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Nightwish – part ways with vocalist Anette Olzon

Finnish metal band Nightwish and vocalist Anette Olzon decided to part ways on their international ‘Imaginaerum‘ tour. This decision is made in mutual understanding and without any conflict.

Dutch singer Floor Jansen replaces Olzon at the moment. She is well known as ex-frontlady from After Forever and her solo band ReVamp.

Yesterday she flew over to perform in Seattle, when Olzon had to cancel due to her medical condition. A new album of Revamp is schedulded in 2013, so it isn’t sure if Floor Jansen will be the new singer yet.

The band toured in Europe and America this year and also performend in the Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam recently on their world tour. It turned out to be the last performance together with second frontlady Anette Olzon.

Nightwish writes in their press statement:
In recent times it has become increasingly obvious that the direction and the needs of the band were in conflict, and this has led to a division from which we cannot recover.

Nightwish has no intention of cancelling any upcoming shows, and as a result we have decided to bring in a substitute vocalist starting in Seattle. Her name is Floor Jansen from The Netherlands and she has graciously stepped in to help us complete the Imaginaerum world tour.

We are all strongly committed to this journey, this vehicle of spirit, and we are sure that this will lead to a brighter future for everyone. We forever remain excited about the adventures to come, and we are extremely proud of the two beautiful albums and the wonderful shows we shared together.

More information about the upcoming tour dates in America and UK: http://nightwish.com

Categories: News Tags: ,

Nightwish – maakt indruk met oog- en oorstrelend spektakel

tekst: Silviapd
foto’s: Monica Duffels

Nightwish is terug met het grootste project uit de historie van de band: Imaginaerum. Naast het intensieve creatieproces van dit album, is er ook een film in de maak.

Eerder in 2009 speelde de band in een uitverkochte Heineken Music Hall; de vuurdoop voor zangeres Anette Olzon. De band moest zich toen bewijzen en de druk was groot.

Deze last is nu van de schouders en dit keer staat er een ontspannen band op het podium die zijn draai heeft gevonden. Nightwish overdondert met een immens spektakel

Opener van de avond is Eklipse uit Duitsland. Een vrouwelijk gezelschap die enkel strijk instrumenten bespelen. De zangerige viool wordt ondersteund door celliste Helena in een warme harmonie. Vanaf de eerste noot blijkt wel weer dat deze zaal een ontzettend helder geluid heeft; geen galm of ruis maar iedere noot mooi uitgekristalliseerd.

Cry Me A River’ is een imponerende versie van Justin Timberlake’s hit en erg goed uitgevoerd (al is de kampvuur versie van Leona Lewis ook erg gedurfd). Dit trekt de aandacht van de vollopende zaal en de respons is enthousiast.

Het  samenspel tussen de dames is uitstekend en vloeiend. Met de donkerharige Scarlett als eerste solist; haar viool stijgt er met gemak bovenuit.

Een goede sfeer wordt neergezet en die sluit mooi aan bij de afsluiter van de avond. Metal en klassiek gaan wel samen; al kiest Eklipse ervoor een breed repertoire te vertolken. Verwacht geen show zoals Apocalyptica deze maakt. Dit is een andere orde.

Dat blijkt wel bij het ‘Godfather thema’ wat een nieuwe draai krijgt en de strijkinstrumenten weten een diepte te creëren vol pit en energie. De uitvoering is van hoog academisch niveau en kundigheid om zo soepel te spelen. Indrukwekkend om te zien.

De tweede support act Battle Beast is afkomstig uit Finland en brengt een totaal ander geluid; de jaren tachtig herleven met heavy metal. De zangeres weet wel een keel op te zetten; erg rauw en flink uitschreeuwend. Niet voor iedereen een aangename ervaring.

Vooral omdat de band een totaal ander ritme lijkt te volgen: de balans in de nummers is ver te zoeken. Ook ontbreekt het ze aan een eigen geluid. Eigenlijk doet het verlangen naar een echte grootheid uit die jaren in plaats van een slap aftreksel.

Nightwish laat niet lang op zich wachten met een snelle ombouw. Wanneer de lichten doven is de zaal vol afwachtende fans. Met dit zevende album ‘Imaginaerum’ is Nightwish met gemak weer de grootste symfonische metal band (vroeger gewoon gothic genoemd).

Na Amerika is het tijd voor Europa en de muzikanten hebben er zin in. Er wordt groot uitgepakt met een enorme stage entourage: verhogingen,  vuurwerk, en 3D video.

Natuurlijk draait alles om de zangkwaliteiten van Anette Olzon. Boven verwachting is haar bereik enorm gegroeid en ze weet dat de hele avond vast te houden. Een openhartige performer,  maar bovenal een zangeres die zekerder klinkt.

