As a Nightwish fan, I was looking forward to the first album with new vocalist Floor Jansen, “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”. In fact, I have attended their concert in Lebanon two years ago, and was amazed by the talents of Floor Jansen, and this is why everyone was waiting for the new album.
“Endless Forms Most Beautiful” is not only a transition album with a new vocalist, but also a transition in the music, lyrics, and general atmosphere and feeling of the music. It offers a new style of poetry and bombastic music that took advantage of scientific inspiration and transformed it into beauty about nature and appreciation of evolution and how the universe works.
Definitely, like any other Nightwish album, the topic is more deep than the title or the lyrics. It holds several depths of general and personal meaning for Tuomas Holopainen, the writer of the songs. After listening to the album few times, you can clearly see how things get emotional at some point, and it is not difficult to guess to whom the words are directed against. Having said so, still the lyrics might have a completely different interpretation of the original writer.
The album starts with “Shudder Before The Beautiful” which has Richard Dawkins as a guest speaking in the beginning. The song reminds me of Nightwish old songs like “Ghost Love Score” or “Chest of Wonders”, where the bombastic start is followed by a more quiet transition and the finale. And let us not forget, the song mentions Oceanborn at some point, so is it a reference to the album “Oceanborn” or just an old Nightwish song?
Second in the album is “Weak Fantasy”. Well, this song can be first explained at how sometimes religious people start believing blindly in their religions and do not see the complete truth. Religion and God are not about torture, sins, fear, or hate. God is loving and caring, this is if we agree on the existence of God. Another interpretation can be personal for Tuomas, and refers to personal experience.
“Elan”, that was the first single to be released, comes to tell us about letting go of all worries and hardships we had in our lives. It talks about the free fall and giving up for the moment and experiencing something we never dared to do before.
After “Elan” we arrive to “Yours Is An Empty Hope”, which ignited many debates and fueled the excitement of many die-hard fans. Floor Jansen growls and shows a wide range of vocals. Honestly, the song reminds me of “Wish I Had An Angel”. Reminding someone of how heavens is, and all the things they could have received. This song is a very personal song, and this is why Tuomas left it open for interpretations. I won’t say what my opinion of the song is, because I took it very personal (excuse me for this).
“Our Decades In The Sun” is a powerful emotional song about the parents and it really touches the smoothest places in your heart. Then we have “The Walden”, another mature song from Nightwish about life and dreams and the feeling of achieving something in one’s life.
“Endless Forms Most Beautiful” takes us on a long journey about life, evolution, universe. It has the general theme of the album and summarizes quite few of the important faces of the new music of Nightwish.
Then, “Edema Ruh” and “Alpenglow”, two of my top favorite songs of this album. I really liked the music of “Edema Ruh” and the general meaning of the song. It speaks for itself. Tuomas does know how to touch those deep feelings in your soul. Similarly, “Alpenglow” offers a nice ride into how the band sees itself roaming in this world, spreading their music all over the world, and behind all mountains.
Inspired by the National Geographic cover of Sharbat Gula’s piercing eyes, “The Eyes Of Sharbat Gula” delivers a nice and emotional melody about the suffering in the world. Because it was difficult to describe all this in words, Tuomas decided to keep it as music only. Still it is highly expressive of its true meaning.
And to end all of this, “The Greatest Show On Earth” ends an epic album with a grand finale (these songs are getting longer from one album to the other?). Take a ride through the history of our universe, and our beloved planet Earth. This is a proper finale for such an album!
Definitely this is one of the best albums by Nightwish! To be honest, I got hooked on all the songs of the album since the first time I listened to it. You can clearly see how the band matured and the amount of work they did in making it something so beautiful and attractive.
This is my humble opinion about the music, and as I said several times before, the lyrics are open to different interpretations and explanations. Isn’t this what we all love about Nightwish.
Happy listening metalheads!