Dark Passion Play Review

artist: Nightwish date: 10/04/2008 category: compact discs
Nightwish: Dark Passion Play
Release Date: Sep 28, 2007
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genres: Heavy Metal, Goth Metal, Symphonic Black Metal, Progressive Metal
Number Of Tracks: 13
Depending on which side of the metal fence you're on, Dark Passion Play is either a symphonic metal triumph or merely pretentious twaddle.
 Sound: 8.9
 Lyrics: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (8) 55 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Dark Passion Play Reviewed by: Confetti, on september 28, 2007
6 of 8 people found this review helpful

Sound: One era ended in October of 2005 when the band gave the boot to the long time leadsinger Tarja Turunen, but now a new era has started, and Nightwish has relised a new album with their new lead singer Anette Olzon. Two singles later I thought that this album is gouing to be all around trash very easy to ignore. A ten lissens later haven't got the whole picture figured out yet. DPP has so many layers because allmost every song has massive orchestras backing the band. Tuomas Holopainen has made great collaboration's with London Session Orchestra and the Metro Voices Choir and it has payed for this album. The album sound is Epic! The only thing that the orchestra takes away is the bands own saund with the guitars, drums and keybords. But it kinda works with Anettes vocals. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are a big factor in Finnish metal bands mainly because they can be humorist. Many mishaps that doesn't seam to work at all. Trying to be more mystical then they are. These lyrics can mean anything and there is a chance that I just don't get the obvious here but there is some clear references that anyone with a clear head can notice. Like the Bye Bye Beatiful. A clear referense to Tarja Turunen and her departure from the band. All around the lyrics department is attleast ok. Some great pieces all over the record but hardly even one song with allthrough great lyrics. // 8

Overall Impression: But how does it all come together? Allmost perfectly. Nighwish has made one of the best and somewhat surprising albums of 2007. Actually the departure of Tarja might have been the right thing for Nightwish to stay relevant after so many albums with a singer that had so personal singing voice. Annette is a great singer. Not like Tarja but she has great tones in her voice that works well with the orchestras. Marco Hietalas vocals in the other hand make the bands playing sound better. Annette and Marco work really well together, and both have awesome solo songs. The overal apparence on the album seems way more personal then before with Tarja who's vocals ruled over the bands music. Band sounds more free then they have been in a long time. can't still understand why Eva is on the album? It totaly kills the Drive expecially when the album is so heavy more then massive, 04 Cadence Of Her Last Breath is in my opinion has the greatest hit potential and it's also one of the best songs on the album. No real mishaps exept fot Eva nad that's guite amazing if you think that the album lasts over an hour. I recommend this album to everyone that's a friend of melodic metal or just interessed of what Nightwish has got for us now. An epic album that really puts Nightwish back to the top of melodic metal. // 10

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overall: 10
Dark Passion Play Reviewed by: NightwishAngel, on october 05, 2007
5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sound: "Dark Passion Play" sounds very different from Nightwish's previous albums, besides having Anette Olzon becoming the new lead singer. Their sound on DPP is more progressive and more assertive. I think it definitely suits the style of singing that Anette does. From the epic 14-minute opener "The Poet and the Pendulum" to the slow, but powerful closer "Meadows of Heaven", "Dark Passion Play" definitely solidifies Nightwish as one of the best metal bands out there today! // 10

