Archive for Tuomas Holopainen

Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 19th April 2015 by mickbirchy

Nightwish
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Symphonic metal
Released on March 30, 2015
Via Nuclear Blast Records

OK, so I’m not going to pretend like I’m the biggest Nightwish fan. However, I am a fan of the symphonic metal genre and they are a big part of that world of music and I did enjoy their last outing Imaginaerum, like, a lot. So, when I got Endless Forms Most Beautiful I was wondering what the band had in store, as this is the first album with new singer Floor Jansen, who to me seemed like a good match for them; she has a fantastic voice and I was wondering how the band were going to use her for this album.

Now the intro is out of the way, I’ll just say it: this album is bad, really bad, but… The bits that Nightwish get right are pretty fantastic.  I can honestly say that some of the riffs and melodies on this record are actually really good. It’s like a bad Disney movie, bad and hard to sit through, but dammit, when they get it right, they get it right.  Same can be said for this album, it’s all pretty hit and miss. Believe when I say, I hate that I have to hate this album, because a few changes here or there and this would have been solid, or at the very least listenable. The album opens with the tune “Shudder Before the Beautiful” which is actually pretty catchy and works pretty well. Same can be said for a range of song on the record, catchy and definitely show signs of interest and promise but ultimately don’t leave much of an impression on me. Tuomas Holopainen’s compositions always have this weird charms to them but it’s the song he wrote with Marco Hietala that particular stand out for me, especially Yours Is An Empty Hope.

To be perfectly honest, I think it’s because the album feels mostly lifeless. I’m willing to concede that yes, a lot of work went into this record, but everything feels so lifeless and non committal. It just feels empty. Also I don’t think Floor Jansen is used to her fullest potential, I know that was the intention but why? It’s like a pirate ship having 50 cannons and then choosing not to use 25 of them, it makes no sense. Also the production sounds a little muted, I always find myself having to turn the volume up, I couldn’t explain this to save me it’s weird.  Alot of it just sounds like their trying way too hard to sound big and symphonic, and when you’re struggling to sound symphonic, it makes everything sound so fake around you and it’s hard to be invested in the music.

The only couple of songs that I really enjoyed on this album are, Yours Is An Empty Hope, which is this high octane rush of a song, it gets you pumped and the music is vaguely interesting here.  Also the title track, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, is pretty decent too, well paced and balanced.  Other than that, I couldn’t recommend this at all.

Overall, well no, I don’t like it.  I know that sometimes different doesn’t always mean bad, but here I feel Nightwish kept too much the same from their records with Anette Olzen. If she was singing here, this might have been salvageable, but you can’t change the singer and keep the old song writing patterns, that makes no sense.  Ultimately I can’t say I like this album, but this has had high critical praise elsewhere, so what do I know…

2/5

Mick Birchall

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Tuomas Holopainen – The Life and Times of Scrooge

Posted in CD, Folk, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , on 14th March 2014 by hammersmashedlauren

Tuomas Holopainen
The Life and Times of Scrooge
Released: 11th April, 2014
Folk/Symphonic Rock
Released via Nuclear Blast

Being his first solo record, Tuomas Holopainen did an outstanding job of creating a masterpiece that is very different from anything he has ever done in his primary band, Nightwish. This is a concept album that is based off of the Disney novel, The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, and if this book did have a movie, I’m confident that this album would be the soundtrack. There are, of course, keyboards and a symphony which doesn’t branch too far from Nightwish, but there are also elements of folk heard at different times which gave this the light-hearted, childish feel you might get from a Disney movie.

Many musicians helped to create the album, and most of them were not from metal bands. However, Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica played the part of the “storyteller” and one of Nightwish’s newest members, Troy Donockley, played the pipes and whistles. I like that even with the help of metal musicians, it still did not derive away from the over feel of the album. There are some times when songs definitely were a bit more aggressive and heavier, and that subtle influence was enough to remind me that this album was made by a metal musician.

One track in particular, Cold Heart of the Klondike, had an intro that reminded me a lot of something that Nightwish would have written. This is probably because it starts out with primarily the keyboards and then gradually goes into violins paired with dramatic choir vocals, and that’s something I would expect to hear on any kind of symphonic metal album. While I greatly enjoyed these small bits of fast and epic music, it’s primarily what I looked forward while listening to this album. I felt that the tracks were much too long and kind of dragged out after a while. The only tracked I really enjoyed listening to was their single release, A Lifetime of Adventure. To me, it was the most memorable because it had the most vocals and didn’t drag out for too long. While the other songs were done beautifully, they were just entirely too long and repetitive for my liking.

Overall, this album was a great listen. I highly recommend picking it up once it is released next month if you are a fan of symphonic, folk, or power metal. A Lifetime of Adventure has a music video out if you want to preview what the album actually sounds like as well. I was impressed by the musicianship and overall quality of this album, and I hope Tuomas Holopainen continues to make more solo records.

