Nightwish End of an Era

Nightwish End of an Era

Despite their popularity, Nightwish are not a band I would recommend: pompous power metal, operatic vocals that work against the music far more often than with it and a patina of brooding darkness that goes no deeper than Tuomas Holopainen’s eyeliner and chipped nail polish. Yet the band’s bombastic cheesiness is well-suited to the theatrical space of the big stage, and if "best” is asking too much from such a Frankenstein monstrosity, End of an Era is at least "better,” doing justice to its title by bringing the Tarja Turunen period of Nightwish to a close. Like the music, the filmography and effects are a little beyond the point of good taste but nothing else would quite do the trick. An interesting sidebar towards the end of this sold-out Helsinki show features Native American musician John Two-Hawks performing an original composition and reprising his role for "Creek Mary’s Blood.” Concert closer "Wish I Had an Angel” is another highlight, capturing Nightwish in a moment of musical and performing success. The bonus documentary drags out to the point of dullness thanks to long segments of un-subtitled Finnish conversation, and the limited edition CDs reproduce the same gig. But the extras aren’t the selling feature here — it’s the live footage that presents Nightwish on a scale we’d never see in North America and at a moment that will ever remain in the past. (Nuclear Blast)