We don’t cover much within the ‘metal’ genre, which is simply a reflection of our complete lack of expertise in this area (which will no doubt become clear as you read this), so I sought some recommendations from a kind Twitter follower on where I should start. I’ve had a few false starts over the year with submissions I didn’t rate that highly, but thankfully I started this time with the hugely infleuntial ‘Nightwish’, who I’d come across anyway and are a long standing familiar name across the world.
‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’ is a blisteringly good album which delivers everything you’d expect, but is actually a great introduction to heavier metal because as a ‘Symphonic Metal’ band they are carried along with this huge orchestral sound, complete with timpanis – as in tracks such as ‘Weak Fantasy’. But they also show their Finnish influences with tracks such as ‘Elan’, in which they belt out a tune which ‘Dreamers Circus’ would be proud of, and there is far more substance and subtlety here than you might perceive.
Ok so clearly this is lavish, extraordinarily big and bold, and some will find it ‘over the top’ but the orchestral arrangements actually work brilliantly and vocalist ‘Floor Jansen’ completely carries off the complex vocals too. A hugely dramatic ambitious album, 'Endless Forms Most Beautiful' has few weaknesses and has far more substance and style than many will probably give it credit for. I really recommend it.
Nordic Music Review 8 /10