Storytime’ is bombastisch en typisch een Nightwish nummer vol power. Een kracht training voor drummer Jukka Nevailainen; opzwepend en ritmisch. Voeg daarbij de orgelachtige toetsen van Tuomas Holopainen en een pittige gitaarsolo van Empu Vuorinen.

De uithaal van Anette Olzon is volumineus en helder; een goed begin van de avond. Dankzij het goede geluid in de zaal. De videoprojecties zijn duizelingwekkend van draaimolens tot flitsend vuur; een lust voor oog en oor.

Fans persen zich op elkaar  vooraan, als een trechter, om een glimp van de bandleden op te vangen. De grijze box is meestal best sfeerloos, maar dit keer groeit het enthousiasme tijdens de set.

De band heeft  geleerd van het verleden met de nieuwe versie van ‘I Wish I Had An Angel’ waarbij Anette een eigen draai geeft aan de zanglijnen en beter de oude nummers vertolkt.

Met Troy Donokley in de gelederen is er een nieuw geluid aan de band toegevoegd. Met zijn ‘pipes’ (zoals hij dat zelf noemt) wordt een  prachtige Ierse sfeer neergezet, die als een rode draad door de set loopt.

Een breed scala aan nummers komen voorbij. Waaronder ‘Amaranth’ met een groot rook kanon. Er is veel interactie tussen bassist Marco Hietala en gitarist Empu Vuorinen; dat zorgt voor wat humor

Het semi- akoestische ‘Slow, Love, Slow’ is een kippenvel moment met zangeres Anette op een kruk zittend. De jazzy sfeer met piano en lichte drums laat een totaal andere kant van de band zien: verbijsterend!

Dan gaat het roer om met ‘I Want My Tears Back’ wat doet denken aan een Iers drinklied. De fluit en gitaar solo gaan moeiteloos samen in een knallend nummer. De stem van Marco Hietala blaast live iedereen omver.

Een verrassingsmoment wanneer ‘Come Cover Me’ voorbij komt; goed gearrangeerd en dat roept wel nostalgie op.  Snel opgevolgd door een ander hoogtepunt van de avond. Een ingetogen duet tussen Anette Olzon en Marco Hietala op ‘The Crow,The Owl And The Dove.’ Dat doet verlangen naar een intiemere setting.

Drummer Jukka Nevalainen komt van zijn verhoging om met percussie ‘The Islander’ in te zetten en met de Ierse instrumenten  van Donovan wordt alles naar een hoog niveau getild: een ware traktatie!

De setlist is erg goed uitgebalanceerd en vooral de laatste twintig minuten zijn een aaneenschakeling aan hoogtepunten. Zoals de akoestische versie van ‘Planet Hell’ waarbij de uitroep van Marco door merg en been gaat.

Naast de perfect uitgevoerde muziek is er zo veel te zien op het podium: vuurwerk, rookkanonnen, dynamische video’s en een band die bruist van de energie!

Nightwish keert terug zoals niemand kon vermoeden; in volle glorie met een rijker geluid en nagenoeg perfecte show. Dat legt de lat hoog voor de toekomst!

Meer informatie:
Nightwish: http://nightwish.com/en/
Troy Donokley: http://www.troydonockley.co.uk/ 

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Met dank aan: Nuclear Blast en Nightwish

Categories: Concerts Tags: ,

Swallow the Sun – Emerald Forest and the Blackbird

03/02/2012 4 comments

text: Helena Torstensson

band: Swallow The Sun
album: Emerald Forest and the Black Bird
genre: Death/Doom Metal
release: 1 February 2012
label: Spinefarm Records

Swallow the Sun is a death, doom metal band from Finland that was formed in 2000 by Juha Raivio. Soon he was joined by Pasi Pasanen. In 2001 Markus Jämsen, Mikko Kotamäki, Aleksi Munter and Matti Honkonen joined the band. In 2002 they started arranging songs for their demo. The first demo ‘Out of this Gloomy Light’ was recorded in January 2003, and their first record deal with Firebox Records.

Their debut album ‘The Morning Never Came’ was out in the Autumn of 2003. After that world wide success came pretty fast, touring around the globe.  A change in the line-up came in 2009 when Kai Hahto joined the band to fill the void by former drummer Pasi Pasanen. ‘Emerald Forest and the Blackbird’ is the band’s fifth album.

The first song and title track: “Emerald Forest and the Blackbird” opens slowly, but brings pretty soon rougher elements. That creates a special atmosphere. It’s interesting to hear the way music and vocals are keeping perfect pace together. In a way it creates something that I find poetic. This song is almost ten minutes long. It’s a pleasure to sit back, with closed eyes, and drift  away by the music.

