EFMB discussion thread (post spoilers here)


Apr 24, 2006
That's what I'm talking about! I shouldn't have doubted Toumas and the NW crew!

This is what I'm used to...falling in love with a song on the first listen.

Love this track.
OK, so apparently the album has leaked, and while I cannot control who decides to download it or whether or not they want to talk about the album, what I *can* do is designate a separate topic for people who wish to discuss the songs at length, while still leaving the option open for those who want to wait until release date to not read any spoilers.

So, for those of you who want to know all about the new album, read on. For those of you who want to wait and don't want spoilers, don't post here. Likewise, do NOT post spoilers in the sticky thread designated for EFMB on the top of this page.

Topic has been renamed. Resume discussion!
OH MY FUCKING GOD! Tuomas has created a goddamned masterpiece! I know what is going to be on my car radio for the next 6 months! Yay for an MP3 player and adapter :D While I wait for my pre-order, I mean. Fuck that Nazi bitch, Tuomas already got my money, whats the point in waiting another 2 weeks?

Does anyone else hear bits of Symphony Of Destruction-esque playing by the diminutive guitar-god named Emppu? I hear it most in in The Greatest Show On Earth.
Sorry - I think Tumous' masterpieces are Once, Century Child and Wishmaster...

This CD started off great with Shudder before the beautiful, but it quickly dropped to the bottom of their catalog for me. I dunno if it's Floor's voice, or the music...but there's little inspired music here.

There's some good riffs. Yours is an Empty Hope has a sweet metal march. Couple of decent songs....I'm sure I'll be way more into it the more time I spin it.

Eyes of Shar...I guess that's our token lame movie soundtrack song.

Greatest Show on earth sounds like it is trying too hard to be a Ghost Love Score epic, but it's just not interesting enough to justify that length.

Not digging this, but it's only been one listen.
I've only listened once too; DPP and Imaginaerum didn't hit me right away either, so I don't take it as a sign of disappointment anymore when a Nightwish album doesn't wow me off the bat. That being said, this album has more tracks that stood out for me on first listen than the other two albums did. I really love "Weak Fantasy". I damn near cried in the middle of the dog groomers listening to "Our Decades in the Sun" (because that's where I was, listening on headphones). And I loved "The Greatest Show on Earth". Some other songs aren't standing out yet, but I realize that they might need more listens. Usually the songs that are not my favorites at first end up becoming some of my favorites in the long run.
This album really "floored" me when I listened to it for the first time. Granted, I was drunk during my first listen of this album, so there's no way of telling if this album will continue to have me "floored" pretty hard when I listen to it in a completely sober state. I already posted my first impression of the album on both the official forum and on my Facebook page about 24 hours ago, but I am just finally getting around to posting it here too. Here is my first impression of the album:

The very first track of the album was amazing. I would say out all the songs on this album, "Shudder Before The Beautiful" was the one song that received the largest benefit from being drunk. While drunk, this song could be best described as a "full body orgasm", with every note and vocal line producing waves of intense euphoria. However, that feeling is significantly less intense while sober, so it basically confirmed what I assumed all along. That is, the alcohol significantly enhanced the feeling I got from this song, and by a factor of at least 10 times or greater.

Other songs that mixed well with alcohol also included "Weak Fantasy", "Yours Is An Empty Hope", and some parts of "The Greatest Show On Earth".

As for "Élan", it was the one song that was mostly unaffected by the alcohol. It was neither helped or hurt by the alcohol.

There were songs that didn't mix well with alcohol. The most notable example was "Our Decades In The Sun", which didn't sound very good while I was under the influence of alcohol. "Edema Ruh" was another song that didn't mix well. Finally, "The Eyes of Sharbat Gula" was a very bad song and the alcohol wouldn't have been able to save this one. To be fair, it was also an instrumental only song, so it already has one thing going against it.

My drunk experience with this album did give me some insight on how the alcohol affected my opinion of the individual songs. The general trend is that alcohol does a very good job at enhancing very powerful and energetic songs. It doesn't mix very well with songs that are soft.

