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Dark Passion Play

297 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 2, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Although it is their sixth studio album,Dark Passion Play marks the beginning of a new era for Finnish symphonic metal masters Nightwish. With new vocalist Annette Olzon onboard, Nightwish returns with their most accessible material to date. Firmly rooted in their trademark symphonic sounds featuring elaborate keyboard and guitar parts blended seamlessly with intricate string and choir sections, Olzon's vocals have more pop sensibility as they are far less operatic than those of her predecessor. This is perfectly exemplified in the vocal melodies in Amaranth, Eva and the scorching duet with bassist Marco Hietala titled Bye Bye Beautiful. Nightwish mastermind Tuomas Holopainen (keyboards) not only wrote all the lyrics and all but two songs on the album, but also helmed the project as one of the producers along with T.C. Kinnunen and Mikko Karmila, who also mixed the album. Dark Passion Play has already made history as Finland's most expensive recording project to date with massive string sections and choirs and it is clearly evident in the impeccable production. Nightwish have taken the symphonic elements of their prior works and infused them with a new voice to create a sound representative of the album title: dark, playful and, most of all, passionate.

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Nightwish returns with an ambitious epic metal opus that begins promisingly enough but quickly devolves into another formulaic power rock affair. The band's at its most powerful and convincing on the opening "The Poet and the Pendulum" (all 14 minutes of it), the dynamic "Bye Bye Beautiful," and the infectious pop-inflected "Amaranth." But mid-album tracks such as "Sahara," "For the Heart I Once Had," and the limpid closer, "Meadows of Heaven," retread familiar ground that reminds us of epic metal's more disappointing tendencies--faux pop, bombastic bombast, anemic anthems, and a penchant for the maudlin. With new vocalist Annette Olzon in the ranks, the Finnish outfit stands poised to make a thoroughly convincing and wholehearted classic (listen to "The Islander" for further proof) but falls short, delivering a decent but distracted recording. It's too ambitious, too scattered, and, simply, too long--and that's too bad. --Jedd Beaudoin

1. The Poet And the Pendulum
2. Bye Bye Beautiful
3. Amaranth
4. Cadence Of Her Last Breath
5. Master Passion Greed
6. Eva
7. Sahara
8. Whoever Brings the Night
9. For the Heart I Once Had
10. The Islander
11. Last Of the Wilds
12. 7 Days To the Wolves
13. Meadows Of Heaven

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 2, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • ASIN: B000URDEB0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (297 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,576 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By J. Koo on September 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
"The end, the songwriter's dead..." begins the first track of the album. Despite the presentation of these chilling words, they are far from the truth concerning Dark Passion Play and Nightwish. Nightwish, replaced former vocalist Tarja Turunen with Anette Olzon, have released their sixth studio album and the first in three years. As the thousands of Nightwish fans groaned when Tarja was fired, we all wondered whether the new vocalist could fill Tarja's shoes and if Nightwish could live up to what it had become, one of the world's best symphonic metal albums fronted by one of the best female metal vocalists.

Well most of the jury is still out, but this one says there is absolutely nothing to worry about; Dark Passion Play is my new favorite Nightwish album. Oceanborn and Once were my favorites before, but no longer. And astonishingly enough, one of the reasons may in fact be the vocals. So really there are three reasons why I enjoy DPP more than all of the other Nightwish albums: Anette Olzon, more epic, and the Poet and the Pendulum.

Beginning with Anette. Anette is...not Tarja. For me, in a very good way (though I will concede that many will take this in a very negative way). She is a completely different vocalist and I look forward to hearing her sing the old songs live. For one, she is an alto rather than a soprano, uses very little vibrato, and sounds like a rock singer rather than an operatic vocalist. That is not to say I don't like the operatic vocals that Tarja utilized so admirably--far from it, as groups like Epica are still among my favorites and Tarja is one of the greatest female metal vocalists of all time.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Brian on October 14, 2007
Format: Audio CD
So here we are at the first post-Tarja Nightwish album. My take on the Tarja vs. Annette debate is simply that Annette works. She's not as good a vocalist as Tarja...or even the likes of Sharon Den Adel or Floor Jansen for that matter, BUT she is good and doesn't sound at all out of place with this band. Also, Marcos sounds so much better on this album because his voice doesn't sound so drastically different to Annette's.

