Nightwish - Wishmaster Century Media - 2001 By Rodrigo /images/covers/Nightwish-Wishmaster.jpg This February comes the long awaited release of Nightwishs last album Wishmaster in the USA. Spinefarm Records in Europe originally released it on May 2000 and Century Media acquired the rights to distribute it here in the States. I was first introduced to Nightwish with their second album Oceanborn and that album completely blew me away because I had not heard anything quite like it before. I fell in love with the operatic trained female voice of Tarja Turunen. It is a truly captivating experience to hear her singing. But not only is the singing phenomenal but the music is just as amazing. The music can be described as harmonic melodic metal. The keyboards play a prominent role in the music and it is simply amazing hearing the interplay between the keys and guitars. The main songwriter is Tuomas Holopainen who plays all the keys and synthesizers, Jukka Nevalainen handles the drums & percussions, Empuu Vuorinen plays all guitars and Sami Vanska plays the bass. Wishmaster is the bands third album to date and while some call it their best effort I have to say that I ended up being a little disappointed with it. There is no denying that the band has improved in many areas especially with Tarjas singing. She is now able to sing a lot clearer and better than in the previous albums. Also, in previous albums there usually was some male singing in the songs but that is almost totally gone, only "The Kinslayer" features this. But what this album really lacks is some great stand out songs like "The Riddler" from Oceanborn. This is not to say that this album is bad but all the songs just kind of blend in and I really do not come up with a lot of memorable aspects when I try to remember the album. The overall music is similar to Oceanborn but the keys are not as prominent as before and now the guitars are focused on more than before, which adds a more heavy tone to the songs but there are still plenty of positives that I can talk about. I found that the songs that really became my favorites are those that feature the keys more rather than the guitars like "FantasMic" which is without a doubt my favorite song from the album. It is over 8 minutes long and time really seems to fly when I hear this song because before I know it the song is over. I really like the Walt Disney references in the lyrics. The keys are featured very prominently and the song has plenty of fast and slow parts and it also features a nice flute solo. The first part of the song is really catchy and it is very easy to sing along during the song. "Bare Grace Misery" is another of my favorite songs. It is a very catchy song with a great solo section where there is some sweet guitar and keyboard trade offs. "Wanderlust" is another song that is fast paced. The intro has a cool melodic keyboard intro, which is played at various times during the song. The solo part features the great interplay between guitars and keys and the song ends with really soothing and dreamy choirs. A song that is also good is "Come Cover Me". It is a mid-tempo song that begins with a beautiful flute melody line, but the song strongest point is Tarjas singing, which is slow and very seducing. "Crownless" is one of the fastest songs of the album and the intro is one of the best of the album because of how the keys and guitars drive the song. I guess I must not be really fair with this album because there is some great things about it but for some reason it just did not grab my attention like Oceanborn did. I am sure that many of you are probably getting sick of my constant comparisons with Wishmaster and Oceanborn but I really had very high expectations for this album because of how awesome Oceanborn was. I just think that Nightwish have shown the capabilities to come out with some really memorable music and in my humble opinion they are capable for so much more than what was featured on Wishmaster. Never the less, it is really awesome how Nightwish continue to breathe new life into the metal world with their style of music and overall Wishmaster should appeal to many people despite my negatives. It is really cool that finally a Nightwish album is going to come out in the USA and their other 2 albums should also come out in March.