“End Of An Era” by Nightwish

Artist: Nightwish
Title: “End Of An Era”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 6/26/2006
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Rating: 5/5

Fans of the Finnish Symphonic Metal sensation known as Nightwish already know what an incredible live act the band is. Their recent release entitled “The End Of An Era” showcases this quality with absolutely stellar results. The show itself was recorded on the final night of touring for the album “Once” and finds the band in peak form, totally demonstrating that they are experts in the music industry and of this style of Metal. Most of the tunes come from the bands last two albums with the larger part being from “Once” while the other is “Century Child”. The staple songs or classics are few in numbers yet they have been represented on their earlier live recording “From Wishes To Eternity”. Starting off with “Dark Chest Of Wonders” the listener immediately finds the band to be a very heavy live presence and not some refined or orchestrated musical group. The material on “Once” was for the most part a bit heavier than the groups earlier albums and I think they had moved this way in order to defer being pigeonholed among their peers who also had female vocalists. Since Nightwish began their Metal reign, dozens of groups had popped up with some of them being memorable (Epica, Within Temptation and After Forever) while others are more run of the mill clones. From start to finish this is a great live album and is a must have for the Nightwish fan, or even the listener who enjoys a powerful female lead for their strong Melodic Metal. Having seen the group perform a number of times, it was great to hear Tarja, Tuomas, Marco, Emppu and Jakka once again and practically relive the same set that was performed in my Country when they last came to visit. The greatest inclusions on the recording come from tracks like “Ghost Love Score” and “Creek Mary’s Blood”, the latter having the band joined onstage by John Two-Hawks and of course the “hit” from “Once” which is “Nemo”. Why this song never made it to more Rock oriented stations mystifies me.

The band delivers a few covers with the first being the Andrew Lloyd Webber “Phantom Of The Opera”, a nice job was done on this but I think it might have been a little too Broadway for the typical Metal fan to appreciate. Another is the David Gilmour number “High Hopes” along with fan favorite “Over The Hills And Far Away” (which remains one of my very favorite Nightwish songs even though the original was penned by Gary Moore). A DVD of this exists but is not available in many markets at this time, I even had trouble finding the CD until a particular specialty Metal shop had a copy. A full-color booklet is included and there are a ton of great photos in this. They make the desire to see the DVD very strong and it is something I hope we will all be able to watch sometime soon. Grab this CD if you can find it to remember or be made aware of what Nightwish was like in concert. You will not regret the decision.

Added Information: The night of the show came with some alarming and surprisingly sad information for in a very public announcement band leader Tuomas Holopainen fired lead singer Tarja Turunen for reasons of irreconcilable differences and dedication to the music he and the band were creating. This concert CD and DVD will now serve as a marker in the bands career as a door is closed on this chapter, while the next one is waiting to be opened. Let us hope it continues to be as exciting as or even more so than it was with her replacement.

Song Listing:
1. Dark Chest Of Wonders
2. Planet Hell
3. Ever Dream
4. The Kinslayer
5. Phantom Of The Opera
6. The Siren
7. Sleeping Sun
8. High Hopes
9. Bless The Child
10. Wishmaster
11. Slaying The Dreamer
12. Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan
13. Nemo
14. Ghost Love Score
15. Stone People
16. Creek Mary’s Blood
17. Over The Hills And Far Away
18. Wish I Had An Angel

Official Web site: www.nightwish.com

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