Song Review: “Élan” by Nightwish

I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep up with all of these new albums, singles, and their music videos, everytime I want to do a review I tend to talk myself out of it. Well, not anymore.

I don’t know if any of you are fans or even heard of Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, but if you’ve visited here before you already know that I am obsessed with this band. This is one of like eight bands that I remember getting into at the beginning of my metal obsession.  I’m here to talk to you about the band’s first single of their brand new album Endless Forms Most Beautiful that will be released at the end of March. This is the eighth album for the band but it’s the first with two new members, Dutch singer Floor Jensen as the new female lead vocalist and Troy Donockley on pipes. Their drummer Jukka Nevalainen had to leave after suffering some health problems, so they replaced him with Kai Hahto in the recording process. Hopefully Jukka will be healthy enough to come back soon! Their first single is called “Élan” and I’ll be honest I don’t know what the word actually means or understand the concept of the music video.

I have watched their concert DVD of Storytime, Showtime that was recorded at Wacken Air in 2013, it was Floor’s first tour with Nightwish after Anette Olzon left the band. They hadn’t announced the addition of thew two members into the band yet, but they did go on tour with them. It was our first taste of Floor taking over. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t much of a fan of Floor before she joined them on tour. So I tried to listen to her older stuff with her former band, After Forever and solo project with ReVamp. Once I got a sense of her voice in general, I watched her performances with Nightwish on YouTube. She is a powerful singer, but if you look around on YouTube, people are still complaining that she’s not good enough. I just don’t understand why because I think she sounds a bit like Anette and Tarja. She’s soft like Anette and powerful like Tarja, not like both ladies aren’t like that, but it’s the only way I can describe the two of them separately.

When I first heard the song, I was surprised that it wasn’t really heavy. Of course at first, I kind of panicked because I really like the heavy sounds between the powerful guitars up against the dramatic choirs and keys. I mean, that’s how I became a fan of their music was for that unique sound. I just never thought they’d release a slower song to start out the album. I mean it doesn’t sound like a ballad, but it’s softer as guitars and vocals go. It does have that dreamy effect that every symphonic metal fan loves so much. I love the introduction of the pipes and guitars together, after hearing and getting hooked to “I Want My Tears Back” from their last album, Imaginaerum I’ve really grown to love the sound of the gentle pipes. It doesn’t overpower the general sound of the song, especially with the guitars and drums. I am really curious of the sound that both Floor and Troy will bring with the rest of the album. My only concern is that knowing Troy is a full-time member of the band — will there be pipes on all of the songs? I think if there was, that would be too much. Anyways, besides all these little doubts I am VERY excited to hear the rest of the album.

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2 thoughts on “Song Review: “Élan” by Nightwish

  1. maryp2014

    Hi Meghan! I am also a huge fan of Nightwish since ’05, and I am in love with this new song Elan! Thank you for writing a post that compelled me to respond with affinity. I found your post in a Nightwish inspired google search, as I am going to see them this Thursday. If you have the chance – you must see them in concert! I have yet to see any other metal band smile so genuinely & hug each other on stage; it’s so refreshing in a genre full of gloom & angst. Honestly, the music video for this single had me tearing up a bit. It encompasses the true spirit of Nightwish – discovering the beauty we overlook amidst the grit of the everyday…& once you see thatit has been there all along, embracing that joy and releasing your inner child. Elan is to dance without abandon, and let your spirit soar with the music. I feel like this song has an undertone of their early, fantasy based albums, while remaining true to the musical evolution of the band. Best wishes in your writing and reviews! Mary P.

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