Lyrics: Tuomas Holopainen, as always, is an amazing songwriter and has wrote some of his best on Dark Passion Play. Most of the songs on DPP are very personal and upfront like the following. The Poet And the Pendulum - about Tuomas him and his own personal struggles. Bye Bye Beautiful - about Tarja and how Tuomas thinks of her former bandmates now. Master Passion Greed - about Tarja's husband, also former manager of Nightwish. Anette Olzon, former Alyson Avenue frontwoman, is completely different from the opera-trained Tarja Turunen. She brings her own sound to the band and, man, she does it really great! When it comes to the songs with her and Marco, their vocals are perfect! When Tarja was in the band, Marco usually gets overpowered by her. Not by Anette. Honestly, Anette is the perfect choice for Nightwish and I wish her the best! // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, I love Dark Passion Play. Ever since I first "Eva", I've been dying for this album to come out. It's become my favorite out of all the Nightwish albums so far. Best songs on the album: The Poet and the Pendulum, Bye Bye Beautiful, Amaranth, Eva, Seven Days to the Wolves, The Islander, Master Passion Greed. If this were stolen, I would buy at least two more copies and then go find the person stole it and force 'em to give it back! // 10

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overall: 9.3
Dark Passion Play Reviewed by: Gregoric, on september 29, 2007
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Nightwish, a band from a small and rural town in finland released an album in 2004 which helped them to ascend to the very cusp of greatness. The 2005 open sacking of their former vocalist Tarja Turunen was seen by many critics and fans as a suicide and the end of the Nightwish story. Two years have now passed and Nightwish have made their triumphant return with 'Dark Passion Play', a seemless blend of power metal, choirs and orchestral blows to the ear drums. The sound on this album is extremely diverse with extremes explcitly present, this album features Nightwish's heaviest song to date, their longest song to date and maybe they're softest song to date. Nightwish's new vocalist Anette Olzon presents us with accessability to Tuomas' lyrics which might not have been as present in previous Nightwish albums, her voice has a very warm and sweet tone which is easy to the ears whilst still possessing great strength and range. Many fans will feel that Tarja could never be replaced but Anette feels too much like something completely new and fresh to be considered as a simple replacement. This album definitely showcases Nightwish at the top of their musical games. // 9

Lyrics: Tuomas Holopainen really reveals his inner-most feelings on this latest album. The 14 minute opener entitled 'The Poet And The Pendulum' gives us an unadulterated and explicit look at how the events of 2005 affected him with a sinister blend of dark imagery, this could possibly be the most personal and emotionally charged song the Finnish lyrical genius has ever written. Holopainen is not afraid to speak his mind when it comes to the subject of former vocalist and bandmate, Tarja Turunen and her personal manager/husband Marcelo Cabuli. Songs like 'Master Passion Greed' and 'Bye Bye Beautiful' are almost like angry bittersweet love letters delivered with a powerful punch of sonic brutality. Any Nightwish fan will know that Holopainen was possibly one of the most formidable lyricists in metal today and judging by this album, he still is. // 10

Overall Impression: This album will certainly divide existing Nightwish fans. Many will believe that Anette is a breath of fresh air and a welcome change to Tarja's operatic vocal style. Some will however think that this album is simply not a Nightwish album because of Turunen's absence but in my opinion both singers are very talented albeit posessing different types of talents so whether you enjoy the new vocals or not will all be a matter or personal taste. Leaving the vocals aside the music is just as heavy, strong and bombastic as ever featuring an even bigger orchestra than 'Once' and the orchestra feels like it fits into the music a lot better. People who have not listened to Nightwish before or people who disliked them because of their previous vocal style will definitely want to consider 'Dark Passion Play'. It defines Nightwish as a band possessing a huge amount of tenacity and a band that never gave up. A must-listen. // 9

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overall: 8.7
Dark Passion Play Reviewed by: Slesher, on january 08, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: First of all, if you expect the "old Nightwish" opera sound you won't get it. I would say that this is a new band. But I prefer their new sound. I know that most Tarja fans would want to kill me after the last sentence. This is Ultimate-Guitar so I guess I should say a bit about Emppu Vuorinen's great guitar playing. It's, again, on a very high level, great riffs some hard shredding (in Master Passion Greed) and a typical Nightwish guitar. The difference between the old band and the new band is definitely Anette Olzon's voice. They have lost the opera sound, but now have another beautiful female voice. In conclusion, Nightwish have kept their good symphonic/power metal sound, but have lost their typical opera sound. For me they have made a good choice with Anette. // 9