Once I listened to the entire album for the first time, I then attempted to rank the songs from my favorite to least favorite. Like with the previous album, ranking them was tough because I was heavily impaired and I also to remember what they sounded like. Here was my song ranking:

Shudder Before The Beautiful > Weak Fantasy > Elan > Endless Forms Most Beautiful > Yours Is An Empty Hope > Alpenglow > Sagan > Our Decades In the Sun > My Walden > The Greatest Show On Earth > Edema Ruh > The Eyes of Sharbat Gula

That ranking will definitely change quite a bit over time, especially after I listen to the album multiple times now that I am sober. And there's still the instrumental and orchestral versions that could also affect my opinion of the songs. A more detailed track-by-track review won't be possible for about a week, as it will take some time to form a fairly solid ranking of the entire album.

Looking back at that ranking, I probably should have put "The Greatest Show On Earth" higher up on the list because there were some good parts in that song. My guess is that I probably placed it low in my ranking because the good parts of the song were otherwise buried in such a long song.
Here's my random thoughts:

1 - BOO on Century Media or whoever is was that made it so we HAD to buy the deluxe version in the morning of the 31st. Clever marketing, but that sucked.

2 - Tarja's voice gave Nightwish a unique fantasy sound that was unparalleled in metal. Floor doesn't try to replace that, and I really do think it makes Nightwish sound completely different than their golden age. I don't find Floor a good singer at all. She's adequate, but I don't even know if she's better than Anette. She's got a Rocker style voice that isn't bad...but to me, it takes away from what Nightwish is. Her voice doesn't go with the bombastic sound to me. I realize this is just my opinion.

3 - Greatest show on earth is just a bad decision. Instead of being 1 long "epic" song, it should have been broken out into an instrumental (so people could fast forward through it), and into a metal song. Just because it's long, doesn't mean it's epic. The different parts don't go together well at all like Ghost Love score. It's just like "here, let's throw in some metal, now lets make a movie soundtrack, now lets go back to metal." There's no flow at all to that song. Just when it gets good, it completely changes pace.

4 - Seems like a real concentrated effort to have singalongable choruses. I dunno...after a while, all the songs start to have the same sound to them in a way.

5 - Some super chunky riffs - me likey.

Still taking it all in. I'm liking it better with each listen, but it's work to get through some of these songs.

On March 27th, I started listening to the "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" album. 10 days after I listened to it for the first time, I wrote a track-by-track review of the album. It took longer than I would have liked, since I sometimes had difficulty figuring out what to say about each song. There was no specific order in which I worked on doing a review for each song. If I was struggling to come up with my thoughts on a specific song, I would skip it for now and move onto another song before coming back to it at a later time. I stated that I would post my track-by-track review on Monday (April 6th) and this will happen for real, without being delayed until April 7th or later. For some people, it is already April 7th, but it is still April 6th in my timezone when I posted this.

I have assigned ratings to each song (on a 1-10 scale). Some of the stuff I said in this review may be thoughts that I have posted in the past, but the large majority of this review contains thoughts that I am revealing for the very first time.

Shudder Before the Beautiful (10/10) - An excellent opener to this album and a track that was also... quite interesting as well. This is referring to the mindblowing experience I had while I was drunk. It would be better if I talk about the song while drunk and while sober. Like with the previous album "Imaginaerum", my first listening session with this album happened while I was drunk, laying in bed with my headphones on and my eyes closed.

While drunk - From the very start, this song unleashed a full on assault, with every note and vocal line producing waves of powerful euphoria. Never in my life had I felt anything of that extreme intensity. And I had to endure 6 1/2 minutes of this insanity. It was right there and then that I decided this was my favorite song from this album, without even listening to the remaining songs on this album. While several other songs were enhanced by being drunk, none of them were boosted to the same extent as this song was.

