new album, featuring their new singer, the Swedish Anette Olzon, is out
in the streets. Worse or better than in the old era?
Passion Play has been finally released, and the comparisons between the new
singer, Anette Olzon, and the previous one, the charismatic Tarja Turunen,
are impossible to avoid. Is the new singer better? Is she worse? Is the change
going to affect the quality of Nightwish?
the first feeling when you listen to the album is that Anette´s voice is not
the same than Tarja´s voice. Anette sings with passion and sweetness, but in a
different register, while Turunen´s opera background made her one of a kind. Tuomas
Holopainen´s songwriting reaches here his best, clean and emotive lyrics
that really transport you to a new and fantasy world. The record is exquisitely
produced; the design of the cover and inside booklet is one of the best I have
seen so far during last year, and the option in the special edition of
listening in the CD 2 only the instrumental version of the full album is great.
The first track: The Poet and the Pendulum is one of my favorite ones,
together with Cadence of her Last Breath and Eva, where Nightwish
knows how to explode greatly the more intimate tone of their ballads. The
background vocals also acquired a bigger and better importance here than in
previous albums. But, and there is always one “but”… I cannot avoid missing Tarja´s
voice. It is almost impossible to forget the sound of (maybe together with Liv
Kristine) the best female voice in hard rock and heavy metal worldwide
scene. Some few bands achieved successfully the change of main singer (like ACDC
or Black Sabbath) but many others were never the same until they came
back to their roots (look at Iron Maiden, who remembers today Blaze
For those who come
to listen to Dark Passion Play without prejudices and with an open mind,
undoubtedly this is a good metal album with strokes of quality all over it. But
for the others who were used to the old singer, maybe they can feel a bit
disappointed after the comparison. Time and more albums will tell if Nightwish
will be able to skip the shadow of Turunen´s voice that hangs over the band.