Lyrics: Ofcourse Tuomas has done well with writing almost every song in Dark Passion Play. However, one of my favourite songs on the album, The Islander, is not written by him. 01. The Poet And The Pendulum - the best song on the album if you ask me. It has great musical variety and exceptional lyrics. The only problem is it's lenght, almost 14 minutes which I personally don't like. 02. Bye Bye Beautiful - this song was written about Tarja. Especialy the chorus. It says "Did you ever hear what I told you/Did you ever read what I wrote you/Did you ever listened to what we played." This track is a little more mainstream then the others on the album. Actually nothing special. 03. Amaranth - the biggest hit on Dark Passion Play. Again a bit mainstream, but it is much better than Bye Bye Beautiful. I liked Emppu Vuorinen's guitar on this track. It has a cool sound, taht can't be compared to many other bands. It has the Nightwish sound to it. 04. Cadence Of Her Last Breath - one of the best songs on the album. Great music, great lyrics. What more can I say? 05. Master Passion Greed - the shredding madness on Dark Passion Play. Fast, powerful guitar and Marco Hietala's vocals. Pure perfection! 06. Eva - actually this song is the one that doesn't fit in the overall Dark Passion Play sound. I'm not saying that it is a bad song, I liked it a lot actually, but that doesn't change the fact that it doesn't match the other songs on the album. It has a nice guitar solo and great lyrics, though. 07. Sahara - this is the one song that didn't impress me a bit. I can't say anything about it, actually. 08. Whoever Brings The Night - this song has a nice oriental sound and good lyrics which is enough for it to be a good song. 09. For The Heart I Once Had - mediocre, nothing that can impress a symphonic metal fan. But still good enough for a first-time listener. 10. The Islander - one of my favourite songs on the album. I found resemblance between this track and most Jethro Tull songs. It's not a heavy song, but one of the best on the album. 11. Last Of The Wilds - a nice instrumental, but I've heard better. 12. 7 Days To The Wolves - also one of my favourite songs. Almost perfect in every aspect. 13. Meadows Of Heaven - again mediocre. It has good lyrics, but nothing more. // 8

Overall Impression: Dark Passion Play is my favourite Nightwish album. I've heard a lot of people say that they have become more like Within Temptation than Nightwish, but I have never liked the whole opera sound. I know that Nightwish have become what they are today because of Tarja's voice, but still this album is a step forward. // 9

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overall: 10
Dark Passion Play Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 16, 2008
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: The moment I had the album running, I knew this album was going to be one hell of an album! Being one of those who thought Nightwish would find it difficult to do without their front-woman and idol Tarja, I was literally smiling as I began listening to Dark Passion Play (DPP). The album starts off with the 14-minute epic The Poet and the Pendulum, and frankly, this song needs a review on it's own! The song consists of five parts, and I have to say that every single one of them is absolute perfection. Also, Anette (the new singer) shows her strengths at being a very versatile singer, with a story-teller's voice. Being brief and to the point, this song is theatrical and it is my personal favorite Nightwish song to date. Following this mighty song, come very different and extremely good pieces of music. The variety in this album shows the ever-strong core Nightwish is made of. Even with the departure of one of their most (if not the most) popular members of the band, Nightwish still provided a magnificent piece of art. Since Tarja had never been a providing part to the music, DPP still gives satisfaction as it is the perfect blend of metal and classical music. The sound of this album is overwhelming. The production is wonderful, and the orchestrations are genius. As most artists mention, it is pain and suffering that allows the creation of the most wonderful pieces of art, and I have to say that DPP shows a lot of creativity, beauty and pain; combining all these factors, you get DPP! However, it is noticeable that Nightwish no longer provides the power of the previous albums Oceanborn and Wishmaster, as the band clearly deflected it's way in the following albums into a more complex, more creative and deeper style, introducing classical music elements into their music. Tuomas has once again proved to be one of the best metal composers around. DPP is a whole level above any other symphonic/melodic metal album available these days. Also, Anette and Marco's voices go very well together, and the vocal harmonies on DPP are astonishing. Furthermore, DPP has such a wide variety of music, that the songs seem to be those of different artists. The softest (Eva) and the heaviest (Master Passion Greed) Nightwish songs are there, as well as an oriental oriented song (Sahara), an obvious commercial hit (Amaranth), in addition to something that the band never did before, a song which sounds like American Metal in Cadence of Her Last Breath. DPP is full of surprises, and when you think you've heard it all, you are to be once again taken by surprise to be dazzled by a gospel choir in Meadows of Heaven. Simply, DPP has everything one can ask for! // 10

