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3.48 | 35 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1997

Filed under Symphonic Metal


Original limited edition:
1. Astral Romance (5:12)
2. Angels Fall First (4:34)
3. The Carpenter (5:57)
4. Nymphomaniac Fantasia (4:47)
5. A Return to the Sea (5:48)
6. Once Upon a Troubadour (5:21)
7. Lappi (Lapland): I. Erämaajärvi (2:15)
8. Lappi (Lapland): II. Witchdrums (1:18)
9. Lappi (Lapland): III. This Moment is Eternity (3:12)
10. Lappi (Lapland): IV. Etiäinen (2:32)

Total Time: 40:56

General release:
1. Elvenpath (4:40)
2. Beauty and the Beast (6:24)
3. The Carpenter (5:57)
4. Astral Romance (5:12)
5. Angels Fall First (5:34)
6. Tutankhamen (5:31)
7. Nymphomaniac Fantasia (4:47)
8. Know Why the Nightingale Sings (4:14)
9. Lappi (Lapland): I. Erämaajärvi (2:15)
10. Lappi (Lapland): II. Witchdrums (1:18)
11. Lappi (Lapland): III. This Moment Is Eternity (3:12)
12. Lappi (Lapland): IV. Etiäinen (2:34)

Total Time: 51:43

Bonus tracks on 2007 Re-release:
13. A Return to the Sea (5:47)
14. Nightwish (5:54)
15. The Forever Moments (5:41)
16. Etiäinen (3:00)


- Tarja Turunen / vocals
- Tuomas Holopainen / keyboards, piano, vocals (on tracks 2, 3, 4, 9)
- Emppu Vuorinen / guitars, acoustic guitars, bass
- Jukka Nevalainen / drums, percussion
- Esa Lehtinen / flutes

About this release

Release date: November 1st, 1997
Label: Spinefarm/Century Media

Original Spinefarm edition was limited to 500 copies and featured a different track listing from the later general release. Artwork was also slightly revised for the general release, the one displayed here is the original cover.

Re-released in 2004 by Spinefarm on CD and Vinyl, with one bonus track
Re-released in 2007 by Spinefarm with 4 Bonus Tracks

Thanks to Pekka, metalbaswee, adg211288, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

‘Angels Fall First’ is the 1997 debut album by Finnish symphonic metal group Nightwish, who would go on to become one of those most popular and prolific bands of the genre.

Compared to later releases, however, ‘Angels Fall First’ sounds very raw, and at times, slightly disjointed and directionless, lacking the epic bombast that the band would incorporate on future albums. However, there’s still a clear vision here of what the band want to accomplish, and there’s no doubting the writing talents of keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen and guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and the potential they display.

While ‘Angels Fall First’ is full of tasty guitar riffs and some fantastic interplay with keyboards, as well as a good balance of both male and female vocals, I find that most songs seem to deviate from the hook that first got my attention. Songs like ‘Elvenpath’, ‘Tutankhamen’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ have some incredibly strong and memorable melodies, but after a few minutes I find myself not really paying attention. It’s almost as if the ideas are there, just not quite the ability to flesh them out into full songs.

Still, this is a young band in their early days, playing a style of music which is equally in its early years, and so it’s forgivable that this album just isn’t overly memorable. No doubt Nightwish will improve vastly over time, but ‘Angels Fall First’ is best left for the die-hard fans of the band.
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.

Members reviews

With a beautiful picture for the cover, "Nightwish" released their first album. "Elvenpath" is a fanciful narrative with references to various mythical characters. The sound of the keyboard covering almost everything in the beginning of the song. The chorus with that sound so common to the "heavy melodic." The music is nice though without presenting news. Again, the keyboard is the instrument that starts another song: "Beauty And The Beast." It is known that "Tuomas Holopainen - keyboardist" is the owner of the band and also sings in this first album. "Emppu Vuorinen" creates good riffs though often muffled by the sound of the keyboard. Some synthesizers used in the album. A guitar solo in the middle of the song to help the drama of the letter. In the final minutes of music is the keyboard once again take its place of prominence. Until then, "Jukka Nevalainen" merely fulfilling his role as drummer. To escape some of the obvious, the third track titled "The Carpenter" sung by "Tuomas Holopainen" does not start at the sound of the keyboards. "Astral Romance" which is one of the most popular songs keeps the pattern shown since the beginning of the album. Featured in the "Emppu Vuorinen" with some guitar arrangements. The title track "Angels Fall First" is a composition more slowly moved on the basis of the keyboard, but started with an acoustic guitar fingerings. The voice of "Tarja Turunen" fits very well with the sound of music, plus a flute at certain times. Not wanting to belittle the work of "Nightwish" but the truth is that after years of hearing it, you realize that was a much immature, where "Tuomas Holopainen" itself takes the position of star and an obligation to give space to "Tarja Turunen". "Emppu Vuorinen" has quality, technique and talent but this first album did not get much space. "Jukka Nevalainen," added the group. "Know Why The Nightgale Sings" is one of the few songs on the album that gives way to the guitarist. "Nymphomaniac Fantasia" has some good guitar riffs, though, again the keyboard stay above. "Lappi (Lapland)" closes the album with its divisions into "Erämaajärvi", "Witchdrums", "This Moment Is Eternity" and "Etiäinen" which ultimately divided or not, is the same.

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