If there is anything more depressing than an extremely talented vocalist leaving a band, this reviewer has yet to truly experience it. A rather late bit of news being Tarja Turunen leaving the Finnish Symphonic metal band, Nightwish, way back in 2005 due to personal issues with fellow band members……Late news but ever sorrowful. However, in solemn memorium to this reviewer’s interest in the band as a whole going the way of Metallica after the twats cut their hair; one of the choice favorites of their work (Nightwish’s that is) will be reviewed in place of a newer album.
Specifically their second album, Oceanborn, released in December of 1998 in Finland and Spring of 1999 to everywhere, was and is to this day a gem in the music world. Featuring some of the most varied themes seen in a single album, from fantasy based tracks such as “Swanheart”, to religious themed tracks like “Gethsemane”, from darker power metal elements in “Devil and the Deep Dark Ocean”, to the pure orchestra symphony exercised in Moondance, even to a vaugely techo theme of Sacrement in the Wilderness, this album seems to quite literally have it all. To define it with any context, it would be as if one were eating a boston cream donut that while in the process of eating changed to a jelly filled vanilla affair, then finally to a strawberry and creme cheese danish; each element bringing euphoric bliss then changing to something fresh and equally ambrosian before it outstayed its welcome.
In particular, The Riddler, is personally viewed as one of the most cleverly writen tracks heard by the band or any other, with two riddles that confound to this very day, partially due to obstinate refusal to search the web for the answer. To put Oceanborn into perspective; it is a fun, clever, contrasting masterpeice that any could enjoy. Filled with several genres worth of variety, excellent use of widely diffirent voice patterns, classical backdrop, and masterful writing it can be described as nothing short of a gem; a treasure in the back shelves of a rustic record shop. Oceanborn receives 5/5 with honors