Lyrics: Honestly, I don't personally think that Tuomas is a lyricist, to me he's a poet, for once again he offers some of the greatest lyrics in the metal scene. From pain, to anger, to hate, to longing, to beauty, to hope, to lust, to intensity and despair, Tuomas provides it all! Of course, much is left to personal interpretation, but some of the songs are quite direct. The lyrics go hand in hand with the music, and that is an extra plus for DPP, and Anette (the new singer) has such brilliant interpretation of the songs, and as I mentioned before, she has a story-tellers voice, which makes the album more of a long, gorgeous fairy tale. However, yet again does DPP show a deviation from the past Nightwish albums. The lyrics are somehow different to what you would hear on Oceanborn for example. However, the lyrics are still first-rate and they still go in the same direction as the music. // 10

Overall Impression: My impression of this album is a very deep fall in love! I expected the band to go a step back after Tarja was axed, but they proved me wrong as they took a huge step forward. The album can be considered to be different from the old Nightwish sound, ye as a sequel of Once, however very different from it! The orchestrations are much better, and the variety is wider in DPP, as well as the introduction of a new and very different, yet very good singer. Here is a brief summary of my personal opinion about every song: 01. The Poet And The Pendulum - the best Nightwish song ever! 02. Bye Bye Beautiful - a good song, similar to Wish I Had an Angel from once, although slightly less beautiful. 03. Amaranth - a catchy song with a head-sticking melody, although obviously commercial it is still a good song (not one of the best songs on the album by any chance). 04. Cadence Of Her Last Breath - again, a catchy song with an extremely good chorus. This is one of the songs a listener would love at first listen. 05. Master Passion Greed - a wicked, wicked song and the heaviest Nightwish ever created. Marco sings throughout the whole song and I'm personally impressed by the power of the guitars in this song. 06. Eva - pretty good song, but pretty lame. The song I least liked on the album, but that doesn't mean it's not a good one! 07. Sahara - oriental song, with beautiful imagery. One of the best songs on DPP. 08. Whoever Brings The Night - I personally didn't like this one the first time I heard it, but then I realized I was just deaf! A very good song, very riff-oriented, and very erotic. 09. For The Heart I Once Had - one of my favorite songs on DPP, not many would like this one, but I have to say it has a personal meaning to me. It is beauty at it's best for me. 10. The Islander - an acoustic song, and another beauty yet again. Have you noticed that not many songs are similar? 11. Last Of The Wilds - an instrumental. Good for the first time, but gets less attractive the more I listen to it! Here I feel like it's Scotland Vs. Finland, where both triumph. Very celtic. 12. 7 Days To The Wolves - definitely one of the best on the album! A complete and well-rounded song, where every part is just right! 13. Meadows Of Heaven - I had to listen to this song a few times before I indulged in it. This one is a beauty! The gospel choir is also another bonus Nightwish gives to the lucky listener! Overall, if I lose this magical piece of art, I would certainly buy another one. This is a must have in my collection, and without any doubt one of the best albums I ever heard. Nightwish is back, and stronger than ever! // 10

