Sound — 10
After nightwish released "Angels Fall First" in 1997, they returned witha much heavier and renewed release. This was "Oceanborn," a mixture of heavy guitars, almost operatic vocals and absorbing orchestra. the opening song 'Stargazers' immediately draws us into dramatic orchestrated beauty. then comes gethsemane, with it's violins and heavy guitars. third on the list, and by far my favourite song on the album, is a song akin to gothic metal, with growling "Devil" and Tarja's beutiful voice creating a contrast. sacrament of wilderness comes next with it's haunting opening and Tarja's operatic voice over the top of orchestra, synthesisers and guitar. passion and the opera brings a improved version of classical Nightwish. Swanheart is the first of three ballads on the album. It is a beautiful song which opens with flutes and piano. Moondance is Nightwish's first instrumental track and they took a big leap in making it, but I believe this was a worthwhile risk. It brings an almost Russian feel with beautiful orchestral participation and heavy guitars. The riddler picks up the singing again with a very different sound. Tarja sings a catchy tune over synthesisers and guitars. The Pharaoh Sails To Orion is a song which picks up the gothic feel gotten from Devil and The Deep Dark Ocean. It has an egyptian feel to it and tarja sings beautifully operatic with the contrast of the deeper spoken vocals found in devil and the deep dark ocean. After this comes ballad 2/3. It is a cover of Walking In The Air (soundtrack of the Snowman) and adds an improving symphonic feel to an otherwise regular ballad. The last song on the album gives us ballad 3/3. This is a bonus track and a very beautiful one at that. Sleeping Sun has to be my favourite Nightwish ballad of all the albums.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics, as always are poetic and beautiful. Some songs are lyrically erotic in places, "Naked limbs reflecting from the moon I'll be there for you soon" and in other places dark "An aura of mystery surrounds her, lady in brightest white." Tarja's voice sings the lyrics equally as beautiful and impressive. I would buy this CD just to hear her voice.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, the album has a lot to offer and is well worth the money. Beautiful and haunting. An ingenious product by Nightwish.