Aaaaand they’re back! It hasn’t been the first time a fellow Nightwish fan like myself has experienced a mixture of disbelief and joy whenever they release a new album. Disbelief, because of the setbacks the band has historically had over its lifetime. Joy, because true to their past releases, their latest album can only be described through words I have always used when describing the band’s music: Beautiful, Powerful, and of course, EPIC.
When Nightwish announced in 2012 that they were parting ways with the band’s second lead singer in its history, not long after the release of the acclaimed Imaginaerum, it created some public scepticism over the band’s future. In all honestly I had similar feelings, and so since 2013 I did not pay as much attention to the band as I used to, compared to when I had first listened to their earlier works.
And then, suddenly, came Endless Forms Most Beautiful. A title from the writings of Charles Darwin. The first song, Shudder Before the Beautiful, starts with a quote by the famous atheist Richard Dawkins, shortly followed by the classic strings, keyboard, drums and heavy guitaring that originally attracted me to Nightwish in 2007. It was as if I was listening to Dark Chest of Wonder for the first time. What made Nightwish original and different was still there.
The theme of the album is of course, evolution and life. To be honest I cannot think of a better band who could pull off such a theme. The operatic vocals of Floor Jansen, the new lead singer, create a sense of awe and beauty. The heavy and cinematic guitaring, however, produces an atmosphere of epicness which can be easily attributed to the wonder that is evolution. The two impacts work incredibly well with the lyrics to create an album which truly does invoke amazement at the universe.
My favourite song would have to be the title track, Endless Forms Most Beautiful. In classic Nightwish style there is also a 24 minute track, The Greatest Show on Earth, which is the longest Nightwish song to date and refers to “life and evolution by natural selection”.
I recommend this album to any Nightwish lovers out there, or for anyone who marvels at the universe and was just looking for the music to go with those thoughts. Let’s just say that Nightwish are back with a (big) BANG!