I really enjoy Nightwish because the band has always had this very dreamy feel to it. It very much appeals to my day dreamer's soul. Any band that can spark my imagination earns a spot in my top five. With that in mind they are also very lyrically unique in my opinion. Most every word is so enchanting, hence my love for the Imaginarium album.
Each and every one of the vocalists of Nightwish has held a place in my heard for different reasons. Tarja has such a powerful and memorable voice. Her operatic vocals gave me an appreciation for opera in general. I think Tarja has a very unique talent, a voice like no other. Anette just had such a lovely and fun personality. Coming in after Tarja an trying to hold a candle to the woman's powerful voice was such a task and I think she handled it so well.She just seems like such a sweetheart and even though I think her voice was the weakest of the 3, her personality made up for it. Floor earned a spot in my heart because she was fronting when I saw the band in concert and she has a great stage presence. She also has such a strong voice; I'm so glad I got to see her up close.
Just as great as the singers are the orchestral bits and instrumental numbers. That orchestra really helps bring that dreamy, other worldly feel home. Whenever I need a break from real life, Nightwish is where it's at.
For one thing, in an industry where lead singers keep switching (Sirenia, Xandria, Nightwish, Leaves Eyes, Tristania, etc.) I very much appreciate bands like Epica, WT, and Delain who have kept their singer from day one.
Simone is just another phenomenal vocalist and I'm so glad she's still with Epica and that she has been from the start. Her voice (like Tarja's) is just so powerful. From the moment her first note meets your ear you're just like 'wow'. That's pretty much as far as I get because how else do you describe such wonderful music.
I love the deep lyrics. A lot of the bands here seem to be more rooted in fantasy (which is always amazing to me because I love fantasy) but Epica is unique in that they sing about more spiritual and philosophical stuff. I have a lot of respect for that seeing as it's much trickier. In order to write about more philosophical stuff you need to have an understanding of it, a firm grasp on it otherwise you look silly. Epica hit the nail on the head; especially with the Quantum Enigma album. I am still hugely excited to see what themes the Holographic Principal brings to us listeners.
Finally, of all the bands on this list, I think Epica just creates the most intense mood. Design Your Universe has got to be my favorite by them. It got me into the band and is my ideal battle scene sound track. And it has that deeper message. Of all the bands (though WT is still my favorite) I think Epica was the best at sticking to their roots and has retained the most Symphonic Metaly. This is something I really cling to because I adore the epic chorus, the orchestra, and the intensity of it all.
To be honest I don't know if I have as much to say for Xandria which probably seems odd as they are before the other two. But with this band it's more or less that I just love a lot of their songs and the sound of them. For instance; both Lioness and Now & Forever on on my list of songs with the best harmony and melody. Not one part of either song (instruments nor vocals) over power anything else. Everything is just so balanced, it's really satisfying. And then they have their songs like Only For The Stars In Your Eyes and Rose On The Grave Of Love. Both of which are so magical and so touching all at once. More than anything I adore the band's songs.
I also really loved all of their lead singers too. Especially Lisa for her stellar vocals. Manuella seemed to have the most soothing and peaceful voice. And I really love Dianne as I got to meet her briefly and she was such a kind woman. A kind woman with killer vocal skills.
Not gonna lie the main reason I got so into this band was because one of their songs (Generation Me) just fit the main villain of this story I've been writing so well. The song itself is just wonderful and extremely catchy. It's one of those songs I'll just be humming along with over and over again. April Rain would be my second favorite; that song just has a killer melody and Charlotte's voice is on point.
I also adore songs like We Are The Others. A song that was written in memory of a girl who was literally bullied to death for her 'uncanny' appearance. It's one of those songs made to inspire the outcasts, reminding people to be themselves and not let bullcrap get to them. I usually always value as song like that.
And I have a deep appreciation for Sleepwalkers Dream. I often find myself having trouble sleeping and this song is rather comforting. The lyrics remind me that the night isn't always a dreadful thing and that it can actually be soothing. Plus the song itself just as that ability to lull you to sleep.
One more thing I have come to love is their futuristic lyrical themes. Again, a lot of the Symphonic Metal bands seem stuck in the past (which is more than fine by me, I love it) but I gotta respect a Symphonic Metal band that can take futuristic themes and still successfully put that orchestral/chorus twist on it. The Charlotte isn't as operatic as Tarja or Simone and the orchestra isn't as bombastic, Delain still does so well.
Finally, Charlotte is another singer I got to meet which was extremely exciting as she is my second favorite singer. And she (as expected) was so much fun to talk to. She joked around with me for a bit and was generally so cute.
1. Within Temptation
Honestly I'm just gonna pull this bit from the last article I wrote on WT.;
First and foremost, Sharon. I love Sharon so much. She just seems like such a lovely person and she's so adorable. And her stage presence is amazing and very energetic. She seems just as excited to be on the stage as we are to be in the crowd. I also really admire the fact that she said she'd never go nude to break into the American market. Sharon is just the best.
In relation to energetic performances; they are awesome live. I haven't gotten a chance to see them live myself (I've got tickets to a fall show) but I've seen some YouTube footage. Sharon sings just as amazingly live as she does on the CD's. The guitarists are always amazing. And again Sharon's stage energy is stellar; she's always moving around (making sure each side can see her) or jumping up and down or doing that crazy-cool wrist twirl she does. And she usually invites people to sing along.
Another thing I really love about Within Temptation is the fact that they are willing to experiment, and under the same band name. When bands change up their style a lot they tend to create a second or sub group. WT went from their orchestral/ballad style to a heavier rock style, hell, they even incorporated rap into one song. And they were brave enough to do it under the same name.
And I honestly love every song they make. There's not one that I hate. Even with the style change. I love both styles in their own way for different reasons. I love the Mother Earth era so much because of how enchanting and beautiful it was. But then I really love the newer stuff because it's heaver and really fun to listen to.
Overall, in terms of the songs, I just love the lyrics so much. They are meaningful and not trashy. They tell a story, I like being able to visualize the song in my head. Among my favorite lyrics are "Because my child, this not our farewell this is not our farewell." "Ancient spirits of the forest made him king of elves and trees." and "The choirs have awoken left our words unspoken remember you as long as I can." And that doesn't even put a scratch on the amount of wonderful lyrics the band has. I could sit for hours just reading the lyrics. Heck, I've even made a series of fanfictions based on the lyrics.
With the lyrics brings in another topic; Within Temptation doesn't need 'shock value' lyrics to get an audience. Don't get me wrong, I do love myself an explicit song (in lyric and/or theme) or two but I have a really high degree of respect for bands who don't use it. In like 2007 when I was only maybe 11 or 12 years old I really appreciated having a band that I sing along to in front of my parents and that I could play in school without getting a hard time for it. Sharon, Robert, and the others don't need a boat-load of cussing to tell a story. In Frozen and Jane Doe, they didn't need a mess of f-bombs to portray anger. And I think that's super awesome.