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overall: 6
Dark Passion Play Reviewed by: metallman, on february 19, 2008
2 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 7

Lyrics: 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. // 5

Overall Impression: 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. // 6

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overall: 8.3
Dark Passion Play Reviewed by: Amy_Lee, on october 04, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Despite this album being little under a year old, I can still listen to it over and over and constantly find new things in it; new motifs I have never heard before. This is an album born of keyboardist/key composer Tuomas Holopainen's feelings after former singer Tarja Turunen was fired from the band in October 2005 and it shows here. Opener "The Poet and the Pendulum" with it's wintery, ghostly choirs, sets the tone for the rest of the album within half a minute of it's fourteen-minute span, even involving a drawbridge sound and a cannon firing about halfway through! By contrast "Amaranth", the third track of the album, embraces a (whisper it) poppier approach with new (and radically different) vocalist Anette Olzon showing off what she can do, succeeding with this. "Whoever Brings The Night" - the weakest song on the album - is unbalanced and a little abrasive in that it focuses more on the guitars; however, it is still a solid song, even if it is a little disappointing, and slightly brings down the album, whilst closer "Meadows of Heaven" has a slight whiff of cheese about it. Ever such a slight one, mind, especially with the exaggerated vocals at the end (is that a man singing them? ), but the grandiose scope of vision is what saves it from being a total letdown. // 8

Lyrics: Holopainen's lyrics perfectly reflect the feelings he goes through, neatly swerving the "emo" tag (though how Nightwish could ever get this tag, I can't think! ). However, there are some lines within the album which made me feel a little uncomfortable and were probably a little unnecessary ("Being raped again and again... " being an example of one of them). Some barely made much sense "Choose a bride tonight/ A fantasy for a zombie... " made me think "er, what?" However, the lyrics that do make sense match perfectly with the music written, except for in "Last of the Wilds" - an instrumental. // 8

Overall Impression: Despite the change of vocalist making the connection between them and Evanescence, Lacuna Coil etc. stronger, Nightwish have once again defied most expectations in delivering an album that is highly suited to epic film soundtracks. With Olzon's vocals making them more accessible, they will win over a whole new load of fans whilst keeping the longtime fans who don't hate Olzon happy. The best song? There are too many to choose from, but "Last of the Wilds" is a fantastic piece, and apart from the aforementioned couple of songs, there is little to complain about it. It is their darkest album to date and their most expensive - about 500, 000 (and you can work that out into your own currency), twice as much as predecessor "Once" - but this doesn't stop it from being one great album. // 9

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overall: 8.7
Dark Passion Play Reviewed by: xCoilx, on january 21, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: In this album Nightwish still mantains it's unique, epic, and enchanting sound.There are impressive orchastral sound in each song which add color to each song. Annette's voice compliments the band's song just as well as Tarja, but has a much stronger voice. The ways she sings each song is full of passion and beauty. It has also excellent keyboard work, prob the most impressive work on any Nightwish album. There is also more beauty and the beast vocals here (female and male singers) which makes it more balanced between the two. The intrumentals on here is pure sick! It seems as though this album was well written and well thought out. // 9

Lyrics: Although some are hidden behind metaphores, the lyrics are mostly passionate. "Meadows of Heaven" is a good example of passion. If you listen to the lyrics through the whole song you really feel what she'd singing. The lyrics fit the song well. Although compared to Tarja constantly, I believe she is a much more trained singer. She has a much more stronge voice then Tarjas fragile soft voice. Anette has been called a "pop" singer, but her voice fits metal very well. // 8

Overall Impression: There is no band that you can compare to Nightwish. Although some want to compare them to Within Temptation, there is a big difference between the two. There are few bands that can acomplish this kind of creativity. The most impressive songs on the album are Bye Bye Beautiful, Cadence To Her Last Breath, and 7 Days to The Wolves. If it were stolen or lost I'd go out and but it in a heartbeat! // 9

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