Finland’s Nightwish are the height of operatic quasi-goth metal. With a pleasant female vocalist named Tarja and crystal clear production they capture the cinematics and theatrics of metal, goth and progressive rock and mash ’em into a high-minded mix that is better than that description might suggest. In fact, Tarja evokes the color of Kate Bush enough that it is easy to detach from the heavy metal tag. Keyboardist Tuomas acknowledges his love of film soundtracks and it comes through. They rev up the guitars on several songs but they never take over, instead letting the complex structures act as the focal point.
Anthony Mark Happel