The best thing about this album is just how good it is musically. Since the Toumas and the rest of the band were now free from being labeled "Tarja's back-up band" the guys go all out with fantastic results. The work Toumas and crew prove to anyone who didn't already know he's the brainchild of this band.

Here's my track-by-track breakdown:

1.) The Poet And the Pendulum - Awesome. Utterly blew my mind. 5/5

2.) Bye Bye Beautiful - Bye bye Tarja, a hard hitting catchy song with Annette trading vocals with Marcos. The only fault the song has is that the lyrics are more somber and sad while the song sounds a lot more pissed off than it should, which is misleading. But it's irrelevant in the end because its such a damn good song 5/5

3.) Amaranth - OMG theez guyz wnt n totlee sold out!!!!111 DIz iz pop muzic! Shut up, you know you've had this song stuck in your head ever since you heard it and you love it. If you don't that's why there is a skip button on your CD player. And I thought "Nemo" was an addictive song! 5/5

4.) Cadence Of Her Last Breath - Musically this track is awesome but I just find the chorus kind of dull in comparison. I love the guitar solo though. - 4/5

5.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. C Cheek on October 24, 2007
Format: Audio CD
As everyone knows by now Nightwish kicked out their iconic and much adored vocalist at the height of their fame, plummeting them into mire of cynicism, childish dismissal from Tarja fans and abandonment from the press who had clamoured to interview and promote them in the Once days. Rather than disband to rest on their past laurels or try to resurrect their old glory by imitating it, they have resurfaced with an album so very different yet full of the melody, passion, creativity and emotion that has long made Nightwish so adored. The new singer Annette Olzon is certainly not Tarja Mark 2. Whilst Tarja's voice was heartbreakingly sad, coldly distant and overwhelmingly majestic, Annette's is warm, open and full of happiness and enthusiasm; even the ballads are never sad, instead full of hope and love. Of course not everyone will like this change, but Annette's talent in undeniable and her range and power is unquestionable.

The most striking thing about this new album is the level of creativity and difference between the songs, in many ways it is reminiscent of the melodic side of avant-garde metal such as Arcturus and Diablo Swing Orchestra. The vast majority of metal bands with outside influences either use them so little that they're insignificant or milk them as their only gimmick. This album does neither, taking vast amounts of very diverse influence, making excellent use of each but relying on none.

Power metal - though Nightwish's power metal side has been in decline since Wishmaster there's somewhat of a return to form with DPP. First of all the vocals are enthusiastic, bright, high pitched and expressive. It sounds nothing like Tarja, but a lot like a female equivalent to most male power metal singers.
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More CD recommendations for a Nightwish fan?
Hey Mark. Being uncertain what bits Nightwish really rock your socks (the soft pretty ballads like Eva or the growlier stuff like Bye Bye Beautiful), here are some female-fronted bands that run the gamut. None of them sound like Nightwish, of course, but they are all groups I like as a... Read More
May 19, 2009 by Robin Stryker |  See all 7 posts
Please bring Tarja back!!!
You guys can still listen to Tarja. She has a solo album out. She will never be a part of Nightwish again.
Aug 22, 2010 by Earthrains |  See all 12 posts
Amazon, please enable reviews on this product
The album has been available through importers for nearly a month. It is quite possible that J. Koo has a legitimate (or at least "grey") copy of the album, and would like to review it for those considering pre-ordering the album.
Oct 1, 2007 by Chad Vincent |  See all 4 posts
While Your Lips Are Still Red
Nightwish: Made in Hong Kong (and in Various Other Places) Read More
Mar 26, 2015 by Jack |  See all 2 posts
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