One of the songs that made a lingering impression on me is “This Cut is the Deepest.” A part of it’s charm is; it stays simple yet so very moving. It begins with easy and good sounding guitars. That together with Mikko Kotamäki’s vocals really manages to bring such a melancholic and special feeling. Strong lyrics and melody create something more. It is hard to translate all my feelings in words regarding this one.

The first single from the album is “Cathedral Walls.” It features Anette Olzon  from Nightwish. I would call it ‘a ballad with a bite’. Frontman Mikko is telling the story with soft sounding vocals, carried by a slow melody that caress you ears. He is soon followed by Anette as she temporary takes hold of the microphone. The mix of vocals fits beautifully. In the middle of the song Mikko’s voice changes, grows roughly and the music changes too:  a dark and intense atmosphere. It is interesting to hear Anette’s light voice again followed by a very balanced  instrumental ending.

Conclusion

Emerald Forest and the Blackbird’ is my first encounter with Swallow the Sun. These songs contains impressive music and strong lyrics. It is amazing the way Mikko Kotamäki manages to change his vocals during the songs. Moving quite easily from a clear sound to a rougher side, and almost growling ones. The haunting guitar melodies mixed with, what I would call, folkloric elements  builds up the dark and mystic atmosphere. Swallow the Sun is a master in creating charming songs. It rises expectations after every minute: an outstanding album for sure!

Rating
8.5/10

Tracklist
1. Emerald Forest and the Blackbird
2. This Cut is the Deepest
3. Hate, Lead the Way
4. Cathedral Walls (feat. Anette Olzon)
5. Hearts Wide Shut
6. Silent Towers
7. Labyrinth of London (Horror PT. IV)
8. Of Death and Corruption
9. April 14th
10. Night will Forgive Us

Line-up
Mikko Kotamäki – vocals
Juha Raivio – guitars
Markus Jämsen – guitars
Aleksi Munter – keyboards
Matti Honkonen – bass
Kai Hahto – drums

Website
http://www.swallowthesun.net/site/

Nightwish – Imaginaerum

text: Helena Torstensson & M.Törnemyr

band: Nightwish
album: Imaginaerum
genre: Symphonic metal
release: 5 December 2011 (Europe), 16 January worldwide
label: Nuclear Blast

Nightwish is the kind of band that doesn’t need an introduction. This symphonic metal band was formed in 1996 by songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen. He soon was joined by guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, drummer Jukka Nevailanen and vocalist Tarja Turunen. The original bassist Sami Vänskä was replaced by Marco Hietala in 2002, who also took over the male vocals. In 2005 Tarja left the band, replaced by Anette Olzon in 2007.

Taikatalvi” (Magic Winter) opens up with Marco Hietala singing beautifully in Finnish. I adore the slow and special feeling that this song creates, it brings a feeling of another world. The song is simple yet breathtaking and so very moving.

Ghost River” begins with a powerful guitar intro by Empu Vuorinen, followed by a charming melody. The combination of Anette Olzon’s lighter voice and Marco Hietala’s darker contrast, creates something special. The demanding chorus easily stays in your mind.

One of my favorite songs on this album is “I Want My Tears Back”.  From the start when guitars and Marco sets in, till the melody that follows. It is so haunting and very special. I quickly become spellbound by the Celtic sounding pipes that Troy Donockley delivers with such ease and cleverness. It´s a pleasure hearing Anette’s voice, telling the story of the song. During the chorus the vocals transform and Marco temporary takes control: impressive!

Hearing the pipe melody weaving in and out of focus all through the song is a pure pleasure. Towards the end you find a wonderful instrumental part, where the sound of clapping hands takes everything higher, the music seems to spin faster and faster and it´s hard to sit still. Bombastic, impressive drum abilities by Jukka. I think this one shows the greatness of Nightwish.

Turn Loose the Mermaids” is like a soothing and sweet lullaby, the song is so very beautiful and moving. The brilliance of this one is that you get the feeling that it´s simple . But the more you listen to it, the more this song grows on you and makes you understand how very complex it really is. The lyrics are leaving a lot to your own imagination: nothing is certain, you can let go and drift away bt this.

The Crow, The Owl and the Dove” is another song that really made an impression. It’s written by Marco Hietala (only one on the album). he shows a different vocal capability: singing lighter than before. Also in this song Anette Olzon really delivers and shows that her voice has become stronger. the story is presented with a lot of feelings and a less bombastic approach shows the ‘heart’ of this band.

