|This week's artist: |
"Tragedienne of heavens
Watching the eyes of the night
Sailing the virgin oceans
A planetride for the Mother and Child"
This week's artist of the week is the Finnish metal band Nightwish. They just released their 6th album Once, including their hit single Nemo, which is currently at #7 of our charts.
Tarja Turunen, born 17th of August 1977, is the leadsinger of Nightwish. She started singing by help of her teacher and private piano lessons of primary school. After playing flute in a music college, she started music high school in Savonlinna and classic singing and music theater as her major. She studied church music, and is currently gaining knowledge of classical singing. Tarja likes a dry, gentle red wine and music is her all-time favorite hobby.
Nightwish's keyboard player is Tuomas Holopainen. He was born in December 1976. At the age of nine Tuomas started playing clarinet. During the years he also played saxophone and played in several bands, like Nattvindens Gråt. Apart from Nightwish he likes watching movies, hiking and travelling. Tuomas is responsible for all lyrics and melodies of Nightwish's songs. Marco and Emmpu sometimes help him with that.
Marco Hietala (on the left) is Nightwish's bass player and male vocalist. He joined the band after Sami Vänskä (on the right) left. Sami had been part of the band since the 1998 release Oceanborn. Marco has twenty years of guitar experience and songwriting. He studied musical theory, singing and classical guitar for four years. Marco Hietala played in several bands and covergroups. He was born the 14th of January, 1966. In his spare time he likes to read books of Tolkien, David Brin and others.
Erno Vuorinen was born the 24th of June, 1978. He plays guitar since the age of 12 and he played in various bands before Nightwish. Emppu's biggest nightmare is to sing a duet with Tuomas in front of thousands of people.. That'd be interesting.
Jukka Nevalainen is responsible for the drums. He was born on the 21st of April, 1978. Jukka started playing drums when he was in the fifth grade, but didn't have a lot of chances to practice. That changed when he played in various bands in different genres. He likes to drink milk with food, or else vodka with light lemonades.
1996| Nightwish was set up when Tuomas was spending a night with his friends around a campfire. The first three songs were recorded between October and December 1996. The band consisted of Tuomas, Tarja and Emppu. Jukka joined the band to play the drums later on, and acoustic guitar was replaced by an electric guitar, although it did not completely disappear in their songs.
1997| Nightwish went to the studio to record seven songs of the limited edition of the album Angels Fall First. In August Nightwish went to the studio and recorded four new songs. "The Carpenter" was released as a single and reached #8 of the Finnish charts. Angels fall first was released in early November, with its peak on #31.
1998| The video for The Carpenter was released. In summer the bass player Sami Vänskä joined the band. Songs for the new record were rehearsed and the band went to studio in early August. After a single, "Oceanborn" was released in December. It reached the 5th place in the Finnish charts. The single Sacrament of Wilderness was the number one on singles chart for weeks.
1999| Oceanborn was released outside of Finland. In May the band started to play gigs again and toured the country for two and a half months playing in almost all of the big rock festivals. The single "Sleeping Sun" was recorded, which was written for the eclipse in Germany. In august the single was released in Germany and it also included the songs Walking in the Air, Swanheart and Angels Fall First. It was a big success; it had been certified gold.
2000| The band entered the studio again to record their third album. Meanwhile they had a Finnish qualification for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Sleepwalker. While they got through the first round, they got second in the final despite an overwhelming win in the public televoting. "Wishmaster", their new album was released in May. It went straight to number 1 on the Finnish album charts and stayed there for three weeks. It was also certified gold. Wishmaster also debuted in the national German charts at No. 21 and No. 66 in France.
2001| Nightwish entered the studio again to record a cover of "Over The Hills And Far Away", with 2 new songs and a remake of "Astral Romance" from their album Angels Fall First. Nightwish extended the record deal with their record company Spinefarm Records with one full-length album, which is scheduled for summer 2002. Nightwish was close to disbanding. Tuomas went hiking and gathering his thoughts in Lappland, some changes had to be done in order for Nightwish to be able to continue. It was possible that the band would split up. The band did not split up, but Sami Vänskä had to leave. He was replaced by Marco Hietala. The Nightwish-shop was opened on the band's homepage on November 24th 2001, a month before Christmas.
