Sound — 7
For the sound, it's cool that Tuomas (Keyboards) is adding more in the symphony department, and that Marco (Bass, Male Vocals) is getting more liberty in singing. This gives the band a more grunge/mainstream sound that will probably catch on with North American listeners. The simple guitar lines helps with this too. On the other hand, hiring Anette (Female Vocals), who was in an ABBA cover band before signing on with Nightwish, was not quite the smartest move. Nightwish's major selling point was the combination of metal, symphony, and opera (provided by Tarja Turunen, former singer). It will be difficult for them to pull off any of their old songs with Anette's simple voice, but some of their new stuff sounds okay.
Lyrics — 5
The lyrics are just as deep as the rest of the albums. My biggest peeve is the bashing of Tarja Turunen in the song "Bye Bye Beautiful". Granted, she may not have been the best person to do business with, but treating her like a cancerous growth that is finally gotten rid of is not something to be writing songs about. Songs like that should be done with like a torn flag. Burn it, and not to a CD.
Overall Impression — 6
Overall, I'd say that they no longer sound like Nightwish. They do have some good new stuff, some bad new stuff, and some in between. If you're expecting amazing vocal work, I wouldn't see them in concert, but their bonus disc totally redeems them. Check out the "Orchestral Version" of "Amaranth". There's my view on this.