Here’s another band that isn’t necessarily new but I’ve always wanted to blog about them because they are just awesome.

Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland.  They were formed in 1996 by lead songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and lead singer Tarja Turunen.  The band soon picked up drummer Jukka Nevalainen, and then bassist Sami Vanska after the release of their debut album, “Angels Fall First” in 1997.  In 2002, Vanska was replaced by Marco Hietala, who also took over the male vocalist role that was previously filled by Holopainen or guest singers.

Although Nightwish have been prominent in their home country since their debut album, “Angels Fall First,” they did not achieve worldwide fame until the release of the albums “Oceanborn” in 1998, “Wishmaster” in 2000, and “Century Child” in 2002.  Their 2004 album “Once” has sold more than 1 million copies and was the bands breakthrough album in the United States.  Their biggest US hit single, “Wish I Had An Angel,” received MTV airplay and was included on three US film soundtracks to promote their North American tour.  The band produced three major singles and and two music videos for “Once,” as well as a re-recording of their single “Sleeping Sun” for their “Best of” compilation album “Highest Hopes” which was released in 2005 before Turunen’s dismissal from the band in 2005.

In May 2007, Nightwish announced Anette Olzon as Turunen’s replacement.  That September, the band released their sixth album, “Dark Passion Play,” which ahs sold almost 2 million copies.  The album’s lead single, “Amaranth,” became one of Nightwish’s most successful songs in Europe.  In Late 2012, Nightwish released their seventh studio album, “Imaginaerum.”

On October 1, 2012, Nightwish announced that they had parted ways with Olzon and would be finishing the current tour with the band “ReVamp” and the former “After Forever” vocalist Floor Jansen.  In October 2013, Nightwish made Jenson and longtime session uillean pipes player, Troy Donockley, permanent members of the band.

Nightwish is the third-best-selling band and musical entity in Finland with sales of more than 900,000 certified copies.  The group is also the most successful Finish band worldwide, selling more than 8 million records and receiving more than 60 gold and platinum awards.

Nightwish performs symphonic metal with soaring female operatic vocals.  Their music has been described as “bombastic heavy, symphonic and cinematic, with keyboards and strings creating a gothic atmosphere.”

The band’s music is also known to be complex and layered.  Their approach is epic, theatrical, and operatic.  Critic Chad Bowar notes that the music is “always very melodic with memorable choruses and a lot of hooks.”  Nightwish would also be considered heavy metal due to the heavy guitar rift and complex guitar solos.

Their usage of a female vocalist has become a sort of trademark and has lead to other female vocalist symphonic bands such as “Evanescence,” “Within Temptation,” “Leaves” Eyes,” and several other gothic metal bands mixing female and male vocals, such as “Lacuna Coil,” “Tristania,” “Epica,” and the early “Within Temptation.”

The band has also focused on the operatic vocals of Tarja Turunen, who was described as a “charismatic frontwomen with a powerful voice.”  Once Turunen was released from the band, the band moved away from operatic vocals.

Nightwish has been around for a long time creating, what I would just simply call, epic rock and metal music.  They continually change themes with each new album and the themes have varied from fantasy and Tolkien inspired songs to other complex issues such as life and death and metaphysics and nature.  The band is currently working on their eighth studio album with their new female lead vocalist Jenson and I can’t wait.  They are by far one of the most epic bands I have ever heard and the most cinematic.  Below are some of the bands biggest hits.