While sober - This is still an amazing song, even when sober. The mindblowing experience I had while drunk could not be replicated when I was finally sober. This all but confirmed my original assumption that what I felt while drunk was significantly enhanced by the alcohol, and by a factor of at least 10 times or greater. After I became sober, I was able to properly focus on the lyrics and some of the more subtle elements in this song, something I could not do when drunk. When I read the lyrics for the first time, I decided that I really liked these lyrics. My favorite line from the lyrics is "Deafens me with endless love". I really loved the choir part near the middle of the song, which added to my overall enjoyment of this song.

Weak Fantasy (9/10) - I love this song because it is very catchy and has some nice lyrics. The instrumental version is very nice to listen to because it is much easier to hear the instruments used in this song. From what I've read, one of the instruments used in the song is known as a "flamenco guitar" and I think it's an excellent addition to the song, because it creates a very unique sound that allows this song to stand out as one of the best tracks on the album. It's not my favorite song from this album, but it is definitely near the top of my list. On an album with less Marco than usual, his presence in this song is very much appreciated. Having Troy in the band means less Marco, since they need to make room on the album for his vocals too.

Élan (6/10) - Out of Nightwish's entire history of singles, this is probably one of their most disappointing singles. Since this song is not too heavy or too soft, it was a good candidate for a single, but Alpenglow would be a good single for the same reasons. I'd rather have Alpenglow as the first single over Élan, but I have to live with the actual choice that was made.

I don't think this song is catchy at all, which is the big contributing factor to my overall opinion of this song. The lyrics are only slightly better than the actual music, although I liked the "Meadows of Heaven" reference in the lyrics. I don't think this is a bad song, just a very average song that is low on my list because I like most of the other songs more.

Yours is an Empty Hope (9/10) - Even though this song is supposed to be considered the "aggressive" song in the same class as "Slaying the Dreamer", "Romanticide", and "Master Passion Greed", it doesn't seem to have that same feel to me. Maybe it's because the orchestra is very prominent in this song compared to those 3 songs, but I also noticed the guitar riffs are less harsh as well. However, the lyrical content is what you would expect from Nightwish's other "aggressive" songs and Floor even does some growling in this song. I really enjoyed the growling from Floor. It was something very unique that appeared in a Nightwish song for the first time in their history.

While I really love this song, there are other people who aren't very impressed by this song. The orchestra is sometimes cited as a criticism and even Floor's growling. I loved the heavily overused orchestra here, because it made the song very catchy. There is also a very long instrumental section in this song that I enjoy listening to, the part just before Floor enters and does her growling vocals.

Our Decades in the Sun (1/10) - The intro is very irritating to listen to. Floor's voice is very difficult for me to listen to in this song. Even the actual music itself is clearly lacking a melody that would give me a reason to listen to this song over and over again. It's just not catchy. I also find myself unable to identify with the lyrics. For a ballad, this is very important. With the vast majority of ballads, I need to have lyrics that actually resonate with me and this is not case with this song. I have heard people who appreciate this song because they are able to relate to the lyrics, unlike me. Finally, to make matters worse, this song has a very long length of roughly 6 1/2 minutes. That's too long for a ballad. On its own, the length of this song would not be the ultimate deciding factor to hate on a ballad. "Meadows of Heaven" is one of my favorite Nightwish ballads of all time and it's roughly 7 minutes long, but it has actual reasons why I love it.

I do believe this is the worst song Nightwish ever recorded, even worse than "Slow, Love, Slow". At least "Slow, Love, Slow" attempted to experiment with a unique sound, even if the end result was a song that I found to be very unappealing. There is absolutely nothing positive I can even say about ODITS. I even tried to listen to the instrumental and orchestral versions to see if I can find any redeeming qualities in this song. Nothing at all.

My Walden (6/10) - Out of the two main songs that Troy performs on, this one is slightly worse than "Edema Ruh". Although I think this song has slightly better lyrics, "Edema Ruh" has the slightly better music. Neither song has particularly impressed me. I think it's pretty cool that Troy sang some Welsh lyrics at the very start of this song. Now if only I knew what the Welsh part meant, since I haven't seen any translations posted for the Welsh lyrics.

