals come in. However, it is actually fitting in this song, the terrible male vocals representing the Beast and the heavenly female vocals of Tarja representing the Beauty.

THE CARPENTER: A bit Egyptian-sounding but what I disliked about this song is that the male vocals--once again--ruin the song. Tarja doesn't start singing until halfway through and she doesn't sing much, either.

ASTRAL ROMANCE: Somewhere I've heard a different version of this (maybe a live version). I thought the other version was far better. But either way they're both good. Tarja has an outstanding solo . . . and then once again it is ruined by this monotone, lifeless male voice. Guys, please, for this album just stick to playing instruments!

ANGELS FALL FIRST: The title song that is totally driven by Tarja's vocals and the background music. This song is much slower and softer than previous tracks.

TUTANKHAMEN: My favorite! I don't know why, but I love it when she sings ". . .
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Justin G. TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Originally released in 1997, Angels Fall First was the debut release from Finland's Nightwish. The album came at a time when European artists were radically changing the heavy metal landscape. Bands like Stratovarius and Conception were redefining the idea of progressive metal, the Gothenburg scene revolutionized the death metal genre, and bands like Blind Guardian and Rhapsody were changing the face of power metal. In this same manner Nightwish came along and essentially offered up an entirely new kind of heavy metal.

Keyboardist/songwriter Tuomas Holopainen merged elements of traditional heavy metal with orchestral arrangements (initially via keyboard and later with an actual orchestra), and operatic female vocals courtesy of classically-trained Tarja Turunin. The result was an album that was classy and melodic yet still retained a measure of the aggression and power that is so characteristic of heavy metal. Tarja's powerful and emotional vocal performance is what immediately stands out, though the symphonic elements and captivating songwriting reinforce the music's overall presence.

Today, symphonic metal bands with female vocalists are literally a dime a dozen, but the whole scene started with this album. Overall, Angels Fall First is probably the weakest of the "Tarja Era" Nightwish albums, but it's better than most of its imitators and will always stand out as a milestone for the genre. The fact that Nightwish would continue to improve significantly with each release that followed shows just how incredible this band was in their prime.

NOTE: The 2008 reissue of Angels Fall First features digitally remastered sound, expanded liner notes, and a handful of bonus tracks.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ao Me Akuma on August 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Nightwish really hit upon a good idea: Take European power metal music and combine it with operatic vocals courtesy of classically-trained singer Tarja Turunen, throw in a dash of gothicism for good measure, for a sound like no other. Unfortunately, their debut album "Angels Fall First" is plagued by the same problems that typically afflict debut albums: questionable production, sketchy songwriting, and an uneven quality in musicianship the result of a band "finding its sound." AFF certainly isn't a horrible album, but it's totally outclassed by Nightwish's subsequent efforts.

No doubt that Tarja is a beautifully gifted vocalist. But the lyrics on this album are often simplistic and shallow, and suffer from the "cheese" endemic to many power metal lyrics. Songs like "Elvenpath" and "Tutankhamen" are the absolute worst, good musically, but atrocious lyrically. The former reads like poetry from a Tolkien fanboy, and the latter like a reject from the Stargate soundtrack. The tracks like "The Carpenter" and "Astral Romance," while possessing some lyrical depth, fail to rise above the cheese of the rest. The only track not reeking of cheese is "Lappi" and only because it's sung partially in Finnish.

Another problem is the use of male vocals from Tuomas. His high-pitched voice sounds like something from a boy band, and it positively ruins tracks like "The Carpenter," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Astral Romance." Tarja is a brilliant vocalist, easily one of the best in heavy metal music today, so why ruin it with such a mediocre accompanying singer who can't harmonize with the lead? Mercifully, subsequent Nightwish albums would feature few, if any, male vocals.

Production wise, the album is also lacking.
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