Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dark Passion Play

 I might not be able to get a lot of reviews done today as my grandparents are visiting. Anyway, today I am reviewing the killer Nightwish album Dark Passion Play, it has an incredible symphonic metal sound. There is a excellent and powerful guitar sound, this is helped by a solid bass which actually gets some nice fills, the drums are amazing as they are on most good symphonic metal albums. There are also some powerful keyboards which are a key factor adding to the orchestral sound. In addition there are some nice string instruments that make you feel like you are listening to a real orchestra. The vocals are typically sweet and soft and feminine however there are times when they give way to growls or other harsh masculine vocals. Finally the lyrics are extremely powerful and typically very dark and sad sounding.
The guitar has a powerful sound, however it is mercifully balanced between distorted and clean work. This allows for a lot of variety within the course of the song. The pedal is a key aspect of the guitar work and it is done very well. It is remarkable to hear the guitars extremely melodic solos and fills which to me are extremely beautiful. The bass is solid and when it gets fills it is well done and adds a nice feel to the music. When it is hidden in the background it is not given much of a chance to do anything because the guitars (bass and electric) do not dominate the music. The drums are solid and original. My favorite part is how the drums manage to be both symphonic and heavy often in the course of the same song. The keyboards are solid and add a nice feel to the music making it feel like you are listening to classical music with an awesome electric guitar. Finally there are some nice string instruments which add a lot to the general aura of orchestral music.
The vocals are fairly well done however they seem to be lacking something. The feminine vocals of Anette Olzon are certainly extremely beautiful and they make the music seem a bit sad. However when I hear them I do not want to get up and dance and revel in them. Here I just want to listen to them and appreciate their beauty. Essentially I feel that her actual singing is pretty amazing but she could be a bit more fiery and bring out her love for music more. The lyrics are excellent and often very sad and dark.. This compliments Anette's voice perfectly as she excels at creating a sad sound around her vocals.
This is an amazing album for several key reasons. The first reason is the amazing instrumental parts. They truly reflect what an orchestra sounds like using only a few instruments. Then they add their own impressive feel with the electric guitar. The bass is also fairly solid and when it comes through it shines. One of my favorite parts about this album is the killer drum work. The drummer for this band is extremely talented. One of the main symphonic aspects of this band is the keyboards which have a fantastic sound and create a majestic aura. To round out the instrumental section the orchestra is excellent and obviously adding a symphony to symphonic metal makes the symphonic metal symphonic. :/ The vocals are very good however they lack a really nice fiery passion that would help them a lot. Finally the lyrics are deep and sad and overall very enjoyable. All in all this is a killer album and one I would strongly recommend.

1 comment:

  1. Ere, wots this? Two lads reviewing metal? On a blog? I tell ye sonny, in my day we kept ourselves to beating dead cats and hiking several miles through snow. Besides, who care about these 'ere newfangled 'metal' bands? I tell you, in my day we had our Zeppelin, and our Sabbath, and we stuck to the good stuff. Goddang newfangled bands and their nonsense. Guess I'm getting old...