(Nuclear Blast Records)
Nightwish are back, and this is no surprise as the almost three quarters of a million viewers of their new video single 'Elan' can certainly testify, and it would appear that the assimilation of singer Floor Jansen into the band has been a resounding success.
The band's new album, 'Endless Forms Most Beautiful' is due March 27th and they've just released the first single and video from the record.
'Elan' is a great choice for the first single as it features both Jansen's sensational, sensuous vocals, and the gorgeous uilleann pipes of new member Troy Donockley - this track is a slow, sensual grower that doesn't hit you over the head so much as wrap its arms around you and draws you in.
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Nuclear Blast Records has seen fit to throw me another track, 'Sagan', for a listen (and yes, it is Carl Sagan to whom they are referring), and it's much more of a hard charging rocker for the faithful. That being said, I can't imagine anyone being much other than thrilled by the band's solidification and new works. These tracks sound like what we've come to expect from the band and they bode well for the new album.
Floor Jansen stepped into this band at a crucial time, and has delivered magnificently. Her performance on the band's live set, 'Showtime, Storytime', was superb and she seems equally comfortable in the studio with the band.
For those who've not yet caught the Nightwish fever, it brings back memories of Gary Moore's more celtic ventures, and the symphonic rock sounds envisioned by both Uli Jon Roth and his brother Zeno back in the mid 80s, but with a massive overhaul given the advances in modern musical technology. There are tracks on the new album that had to be whittled down to a mere 250 tracks for mixing.
I'm fairly new to Nightwish myself and I know that there is always back and forth between the loyal who choose this line-up or that from a band's past, but for any fans of huge and beautiful rock this is a can't miss. This is an album I can't wait to hear.