4.5/5

Lauren Gowdy

Nightwish’s Tuomas Holopainen posts third Scrooge trailer online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 7th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Nightwish’s Tuomas Holopainen spent most of 2013 writing and producing his debut solo album, The Life And Times Of Scrooge, which is based on the illustrated book, The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck by author Don Rosa. The album will be released on 14th April via Nuclear Blast.

Tuomas has been updating fans on the making of his new solo album and the third video interview featuring the Nightwish front man is now online and available to be viewed down below.

The video for the first single, A Lifetime of Adventure, taken from the upcoming album is also available for viewing down below.

Tuomas Holopainen online:

http://tuomas-holopainen.com

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Second Tuomas Holopainen solo album interview now online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 27th February 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The driving force behind Nightwish, Tuomas Holopainen, who is also the band’s keyboardist and song writer, spent most of 2013 writing and producing his debut solo album entitled The Life And Times Of Scrooge. The album is based on the illustrated book The Life And Times Of Scoorge McDuck by Don Rosa and will be released via Nuclear Blast on 14th April 2014.

The first interview documenting the making of Tuomas‘ solo album was released last week and the second video interview with Tuomas is now online too. The trailers were created by Nightwish videographer Ville Lipiäinen. Both trailers can be viewed below.

Trailer One:

Trailer Two:

The digital single of A Lifetime of Adventure was released recently and features vocals by Finnish singer Johanna Kurkela. The guitars were played by Finnish Jazz musician Mikko Iivanainen.

Tuomas Holopainen online:

http://tuomas-holopainen.com

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Nightwish keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen unveils details of first solo album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 28th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Tuomas Holopainen, who is best known for his work as keyboardist and main songwriter of Nightwish, has spent most of the year writing and producing his first solo album. The album is based on a graphic novel titled The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck which was written by Don Rosa. Tuomas comments:

This is my longtime dream come true, 14 years in the making. And a homage to one of the best storytellers of our time. Thank you for sharing this celebration of Life & Adventure!

This 12 chapter book tells the life story of a certain Scrooge, from his early years in the 19th century Scotland to his adventures all around the world till the 1950’s. The story contains such immense depth, detail, wit and emotional power, that after Tuomas read it 20 years ago, it instantly became a story of profound personal interest and love for him. The initial spark of ‘colouring’ this story with music, i.e. to create a soundtrack to the book, came to him in 1999, and has haunted the back of his mind ever since.

The album was written and produced by Tuomas Holopainen and will contain 10 songs, with total duration of approximately 60 minutes. The music will be of soundtrack, classical and folk genres in the vein of Vaughan Williams, Michael Nyman, James Newton Howard and Enya.

Mr. Pip Williams has done the orchestral arrangements, continuing his collaboration with Tuomas after the Nightwish records Once, Dark Passion Play and Imaginaerum.

There will be a number of guest musicians, including the London Orchestra, The Metro Voices (a choir from London) and four lead vocalists: Alan Reid, Johanna Kurkela, Johanna Iivanainen and Tony Kakko. Other guest appearances include Troy Donockley (uilleann pipes, low whistles, bodhran), Mikko Iivanainen (guitars and banjo), Teho Majamäki (Didgeridoo), Jon Burr (Harmonica) and Dermot Crehan in the solo violin.

The recordings took place during August – October 2013, first at Angel Studios, London, then in various locations around Scotland and Finland.
The author of the book, Don Rosa, has done the artwork for the album. There will also be a single release, for the track A Lifetime Of Adventure, accompanied by a music video in early 2014. The album The Life And Times Of Scrooge is scheduled for release in April 2014.

Tuomas Holopainen online:

http://tuomas-holopainen.com

Ghost Love Score live clip available online; taken from new Nightwish DVD: Showtime, Storytime

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Next month sees the release of Nightwish’s new DVD: Showtime, Storytime and in anticipation of the release, the band have posted another clip from the DVD online. This time of the track Ghost Love Score. The clip can be viewed below.

The Showtime, Storytime DVD will be released in the UK on 2nd December 2013 and is available for pre-order at this location.

Nightwish online:

http://nightwish.com
http://facebook.com/nightwish

 

New trailer for Nightwish – Showtime, Storytime DVD available online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 6th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Finnish metal outfit Nightwish – who are now fronted by ReVamp vocalist Floor Jansen – are set to release their new DVD Showtime, Storytime next month and in anticipation of the release, the band have released another trailer for the DVD. You can get a glimpse of life on tour with Nightwish down below.

The Showtime, Storytime DVD will be released in the UK on the 2nd December 2013 and is available for pre-order, here, at this location.

Nightwish online:

http://nightwish.com
http://facebook.com/nightwish