2002| The recording for Century Child started in January. Ever Dream, the first single from forthcoming album, went gold in Finland within 2 days. At the same time Nightwish announced they would take a break as soon as the "Century Child World Tour 2002" would be over. Century Child came out in May 2002 and made a sales record, selling gold in Finland within 2 hours. Within two weeks it sold platinum (30.000 copies). They were number one on the album- and singlechart. Century Child was the second best selling album in 2002. They had successful touring all over the world.
2003| The new album "Once" is planned for release in 2004. Jukka and his girlfriend Satu got a daughter, Luna on March 11th 2003. Nightwish received their first double-platinum award for Century Child, having sold over 60.000 copies. The DVD "End of Innocence" was finally released on October 6th 2003.
2004| Their new album was the most important album in the history of Nightwish. "Nemo" was released as a single and a big-budget video was shot. Pictures of Nightwish and Once were splattered all over the television-channels, subways, buses and streets, as well as press and media. "Once" went gold in Finland on its day of release. Nightwish will start a world Tour of 150 concerts in all continents until 2005. It will be Nightwish's biggest concert.
Songs and themes
After you've listened to all Nightwish songs a couple of times, you will figure out that there's a couple of main "themes" or ideas which the songs often deal with. The probably most oftenly used theme is the ocean, and connected with it, the wish to reach it. You don't even need to quote from songs, already the titles say enough:
- A Return To The Sea (1997)
- Album-title: Oceanborn (1998)
- Devil And The Deep Dark Ocean (1998)
- Ocean Soul (2002)
- Lagoon (2002)
Another often used theme in Nightwish lyrics is fantasy and fantasy worlds. Some of the songs are like direct messages containing a "thank you" to great fantasy authors, like JRR Tolkien, Tuomas says himself.
Examples for songs with fantasy stuff, like Elves, are:
- Sacrament of Wilderness (1998) - "Dulcet elvenharps from a dryad forest / Accompany all charming tunes"
- Nightquest (1998) - "Come to the Elfland the eldest said / In my guidance you shall not be afraid / I am the mastermind the wizard to show the way..."
- Wishmaster (2000) - "If you hear the call of arcane lore, / Your world shall rest on Earth no more / A maiden elf calling with her cunning song"
- Fantasmic (2000) - "Bald Mountain Night / Devilheart endures but light / A mad aerial dance / Chernabog`s succubi"
Of course Nightwish's lyrics don't only deal with these 2, respectively 3, subjects, However, this is just a try to give a small view on the huge variety of songs there is (Nighwish also recorded plenty of "hidden" love songs). It seems like every song Nightwish performs becomes a great ballad - with rather depressing, but very strong, moving and stirring lyrics. Additionally, the vocals are supported by amazing music, performed by the band members and, especially on Once, their latest album, a professional orchestra. This combination makes Nightwish a band which fits the genre's title: POWER Metal. However, with the little prefix: symphonic (power metal). That's what makes the songs so amazingly beautiful - the songs about fantasy topics as well as those dealing with love.
Some more lyrics to help you get an impression of Nightwish's songs:
ANGELS FALL FIRST from the album "Angels Fall First" (1997)
"An angelface smiles to me
Under a headline of tragedy
That smile used to give me warmth
Farewell - no words to say
Beside the cross on your grave
And those forever burning candles"
SLEEPING SUN from the album "Oceanborn" (1998)
"Sorrow has a human heart
From my god it will depart
I'd sail before a thousand moons
Never finding where to go"
DEAD BOY'S POEM from the album "Wishmaster" (2000)
"Wrote for the eclipse, wrote for the virgin
Died for the beauty the one in the garden
Created a kingdom, reached for the wisdom
Failed in becoming a god"
TENTH MAN DOWN from the album "Over The Hills And Far Away" (2001)
"Cut me free, Bleed with me, Oh no
One by one, We will fall, down down
Pull the plug, End the pain, Run'n fight for life
Hold on tight, this ain't my fight"
FEEL FOR YOU from the album "Century Child" (2002)
"I'm the snow on your lips
The freezing taste, the silvery sip
I'm the breath on your hair
The endless nightmare, devil's lair"
WISH I HAD AN ANGEL from the album "Once" (2004)
"I wish I had an angel
For one moment of love
I wish I had your angel
Your Virgin Mary undone
I'm in love with my lust
Burning angelwings to dust
I wish I had your angel tonight"
Submaster Unhit for requesting this artist and co-writing the article.
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