Some modern-day bands can really be proud of the fact that they brought new fans to the metal genre. NIGHTWISH is one of them, regarding the female-fronted metal scene. The decade that followed “Once” was a strange one for Nightwish: Tarja Turunen left, Anette Olzon came and went (with two really good records) and 2015 finds them with Floor Jansen behind the mic.

The Floor-fronted debut “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” and according to the Nightwish mastermind Tuomas Holopainen, it’s a tribute to science and nature lyrically, whereas the “Imaginareum” was a tribute to imagination. “Shudder Before The Beautiful” kicks in with a spoken word intro and powerful mid-tempo riffage, somewhat in the vein of “Dark Chest Of Wonders”. Floor Jansen sounds both powerful and mesmerizing. “Weak Fantasy” keeps up the tempo of the album, with a more dynamic chorus, leaving room for acoustic guitars in the verses. “Elan” is one of the most folk-oriented song of the record, and its first single/video, being a great catchy song.

Time for one of the heaviest and darkest tracks of the record, with an almost mid-tempo Thrash riff, called “Yours Is An Empty Hope”, with Marco Hietala being a strong vocal partner in this one. And after the storm comes the calm with a beautiful ballad called “Our Decades In The Sun”, one of the albums’ longest songs. “My Walden” brings back the folk feeling of the latest Nightwish releases. The title track is another trademark Nightwish track, full of power and one of the best choruses of the album. “Edema Ruh” is a more classic in terms of riffage metal track, with a great riff somewhere in the middle.

“Alpenglow” did I say best choruses? Ah yes, mark my words: this will be the next single. Powerful and catchy. “The Eyes Of Sharbat Gula” is a mellow instrumental followed by “The Greatest Show On Earth”, a 24-minute musical journey explaining the evolution of life through the spoken words of well-known biologist Richard Dawkins. My respects to mr. Holopainen for doing so!

Endless forms most beautiful indeed, and so does Heavy metal.

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