Nightwish - Over the hills and far away - 2001
I´m sorry for my musical ignorance. When I spoke to a good friend (hi Germán!) about the great band that I´ve just had known, some Finnish guys called Nightwish, he told me: "Alfonso, Nightwish is one of the most famous gothic metal bands nowadays". Thanks to Internet I have discovered that they have been nominated for the German Grammies; that they have several gold CDs because of their sales in Finland and central Europe; that one of their albums was "album of the month" in Rock Hard´s magazine in the month that Bon Jovi or Iron Maiden released their latest CDs; that their names are Tarja Turunen (VOICE), Tuomas Holopainen (keyboards), Erno Vuorinen (guitars), Jukka Nevalainen (drums), and Sami Vänskä (bass); and their discography is composed by "Angels fall first" (1997), "Oceanborn" (1998), "Wishmaster" (2000), the direct DVD From wish to eternity (2001) and "Over the hills..." (2001), a mini CD with covers, live tracks and unreleased material.
The song that opens up the CD is a cover. The name of the song is also the name of the CD and... indeed! it is the famous Gary Moore´s song included in "Wild Frontier" (1987). The feminine voice is wonderful as well as the recording quality (ahhh... the drums in the beginning). The guitar solo is the only thing that has been varied in the song. If good it is the original, good it is also the version. "Tenth man down" shows us the real potential of the band and its real musical skills: a malicious mixture of epic poetry and symphonic sounds with a hard base and with the crystalline voice of Tarja. The ballad "Away" is a power-ballad of great melodic intensity in its refrain and of soft verses ideal for the vocal splendor of Taraj. Sincerely it is a very moving and beautiful topic and it is the most beautiful in the whole CD "Astral Romance" is a remake of the song that appeared in the first album of the band. Not too bad but a little bit innocent.
Starting from here the songs were recorded alive. The band plays "The Kinslayer" -brilliant song to begin a show-, "She is my sin", and "Wishmaster" from "Wishmaster". From "Oceanborn" they play "Sacrament of wildnerness", maybe the best song of the band, and the beautiful, and almost religious, ballad "Walking in the air". From the premiere CD "Angels fall first" only appears "Beauty & the beast". All the songs have some brilliant arrangements for a band that demonstrates that on stage is able to create epic atmospheres without appealing to samplers.
As I said, Nightwish is a band that has enough CDs Being this the first one that I listen to -and it isn´t a normal CD - I cannot give an based opinion but my sixth sense tells me that maybe Nightwish repeats too much its outlines (Jordi Torras defined Nightwish as "Stratovarius with soprano"), but I should listen to the rest of his work before to confirm it. Because of it, without having reference points and knowing the danger, I tell you: "Over the hills..." it is a good work. Ideal for lovers of bands such as Within Temptation, After Forever or Dreams of Sanity. Power, majestic arrangements, melodies and a great voice, have the blame of it. Shortly I will get more material of the band and I will tell you if my sixth sense has made a mistake or not.