In the 90's, the symphonic metal genre, which was still in the stillborn phase, was only starting to take form, ever since Therion decided to loose the death metal scene and turn into an avante garde metal band with opera singers. Then, this album came out. And the rest is history.
The symphonic metal genre in the 90's was very weird and almost unaproachable, due to the songs being long drawn out verisons of The Marriage Of Figaro, with the odd guitar and drum parts. But then, in Finland, a young handsome stable boy (he proabbly did work in a stable), decided to get a keyboard, write some of the best songs ever, stick a few guitar parts in it, and shove in a Katherine Jenkins wannabe, and magic is born.
The production of this album is a bit week, but you have to give them credit, this was originaly a demo. The guitars have a quite trebbly tone to them and some of the timing isn't the best, but I guess the songs make up for it.
This album does get criticised alot, especially beacuse of Tuomas' vocals, but to be honest, I don''t think he is the worst singer in the world. His dark low tones almost give the songs a quite calm darky edge. And the keyboard and synth sounds are second to none.
1. Elvenpath - The lyrics of this song remind me of that Blind Guardian classic Imaginations From The Other Side (in my opinon, one of the best songs of all time) The almost childlike lyrics and fantasy charachters give the song a very jaunty effect. Tarja's vocals are amazing, the musicianship is to die for, and the odd quote from The Lord Of The Rings doesn't ruin the great song. An amazing opener to the album.
2. Beauty & The Beast - Probabbly one of my most favourite Nightwish songs. Tuomas' vocals aren't the worst in the world, but I did laugh a little when I first heard it. Tony Kakko's (Phowa) vocals do make the song better, in the From Wishes To Eternity dvd. The dramtic changes and spoken word passages make the song more ominous, and the guitar solo is one of the best solo's I ever heard. A masterpiece.
3. The Carpenter - A song abut Jesus, basically. A nice almost ballad feel to it and Tuomas's vocals aren't out of place either. I do not like the arabic flute part, for some reason I think it was just randomlly put in from Tutankhamen. Still a great song with a good catchy chorus.
4. Astral Romance - The stacatto rhythyms in this song are great, and Tuomas' vocals are quite good when he hit's that high note. In my opinion, one of their best lyricall moments.
5. Angels Fall First - The title track, and a ballad. A nice slower moment for the listener.
6. Tutankhamen - The arabic like melodies are great and the lyrics give a very space like feel to a modern Egyptian tale. The references to Carter (the explorer that discovered his tomb) was quite good as well. To be honest, it's a bit cheesey.
7. Nymphomaniac Fantasia - Ok, does anyone think it's a bit weird, that an album that has songs about fairytales, childrens Disney movies and other child like moments, should contain a song about sex. The lyrics of this song are incredibly funny, full of Lady GaGa like innuendos, it's hilarious. The music is quite good as well.
8. Know Why The Nightingale Sings? - One of their better riffs in my opinion. A very catchy and memorable song with great musicianship.
9. Lappi (Lapland) - This 9 minute song is quite amazing. Instead of making it all about power, it's a lot more calm and has some intresting moments that remind me of Pink Floyd fighting Burzum.
CONCLUSION - I'm gonna give every Nightwish album 5, so you can't stop me...hahahahahah. Buy all their albums. Expecially this one, it's not their best, but it's better than most albums.