Nightwish – Oceanborn


For a Bio on Nightwish you can either wiki them or go here: http://www.nightwish.com/en/band/biography

This is not a song by song critique.

Tuomas, the keyboard player and main songwriter of Nightwish said on the End Of Innocence DVD that he considered Oceanborn to be Nightwish’s first album since Angel’s Fall First was comprised of mostly demo material.
I disagree.
A.F.F. is a good album and sounds like a first album – raw, unpolished, and hungry whereas Oceanborn, musically and production-wise, blows A.F.F. away while maintaining a raw and hungry feel to it that has not been present in a Nightwish release since Oceanborn. In my opinion it was the last album Nightwish did with a near-perfect balance of guitar, keyboard, and symphonic sound.

The album starts heavy from the first song and remains mostly so throughout (Emppu Vuorinen, guitars, did not like a certain instrumental song and I have to agree with him but only for the reason that it is different from the rest of Oceanborn; it doesn’t fit).
That the band was trying to prove themselves is evident. As a first or even second album, Oceanborn shows a professionalism in musicianship that many bands achieve on later releases.
There are both truths and rumors that recording the album was extremely hard for the then young musicians who pushed themselves to perform what many fans consider their masterpiece.
 – One rumor is that Tarja Turunen, vocalist and renowned Soprano, was in tears because the recording sessions of the vocals was overly demanding and taxing and like the rest of the band, she was pushing herself to a phenomenal level of excellence.
 
There are various different versions of this release; the track listing on the version I have is:
01: Stargazers
02: Gethsemane
03: Devil & The deep dark Ocean
04: Sacrament Of Wilderness
05: Passion & The Opera
06: Swanheart
07: Moondance
08: The Riddler
09: The Pharoah Sails To Orion
10: Walking In The Air
11: Sleeping Sun
12: Nightquest
13: Sleeping Sun (live)
14: Swanheart (live)
15: The Pharoah Sails To Orion (live)

Oceanborn is a heavy and beautiful album. It is no wonder, after listening to it, that Nightwish became so huge in Europe. What is sad is that when they started getting a bit of recognition in the States with their fifth album Once they rarely ever performed live versions of the songs on this CD.

Sleeping Sun was the bands first major hit and was written for a compilation of four songs that were about a solar eclipse that took place in 1999 and was added to this release on a different pressing and later updated for a best of release in 2005.

Tapio Wilska, ex-Finntroll and now in Sethian, sings the male lead vocals on Devil & The deep Dark Ocean and Pharoah Sails To Orion.

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