With EFMB being the first album where Troy is a full member of the band, I hope it doesn't lead to the band putting 3-4 folk/celtic songs in every album just to give Troy something to record music for. The main problem with Troy is that most of the instruments he plays are instruments that are typically associated with folk/celtic music. Troy's biggest asset to Nightwish is his versatility - he can play several different instruments and even sing if he needs to. For Troy to be useful and not hinder Nightwish in the future, he will have to record music for songs that don't have a folk/celtic element to them. This means playing instruments that are widely used outside of folk/celtic music.

Endless Forms Most Beautiful (9/10) - I really like this song. The lyrics are very nice and it's catchy. We also get some actual guitar riffs from Emppu. Floor's operatic vocals also appear in this song, during the intro, although she is not using them for singing any of the song's lyrics. The instrumental and orchestral version of this song also features a choir part that is singing "endless forms most beautiful". This choir part can't be heard in the regular version of the song, as Floor sings the exact same line over top the choir. I really don't know why Floor was singing the exact same line at the same time the choir was doing the same thing. My guess is the choir was there only to give Floor an extra "oomph" to her voice while singing that line.

Edema Ruh (6/10) - Lovely keyboard melody at the start of the song. But outside of that, I don't think this song is catchy at all. Troy's vocal performance is another big highlight in this song. However, the lyrics leave much to be desired and this song has some of the worst lyrics on the entire album (only ODITS is worse than it). Between "Edema Ruh" and "My Walden" and considering the good and bad sides of each song, I would say that "Edema Ruh" has a very slight edge over "My Walden".

Alpenglow (7/10) - Some have said this song is a grower and I would agree here. Early on, I had a lower opinion of this song than I do right now. But I gave this song a chance and my opinion would later improve over time. I do think this song is catchy and has some good lyrics, but there are several other songs that are better than Alpenglow in both of those areas. This is why I have Alpenglow somewhat low in my overall song ranking for this album despite being a fairly good song. On an album with a lot of great songs, they can't all be high up on your list.

The Eyes of Sharbat Gula (4/10) - As a pure instrumental, this song is already at a major disadvantage - it has no lyrics. Another issue is that this song is very slow. Combining both of those flaws into one song makes it even worse than a slow song with lyrics. There is no way this song is actually worse than ODITS, which has several major flaws and irritates me when I try listening to it. This is actually a song that I could listen to more regularly than ODITS.

The Greatest Show on Earth (8/10) - With the long epics such as this one, I will approach them with some caution before I actually listen to them. So my hype level for the long epics are generally quite low to avoid having myself be disappointed when it still doesn't live up to my already low expectations.

Although I originally had a low opinion of this song early on, this song definitely grew on me by quite a bit. The major downside with this song is that it takes a while to build up in the beginning. Out of the 5 different sections in this song, this is my second least favorite part of the song. "Four Point Six" is notable for 2 different reasons - the first spoken part by Richard Dawkins, plus Floor's operatic vocals, which were used very little on this album as a whole.

After the first spoken part by Dawkins, the song transitions into "Life", my favorite part of the song. It has the best lyrics and best vocal performance from Floor. Her vocal performance at the start of "Life" sounds very cold, which matches up very nicely with the lines she sang regarding the earliest moments during the formation of the universe. I find myself playing this part of the song over and over again for the lyrics and vocal performance, although I think "Life" does sound catchy.

After Floor's singing in "Life" comes to an end, we arrive at the part with the animal sounds. Although some people have criticized the animal sounds, I think they're pretty funny and they actually fit in with the concept of the album as a whole and with this song in particular.

"The Toolmaker" is my second favorite part of the song. Although I think this part is more catchy than "Life", the lyrics aren't quite as good here. We do get to hear Marco in this part of this song. Early on, Floor and Marco were dueling each other with their vocal performance, which was nice to have. Besides that, we also have some awesome guitar riffs too. "The Toolmaker" comes to an end with the repeated "We were here!" vocal lines and then transitions into "The Understanding".

