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Nightwish – End of an Era

Label: Nuclear Blast USA
Format: DVD/CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: Rich Catino


"End of an Era" is exactly that an ending serving as a swan song for vocalist Tarja Turunen’s almost ten year career with the symphonic/goth/power metal Finnish band. Now take note when watching the Documentary portion the majority of the time, like hanging out, recording and travel arrangements, that its always the four guys (Emppu Vuorinen (guitars), Tuomas Holopainen (keyboards), Marco Hietala (bass) and Jukka Nevalainen (drums) together and Tarja joining them primarily for a gigs, television appearances, and just things related to Nightwish as a band and that alone. Most of the time she spends time with her significant other and you can see the separation between her and the four other members.

 

Apparently also one of the issues that led to the band firing, or Tarja leaving, was that she never became part of the band as friends/family. So knowing this going into watching this DVD is sad and unfortunate because not only was Nightwish talented and hugely successful but when watching footage of the band say in San Paulo and how excited those kids were to see them you don’t want to see it come to an end.

The concert portion, filmed in an arena in Helsinki Finland, is the focus of this package featuring the band blazing through eighteen of their best and most loved songs culled from the albums "Wishmaster", "Century Child", and "Once" plus the title track from E.P. "Over the Hills and Far Away". Those include 'Dark Chest of Wonders', 'Bless the Child', 'Wishmaster', 'Slaying the Dreamer' (includes some pyro on screen effects), 'The Kinslayer', 'Nemo', and 'Ever Dream'.

Tarja sounds excellent with her operatic angelic tone and even though she doesn’t really seem to connect with the other four members off stage, on stage there is definite kinetic energy as Tarja and Marco duet for the powerful rendition of 'Phantom of the Opera'. This is Nightwish with classic European based compositions, passionate vocals, metal guitar riffs, and a complimenting rhythm section as cascading keyboards bring a somber sound to the ballad 'Sleeping Sun' with string accompaniment for 'Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan'. Joined also on stage tonight by a genuine Indian (American I’m assuming?) John Two-Harks adds the organic earthy sounds to the interlude 'Stone People' with his pipe and native dress followed by 'Creek Mary’s Blood', another song allowing Tarja to showcase her voice. Nightwish are the leaders of this sound and with some many bands out there with the female frontwoman doing what Nightwish did first you gotta give credit where credit is do.

Where does Nightwish go from here? Well they already have moved ahead as this DVD was already released in Europe in 2006, so between then and the U.S. ’07 spring release for "End of an Era", the band has a new female singer and they are preparing to release a new album with her. U.S. tour dates are already in place. Let’s hope it lives up to the benchmark Tarja left behind.

 
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