NIGHTWISH       Dark Passion Play
Nuclear Blast (release: September 28th, 2007)

If there is a long awaited album, it is this one for sure !  And we've been waiting to catch it out for the reason everybody knows, namely drummer Jukka Nevalainen has changed his brand of cymbals. Err… no, it's not right… it's the new female singer, Swedish Anette Olzon who focuses attention indeed.
The first listening is obviously disconcerting, especially as Dark Passion Play starts with an epic intro about 14 minutes long, The Poet And The Pendulum, on which Marco Hietala already steps in on vocals, still as excellent as with his own band TAROT, and omnipresent on the second track, Bye Bye Beautiful, with a Wish I Had An Angel's rhythmic, and "paying tribute" to the former singer (actually, it seems to be "gunfight at the O.K. Corral"). And the songs link together, even more symphonic in the whole than on Once, with incidentally the heaviest track (Master Passion Greed), fully sung by the bassist this time. Are you sure that the girl is the new vocalist ? Ah, a ballad, Eva, just to get the lead back during a couple of songs, with very catchy Whoever Brings The Night, before the Folk intermezzo with dispensable The Islander and Last Of The Wilds. Yeah, it's always the same with a thirteen tracks album, it's two or three too many.
Report: Miss Olzon is a very good vocalist but she sings in a more common and less warm style, so with the many female singer bands, one can say we had Tarja and the others once, we have Anette among the others now. After all, the musicians didn't want to recruit a clone of Miss Turunen. So, it's done… as a suicide, although NIGHTWISH still stand out of the crowd of their contestants. Now’s the time for the severe test of gigs, where her detractors (already ?!) will go to listen to her singing the old songs. Anyway, the best thing is to wish her good luck and particularly a big heart. But didn't she already have the courage to accept this mission… impossible ?...Laurent