"The Understanding" is my third favorite part of the song and features the second spoken part from Dawkins. This is also represents the best spoken part by Dawkins throughout this entire song and also the most thought provoking words. Once this spoken word part comes to an end, the orchestra dominates the song for slightly over minute before it dies off a bit and then transitions into the final part of the song. Although "Sea-Worn Driftwood" is my least favorite part of the song, it does feature the final spoken part from Dawkins, reciting the quote that would form the basis for the album title. The song then goes on for another 2 minutes before coming to an end.

This song could have been improved by slightly reducing the length of the song, which could be accomplished by cutting out about one minute at the end and reducing the amount of time it takes for the intro to build-up. Other parts of the song could have been cut out to reduce the length even more. This could have reduced the song's length by roughly 3 minutes without taking away anything that Tuomas intended when he composed the song. All and all, this was an amazing song. Out of the 5 epics of 10 minutes or longer, I would rank them in the following order - Beauty of the Beast > Ghost Love Score > The Greatest Show on Earth > The Poet and the Pendulum > Song of Myself

Sagan (8/10) - Nightwish typically has a good history of producing good bonus tracks and this one is no exception. While this song is not as good as some of their other bonus tracks (Escapist, Sleepwalker, Nightquest, and several others), I very much prefer this song over Élan. I think this song is more catchy than Élan and the lyrics are better too.

Here is my final song ranking for this album:

1. Shudder Before the Beautiful
2. Yours is an Empty Hope
3. Weak Fantasy
4. Endless Forms Most Beautiful
5. The Greatest Show on Earth
6. Sagan
7. Alpenglow
8. Élan
9. Edema Ruh
10. My Walden
11. The Eyes of Sharbat Gula
12. Our Decades in the Sun

And for my album ranking:

Century Child > Wishmaster > Once > Endless Forms Most Beautiful > Imaginaerum > Oceanborn > Dark Passion Play > Angels Fall First
Like :

Edema Ruh

Not crazy about the rest of the album. Hell, I almost find it a chore to listen to. For me, it seems Tuomas was playing it safe with Floor's voice. Definitely not the same Floor I heard on tour.

I'm debating if I should book a quick flight to see them in Worcester on Sat. I'm going to the SLC and Houston shows.
Well I have had more time to listen to this CD, and it's not as bad as I originally thought. Asides from "Last Ride of the Day" and "Song of Myself" and "Storytime" it's probably the best non-tarja CD they've put out for me. Lots of good riffage.

I am getting used to FLoor's voice, but it is still very much a disappointment. Watching her live is even worse. She screams and strains so many notes. I just do not get how people love her. It's like metalheads have no ear because there aren't that many female singers in the genre. She's good when she's within her midtone range, but she definitely can't go up higher...or anywhere near where Tarja used to hit.

Really like the faster songs, but other than "Shudder Before the Beautiful" there is zero soloing from Emppu or Toumas on the albumn. I don't get it? That's what gives the music depth and energy....instead we just have very predictable riffing.

Greatest Show on earth is solid...better with each listen, but they really needed to do a condensed version on the intro, or just make it 3 parts so listeners could skip to the meat of the song. Someone put up version up on Youtube that cut the intro down to 2 minutes or so and it was much better.

There's 3 more days before the Denver show and I'm getting super pumped to see them, so I'm listening to all Nightwish all the time, and sorry, but Tarja's vocals are just magical....so smooth and perfect. Perfect in a technical sense. You don't hear her cracking or struggling to hit notes. She is an instrument herself.

Just came back from my trip to Japan, where I picked up the deluxe SHMCD (Stereo Heavy Metal CD) release of the album at Tower Records. It's essentially the 2-CD pack with a bonus DVD. The DVD contains the "making of" clips as seen on the band's YouTube channel, plus the "Élan" music video.

Here are some reference pics:




Well I have to say that the setlist for their tour is definitely EFMB heavy, but that is a total good thing. The new songs play amazing live, and the new drummer totally takes over the show in parts. Loved him.

I still think Floor struggles in parts, but the music is great. I took my gf who doesn't LOVE them like I do, and she really found the show magical too.

They are coming back to Colorado in a year, but I don't know if I'll make it down to the Springs to see them. Not really one of those fans who need to see the same show over and over, but they really are something special live.