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Review of the Album Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Finnish Symphonic Metal Band Nightwish

Updated on September 1, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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Endless Forms Most Beautiful Has Two Qualities That Are Different Than Nightwish Albums of the Past

Endless Forms Most Beautiful is the 2015 studio album by Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish and this album has the talented Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen doing the vocals. That is the first difference between this album and Nightwish albums of the past. Floor Jansen replaces Anette Olzon who was the pervious singer. The album starts out with the majestic song Shudder Before the Beautiful which has a guest narration section by Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist and writer. The first three lines of the song try to tell us that the deepest kind of comfort that we can experience is when we see that “unseen stream” or the river of life that keeps on flowing before us. We have to train ourselves to see the beauty of this life. The song may have its most important message of all and that is that at its highest core, truth and light are the two highest values and virtues and it is rather unfortunate that there are humans that do not embody these values. Lyrically, Endless Forms Most Beautiful focuses on science, logic, and reason which is in direct contrast to the band’s earlier releases such as Oceanborn and this is the second major difference between this album and previous Nightwish albums.

Endless Forms Most Beautiful May Disappoint Some Fans

The song Elan in terms of its riffing structure is similar to Tomi Joutsen era Amorphis so there is a progressive feel to this song at least in the beginning which is likely to disappoint those fans that were used to hearing the operatic style of Tarja Turunen. Bands change and so do people so if you are open minded as I was then you may at least partially enjoy Endless Forms Most Beautiful. Near the end of that song as Floor Jansen sings the word “come,” there is a beautiful acoustic section which makes the ending that much more sweet. I think that there is a possibility that Nightwish could have been influenced by the bands In Flames and Dark Tranquillity.

Dutch Vocalist Floor Jansen

Another Reason to Listen to the Album Endless Forms Most Beautiful

If you need to listen to an album that is lighter in its musical feel, then this album is an example of it. What is meant by lighter feel in this case is that the album isn’t heavy and overwhelming even if there is power metal riffing present which there is.

Vocalist Floor Jansen is seen here at the Tuska Open Air Festival in June 2013.
Vocalist Floor Jansen is seen here at the Tuska Open Air Festival in June 2013. | Source

Floor Jansen Is Not Like Tarja Turunen But As a Vocalist She Is More Than Competent

In terms of this power metal style, even the song Weak Fantasy has that structure along with what feels like operatic chants. But what is clear is that Floor Jansen does not have the operatic, towering style that Tarja Turunen had but rather Floor has a softer approach and she can hold her voice for long periods and can “shout” if you call that style shouting but she certainly does not overdo it. Another example to show that Floor Jansen does not overdo it on the vocals is in the song Edema Ruh. The song stylistically in the beginning resembles the style of bands such as Reflexion and End of You. The male vocals part that is clean sort of is something that the band Ensiferum has experimented with.

"Weak Fantasy"

Final Thoughts As of The First Analysis

“The Greatest Show on Earth” which is a multi-part song spanning over 24 minutes may be too long for some us to handle because it the age of the Internet and social media and the general fast pace of life, some of us just do not have the time to sit through such a long song but nonetheless, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" is an album that musically gels together pretty good even without Tarja Turunen as the front woman of the band. This is an album that you may find yourself listening to in parts before you get to the end of it and there is the sense that it is album that is manageable even though it is very long.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian

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