Conclusion

I can imagine that this album might put the Nightwish fans into two kind of camps. Since some people seem to have a hard time looking past the change of female vocals, and really give Anette Olzon a chance. I haven’t much into this band before and it´s a relief not comparing it with previous albums. I can simply enjoy the musical journey that ‘Imaginaerum’ brings.

You can tell that Tuomas Holopainen have put some serious thought, and work, behind the arrangements. Fitting it to Anette´s voice. In the song “Let Loose the Mermaids” you hear that her voice is stronger, it sounds more certain compared to the way it sounded on the previous album “Dark Passion Play”. When I hear the way she sounds on “Imaginaerum” I would like to say that there is hope for her, managing the older Nightwish songs easier than before.

The music and all the arrangements on this album are simply brilliant. When you listen to the last song “Imaginaerum” you quickly learn that it´s built by pieces of all the other songs and you realize what an instrumental masterpiece it is.

Rating
9/10

Tracklist
1. Taikatalvi
2. Storytime
3. Ghost River
4. Slow, Love, Slow
5. I Want My Tears Back
6. Scaretale
7. Arabesque
8. Turn Loose The Mermaids
9. Rest Calm
10. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
11. Last Ride Of The Day
12. Song Of Myself
13. Imaginaerum

Line-up
Anette Olzon – vocals
Tuomas Holopainen – keyboards
Marco Hietala – bass / vocals
Erno Vuorinen – guitars
Jukka Nevalainen – drums

Website
http://www.nightwish.com/en/

Categories: CD reviews Tags:

Nightwish – release video ‘Storytime’

text: Helena Torstensson

Symphonic metal band Nightwish will release their new single “Storytime” on Friday, but a video is released today. A first glimpse of the new upcoming album analyzed by our reporter:

I believe that there are many people around the world who count the days until the next Nightwish album Imaginaerum is out. And today we all got a nice treat, “Storytime” comes with an amazing video.

I find the song very intensive with the speed and energy that flows from the beginning to the end. I love the melody and enjoy hearing Annette Olzon’s voice, because I think it fits the music perfectly.

Bombastic, symphonic, epic: all ingredients from Nightwish are there, and yet it is daring and different than before. The video is theatrical and makes me curious about their movie: masks, suits and clowns it is all there.

This concept album comes with a movie project, and it will be released in Finland on 30th of November 2011. The rest of Europe will follow on 2nd of December 2011.

Pre order single and information on: http://www.nightwish.com


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Nightwish – unveil tracklist, artwork and presale ‘Imaginaerum’

Finnish successful metal band Nightwish revealed more information about their upcoming album “Imaginaerum” (previous called as ‘Imagnarium’).

The concept album comes with a movie project, and it will be released in Finland on 30th of November 2011. The rest of Europe will follow on 2nd of December 2011.

The first single “Storytime” will be released on 11th November 2011 and the presale started on the nwshop together with the preorder of the new album.

Tuomas Holopainen says about the new artwork: “Originally, this was supposed to be the centerfold image of the album but once I and some mates saw the final image, we immediately knew that the hunt for the actual cover artwork was over. I believe this is Toxic Angel’s finest piece of work yet, capturing the deepest essence of what Imaginaerum is all about.

The power of imagination and places of wordless wonders, magic and awe, of longing and the surreal. I emphasized from the start that not a single living thing should be seen in the picture, and Toxic was able to create that sublime but desolate, “all this waiting for you, and you only”  feeling.  All you need is the courage to enter.

Tracklist

1. Taikatalvi
2. Storytime
3. Ghost River
4. Slow, Love, Slow
5. I Want My Tears Back
6. Scaretale
7. Arabesque
8. Turn Loose The Mermaids
9. Rest Calm
10. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
11. Last Ride Of The Day
12. Song Of Myself
13. Imaginaerum

Song information

Songwriter TuomasHolopainen also revealed more track-by-track information of the new songs.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.” – Henry David Thoreau

1. TAIKATALVI
This world is but a canvas for our imagination.

2. STORYTIME
How would it feel to take a midnight flight with a snowman through the most wondrous landscapes, like in the classic animated Yuletide film? The meaning of our very existence is created though stories, tales and imagination. They are at the very core of humanity.

3. GHOST RIVER
LIFE is the ultimate privilege; a river filled with wonders and horrors. Love, sorrow, beauty, evil and temptation. And we need them all to survive and enjoy the journey.
Good, Evil, Pain and Pleasure – members one of another.

4. SLOW, LOVE, SLOW
Truest love needs no words, demands or promises. It is wordless territory, and thoroughly unconditional.

