Endless Forms Most Beautiful is the brand new album from Nightwish, and is the first album of theirs to feature lead vocals from frontwoman Floor Jansen (as well as the first album to feature Troy Donockley as a full-time member of the band) so it’s inevitably going to cause people to draw comparisons between previous singers, but that all seems a little pointless – it’s silly to judge a band solely on one different element.
The album itself is a pretty good listen. First single Élan is quite the grower; although it’s not a track that immediately strikes you as being out of this world, the more you listen to the song the more it grows on you – especially Troy’s pipe/whistle lines, which just seem to worm their way into your head before you even notice what’s happening, and you’ll find yourself humming along to them for hours after your first listen!
Another strong track is title track Endless Forms Most Beautiful, which opens with an introduction so catchy that you can’t help but want to dance along to it – this is surely a song that will go down a storm live, especially with the bit chorus line that will get entire stadiums singing along to it, and it also features this fantastically chunky keyboard line for good measure.
However, although the album does feature some excellent songs, it doesn’t quite feel like Nightwish are firing from all cylinders with this album. Yours Is An Empty Hope sounds like an amalgamation of about three or four older Nightwish songs and subsequently feels stale, and 24-minute epic The Greatest Show On Earth ultimately just ends up dragging and not managing to engage you. It feels like Nightwish the song is being stretched out with unnecessary filler just for the sake of it – it could easily be trimmed by about seven or eight minutes without losing any substance.
It’s a good and powerful release; there’s no mistaking that. It’s just a shame that it’s not as good as it perhaps could be – Nightwish are capable of better than this.