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Andrew

Nightwish

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Any other fans here, besides Stef and me?

If anyone would've posited before 2018 that I would dig Finnish symphonic metal, I would've scoffed.  But early that year, my younger son (then 17) introduced me to Nightwish's 2015 album Endless Forms Most Beautiful, and it knocked my socks off.  Later that year, we saw them on their Decades tour in Charlotte, and that concert is easily one of the top five live music events of my life:  the tightness and individual excellence of the band members, their stage presence (especially their lead singer's), the well-chosen visuals for each song, the positive energy of the audience, and the bonding experience with my kid all combined magnificently.

Endless Forms is still my favorite album of theirs (I'll link to its opening track below), for the uniform excellence across its course and its thematic consistency.  "Endless forms most beautiful" is a lovely phrase from Darwin's Origin of Species, and the album is a celebration of nature's manifold wonders, concluding in a 25 minute symphony to evolution ("The Greatest Show on Earth"), which sounds like it could definitely be hokey, but they make it work (it's my favorite track on the album).  There's also a Emerson/Thoreau-meets-modern secular humanist vibe to Endless Forms, which even includes a song called "My Walden," but finds its best expression in "Weak Fantasy" and "Elan" (my son's favorite song of theirs).

They just dropped their latest album last month, Human Nature, which I haven't immediately taken to quite like Endless Forms, though it has some excellent tracks.

 


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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I first heard of them here, if I remember correctly.

I’m not really much of a metal guy. In fact in my old age, I have very little tolerance for much of the new stuff. I liked some metal as a teenager and even played in a Christian metal band for a year or two in high school that gigged quite a bit around the Chicagoland area. But I find much metal to be very restricting, kinda in a sense that if you want to grow at all, musically or even just in the sense of growing up, you tend to leave behind some of the infantile nature of hard rock and metal.

Then something like this comes along and shakes things up. For me, this is where an old form meets and older form (opera) and they just plain mesh.

After watching the above video, I did listen to “Endless Forms Most Beautiful,” and have listened since then too.  And it is a powerful album.

This is one of those bands that, if we are ever able to go to a concert again, I would really want to see. I can’t imagine what kind of power would be unleashed by these guys live. 
 

 

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I love Nightwish, which has been my introduction to symphonic metal. (I came to it via Tuomas Holopainen's extraordinary concept album The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, which has a quite different sound despite some recognizable stylistic similarities.) I'm not entirely sure that I approach it wholly on the level of artistic appreciation - the effect of this kind of music on my feelings and nerves is such that I've been known to say, not really joking, that Nightwish is my favorite recreational drug. I agree that Endless Forms is their best album.

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8 hours ago, Rushmore said:

I love Nightwish, which has been my introduction to symphonic metal. (I came to it via Tuomas Holopainen's extraordinary concept album The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, which has a quite different sound despite some recognizable stylistic similarities.) 

Hmm, interesting - I had heard of this, but now my curiosity is piqued to check it out.  Have you checked out Holopainen's other side project (with fellow Nightwish member Troy Donockley, plus violinist/vocalist Johanna Kurkela), Auri?  I would've thought, after the 80s and 90s, that I'd be jaded to Celtic ethereal with synthesizer bits, but this really moves me.  Here's a representative track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYVmmWNskjs

8 hours ago, Rushmore said:

I'm not entirely sure that I approach it wholly on the level of artistic appreciation - the effect of this kind of music on my feelings and nerves is such that I've been known to say, not really joking, that Nightwish is my favorite recreational drug. 

That's interesting. I'd never quite thought of it that way, but for me anyway, of all the art forms, music is the most likely to be mood-altering for me.  "Denn Alles Fleisch" from Brahms' Requiem puts me in an ecstatic state, stretches of Saint-Saens move me to joyous tears, the end of Shostakovich's Second Cello Concerto induces silent wonder.  And from Nightwish, "Elan" is a euphoriant, "Tribal" a stimulant, while "Shudder Before the Beautiful" and "Greatest Show" can bring on an ecstatic state.


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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