OSA- Cadence ocean

Live to tell the Tale

The story of Nightwish: in their own words!

Part 8: 2007-2009


Now that the long wait was over and the era of Tarja firmly behind them, Nightwish turned the page and entered the next chapter of their career with Anette. The album Dark Passion Play was another peek into Tuomas' diary: the lyrics ranging from sadness and regret towards the split with Tarja on songs like "Bye Bye Beautiful"; anger towards the outside parties that caused the split on "Master Passion Greed", anticipation and hope for the future in songs like "Cadence of Her Last Breath". Again, the band brought back the orchestral sounds, and as usual, tried to bring new elements to the table, as if a brand-new voice wasn't enough for fans to digest. In unorthodox fashion, the album kicked off with the 14-minute opus "The Poet and the Pendulum", one of the most epic Nightwish songs ever written and lyrically, an emotional rollercoaster that laid it all out on the table and left no doubts to any listener as to what the past few years had been for Tuomas.
Tuomas Holopainen:
"We recorded 15 songs altogether. Out of them 13 will end up on this new album. As far as differences go, I think the biggest difference is sitting here next to me, so it's the vocals. I mean, musically I don't think the album differs that much from Once. There's some new elements on this album—like there's Celtic instruments, there's a voice of sopranos, there's a gospel choir and all little details here and there. But the overall feeling that the songs have, is a natural sequel from what Once was. We didn't wanna do anything too radical because she is already a radical change to our sound."
"I try to think our songs like a soundtrack play. But the amount of material "The Poet and the Pendulum" has absorbed, with the orchestra and the choir, and there's the Celtic-fill, there's the voice of soprano, there's her singing and Marco's singing—and there's even Marco growling plus all the sound effects created by Mr. Jussi Tegelman in Hollywood. It's a really big song, I can tell."
(Metal-Rules.com, May 31st, 2007)

Anette Olzon:
"The soundscapes Tuomas makes make some of the songs really difficult. They are all difficult but some of them are so hard that you need to be an experienced singer to be able to sing them. I don't think I'd be able to sing them when I was 20. [...] The new album is not Once 2, it's something completely new. We've tried all kinds of stuff on the album, for example in this one horror movie song that Emppu made. It's a guitar song where everything, the melody, the rhythm of the lyrics and everything has been composed with a guitar. It's a really difficult way to make songs, I've tried it myself. For me it's much easier to compose melodies with keyboards."
(Imperiumi.net interview, May 30th, 2007)

"I don't think that there's a generic storyline. All lyrics treat different subjects, although there might be certain similarities in some songs. It's a lot about emotions in 2005 when the band was going through a hard time and there was a lot of bitterness. Some songs are about certain Celtic things and cultures. [...] This is indeed very hard for me to answer, so I'll just give you my opinion as a listener. I think Dark Passion Play is a continuation of Once, which at that time was Nightwish's best album to date. Dark Passion Play is more bombastic with bigger orchestration and a lot of special instruments and even a gospel choir. Furthermore I also think that Tuomas has even more matured as a songwriter."
(Lords of Metal, September 2007)

2008- Echo small

So now that the hype and excitement had lulled and the album officially released, it was time for Nightwish to take their new lineup on the road and introduce Anette to the sometimes-overzealous fans, many of whom were still loyal to Tarja. Sometimes it would not be easy. To show that the Nightwish past was not fading away, at the same time as Dark Passion Play hit store shelves, Tarja released her highly anticipated solo album, My Winter Storm, only garnering comparisons between the two vocalists all the more. Anette would be met with both praise and criticism everywhere she went. While Anette's cheery, bubbly personality was a stark contrast to Tarja's aloof mystique, even the most upbeat people have their rough moments and it would come out at a gig in Brazil, when Anette walked offstage (later stating that she was affected by the onstage smoke machines) and sparked rumors that are still being debated to this day. However, she would openly address these issues in the band's 2009 live CD/DVD release Made in Hong Kong (And Various Other Places). After nearly 2 years of touring, the band would end the rollercoaster ride of the Dark Passion Play era on a high note; closing out their tour with a sold-out show at Hartwall Arena, the very same place where the "old era" officially ended nearly 4 years earlier.
Anette Olzon:
"I'm certainly not going to try and imitate here, because she [Tarja] was so damn good. Furthermore, our voices are very different and I'm my own person so it's really no use to try that. I'm practicing the songs at home already and a lot of the old material also suits my voice quite well, it will only sound a bit different because of my distinct style. I've got more of a rock voice than Tarja."
"We talked about this and I'm sure that things like this will happen during the tour. Actually there's no good solution for coping with this. I'm just gonna keep my head up high and hope that those people will adjust. Other bands have succeeded in replacing their lead vocalist too so why shouldn't Nightwish be capable of doing that?"
(Lords of Metal, September 2007)

Tuomas Holopainen:
"We scheduled 160 gigs for the first year and it might be overmuch. We made this decision because we just couldn't hold it back, we wanted to get out there and perform. We had a new vocalist and a new album, and we wanted to see if we could make it. We couldn't hold ourselves back from touring. We wanted to see the reactions, to understand if we won the bet or lost it. The truth is that the very first months of the tour were amazing..."
"But, for sure, this was just the visible reason during a period which was very difficult for us. And it's totally reasonable. People break down, it happens. But the smoke-machine is not the only reason. We were all tired, we were jaded. We were nervous and fed up. Especially Anette, it was unfamiliar for her all that. We dropped her into the ocean and she made it really well. Lots of times we said to each other, 'I would never expect she could hold on for so long!' But she did. She disproved all the predictions. She made it very well with such a long tour, and she had a lot of times the crowd against her. Her breakdown at the end was normal. And let me tell you, during that gig, there were guys with middle fingers in front of her who were shouting many things...If you keep in mind all that, you can't be surprised with the incident."
(Metal Hammer (Greek version), March 2009)

The story continues...

2009- Rock Sound cover