nightwish is a super shitty finnish ‘metal’ (i use the term very, very loosely here) band. about 15 years ago, i heard their version of the gary moore song, ‘over the hills and far away,’ and really liked it. then i checked out their album, oceanborn, and liked it too. i mean, they always had an embarrassing “i’m a passionate poet” aspect to them, but there was lots of great music to make up for it. here is oceanborn.
it has tons of power metal, classic metal, and progressive metal elements to it, so the operatic vocals didn’t sound terrible to me. they were just a new twist on other tried and true metal styles.
then i checked out everything else by them, and it’s all sucked.
the album before oceanborn sounds immature, unprofessional, like the band was still obviously growing. and virtually everything nightwish has released after oceanborn is 100% disney metal. no joke, it’s usually about the beauty and the beast, angels coming to life, magical worlds, that sort of thing. christ, it’s like they’re making heavy metal aimed at a 3-8 yr old demographic, except it’s not aimed at a 3-8 yr old demographic. it’s just what they like to do, and that level of sulky goth-ness makes me sick.
also, all of their songs since oceanborn sound EXACTLY THE SAME. for any aspiring disney metal artists out there, i’ve broken down the formula for you. here it is:
- pretty keyboard intro
- guitar and bass and AC/DC drum beat come in, everyone acts like it’s super heavy
- guitar and keyboards drop out — just bass, vocals, and AC/DC drums during the first verse
- guitar and keyboards come back in for chorus
- repeat verse, this time with some subtle keyboards or guitar for added tension
- some crappy bridge (anything will suffice, really)
- move the chorus up a whole tone
that’s it, the secret to nightwish’s success! now every overgrown disney goth can have it!
the main dude behind the band, tuomas holopainen, is unapologetic about his garbage creations. he thinks he’s a great artist, calling his songs “a labor of love, the fruit of dedicated hard work and of the highest quality.” here’s a pic that i think really illustrates the kind of pretentious goth horseshit artist he is.
and now for the worst parts: i’ve seen nightwish live. and not once, but twice. i know, i’m sorry. the first time in seattle, i had the excuse that i wasn’t too familiar with their post-oceanborn material, and was expecting lots of power-prog metal. i actually don’t think they played ANYTHING from oceanborn at that show despite my screams for it, but they did put on a really good show. then they came to victoria so i went to see them again. this time though, i guess there was lots of turmoil brewing in disneyland and the band was not so enthusiastic. it was a lackluster performance, with none of the awesome songs i wanted, and get this: there was a part in one song where tuomas played by himself, and then at the end of his part, he broke down into tears on stage. as if this particular part of his song was so deeply personal, so intimately connected to his teen goth anguish, that he had to have a good cry, publicly, right there in front of everyone. i almost puked. then to make it worse, the rest of the band came over and hugged him as a show of support! i almost double puked.
and that was the end of me showing any support for nightwish. at this point, i want nothing more of them than tuomas to listen to some more judas priest or iron maiden and get back to making half decent power-prog metal, or else get kicked in the guts by his pet unicorn, rupture his liver, and die of internal hemorrhage. after 15 years of the same song, ceaseless drama with singers, and subsequent public airing of dirty laundry, it simply must end.
i want to close with a great recent quote from my good friend, riley:
“Every time i hear about Nightwish I just listen to South of Heaven again because life is too short.”