5. I WANT MY TEARS BACK
Longing for things long gone, but still possible to bring back.

6. SCARETALE
Monsters in the closet, squealing pigs, hordes of spiders and flesh-ripping harpies. A peak into childhood´s unforgettable nightmares- a vivid and twisted circus sideshow.

7. ARABESQUE
A catharsis to a nightmare. Giving birth through a death-dance.

8. TURN LOOSE THE MERMAIDS
We quietly witness as her dying loved one takes his last journey…forever now, a haunting moment of beauty and comfort.

9. REST CALM
Memories and hope are two things no-one can ever take away from you. The sweetness of my own past is a bottomless chest of comfort and inspiration.

10. THE CROW, THE OWL AND THE DOVE
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me Truth” – Henry David Thoreau
Love is everything, and only Truth is our guide to a deeper state.

11. LAST RIDE OF THE DAY
The theme park is just about to close, but the rollercoaster runs one more time and you get to take the last ride by yourself. It`s dark and the fireworks have just started. Moments such as these are portals to infinite dreams, of deep realisation, and ultimately the thrilling awareness of being a speck of dust in this vast swirling cosmos.

12. SONG OF MYSELF
Our homage and version of Walt Whitman`s transcendental celebration of life and existence, delving deep into a personal catharsis.

13. IMAGINAERUM
Thank you for sharing the ride and we hope to welcome you back soon. The stage is lit, and the Magnificent Play is beginning…

 

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Nightwish – recordings in London with orchestra and choir

text: Silviapd
photo: Nightwish

Songwriter Tuomas Holopainen from Nightwish is working in the Angel Studios in London, on the orchestrations of the new   ‘Imaginarium‘ album. Besides the immense orchestrations an outstanding children’s choir is involved.

Since monday 14th February Holopainnen is working with the fifty-three piece orchestra. Most of them recorded also ‘Once‘ and ‘Dark Passion Play’ with Nightwish.

Tuomas Holopainen wrote on their website a personal memoir about this week. He says: A heartwarming feeling of reunion and nostalgia filled the air when we met the session musicians on Tuesday morning. We started off with “Goat`s Liver” (working title…probably), followed by a couple of more epic pieces and all the rest that required a large orchestra. The musicianship of these people never ceases to amaze me. They`ve never heard the songs before, they haven`t had any rehearsals, and still they nail all the songs, even those in the hardest imaginable key, after just one or two run-throughs. Their prima vista – playing is something out of a science fiction story… Respect.

On wednesday 16th February the orchestral recordings continued, with a twenty-piece string and harp section. Tuomas reveals more song titles: some new working titles were also born, such as “The Birdie Song”, “Teriyaki” and “Haunted Mansion Ride”Thursday was the day for percussion and ethnic drums. This time we decided to record all the rhythmic instruments separately from the orchestra to make it easier for the mixing process. Because some of the sounds the percussionists came up with would literally blow your eardrums off.

Holopainen (keyboards, songwriter) kept a very detailed diary for the fans:  Thursday was the day for percussion and ethnic drums. This time we decided to record all the rhythmic instruments separately from the orchestra to make it easier for the mixing process. Because some of the sounds the percussionists came up with would literally blow your eardrums off.

The highlight of the day was when we let loose Mr. Paul Clarvis & Mr. Stephen Henderson with their ethnic percussion arsenal. Paul`s 350-year-old taiko-drum really did the trick for me, as did the 5-foot hammer and a dustbin. We put all this into a one 3-minute instrumental, and the result is breathtaking and madly passionate.

Friday was booked for choirs. Again that sensation of nostalgia when The Metro Voices entered the building. We had 13 titles to sing and they did it in less than seven hours, prima vista. Utterly gorgeous stuff! A childrens` choir is something we haven`t tried on a Nightwish album before and its turn was on Saturday morning. The Young Musicians London, led by the wonderful Mary Poppins – like Lynda Richardson were simply heartbreaking. These kids have immense talent, they are future superstar musicians and we are proud to have them on our album. Their sound was beautiful, innocent and in parts very, very scary. And that`s exactly what we were after.

During the evening we had two more guest musicians, Mr. Dermot Crehan (of The Lord Of The Rings – Fame) with his hardanger fiddle and Mr. Dirk Campbell with his zurna. Both performances were stunning and added a nice little ancient touch to two of the songs. Our most humble thanks to all the session musicians, the Angel Studios staff, Pip, James, Thomas, Lynda, Dick the music copyist and Jenny the choir mistress. It was a huge honor to work with you all and to have such talent and spirit captured on “Imaginarium”! We miss you all dearly already and try to be faster with the next album – Tuomas.

More photo’s in the Nightwish gallery.

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