Dear Nightwish: please forgive me

Dear Nightwish: please forgive me

I mistakenly said, in this post, that Kamelot had dethroned Nightwish as my favourite band. I’d like to formally retract those words. I’m sorry, Nightwish! Please forgive me!

I was feeling somewhat jaded and, yes, a little heartbroken over the fact that Anette was gone. After going through the heartbreak and uncertainty of Tarja’s dismissal, then coming to love Anette and having the same thing happen, I was, somehow, still worrying about the lead singer. I got caught up in the drama and the personalities, when any true Nightwish fan knows that the band doesn’t revolve around the lead singer at all. I’m a little ashamed. Because I reacted that way, I needed a good reminder that Tuomas was and still is the mastermind behind the whole project–that the music hadn’t changed, and, despite the talents of the various singers involved, that it didn’t really matter who sung.

That reminder came this past March, when Endless Forms Most Beautiful was released.

I could get into a story about how excited I was for the album. How I had listened to live shows, featuring Floor at the forefront, for months in preparation. How I was waiting for the album, forgot about it, then my husband surprised me with a copy of it after coming home from work on the day of its release. How I put Amelia to bed that night and raced downstairs to put my headphones on and blast the whole thing uninterrupted while in a state of awe. How, later that week, I’d wake up in the middle of the night to feed the baby and put my headphones in and use the music to keep me awake.

Yeah… I could get into a story like that. But I’d rather just gush at oh my God, you guys, this album is so freaking good.

After the first few listens, I decided I had to see where it fit with the rest of their discography. So, I listened to every Nightwish album, from beginning to end, in order. It took about a month and a half, because of baby duties. Despite this, I also decided to watch every live DVD/documentary, also in order. And now I’m reading the book. My final verdict on Endless Forms Most Beautiful is that it’s kind of like Once’s older sibling. It has hints of a more hopeful, organic Century Child. A sequel, of sorts, to Imaginaerum. And, actually, the perfect transition from the latter (“Interstellar/Theatre play/The nebula curtain falls/Imagination/Evolution/A species from the veil” – “Shudder Before the Beautiful”, the opening track).

You see, I was initially disappointed about Anette leaving because they had just gotten into their groove with her. Imaginaerum was a masterpiece, and it was written specifically to suit Anette’s voice. There was even a jazz track on there that managed to fit perfectly. So, yes, her departure may have hit me a bit harder than it should have. After Anette brought my doll onstage and had been so kind the three times I met her, I took her separation from the band the wrong way. As much as I loved her voice, I was so attached to her as a person that I refused to see that her departure was the best thing for her and the band. My perceptions have since changed.

You’d think I know all these people personally, wouldn’t you? I don’t. I’ve met them a couple of times, but their music has been a part of my life for more than half of it, so I’m allowed to be a little emotional about it. I’m a Pisces. Emotional is kinda my thing.

I love Kamelot. I was living in the moment to an extreme when I wrote that original blog post. I had just been fresh from seeing them play, meeting some of the band members, and was obsessing over Silverthorn. On top of it, I was still reeling from the news about Anette. But there’s something about Nightwish that I’ve never been able to find in another band, even if I had a year or so that I lost hope. Their music inspires me and transports me to another world altogether. I’ve been listening to them for more than half of my life. While watching Showtime, Storytime‘s “Please Learn the Setlist in 48 Hours” documentary, I took note of a fan who said “the music of Nightwish can fix anything”, and that quote really speaks to me. A lot of their music has gotten me through some difficult times–it’s been the one thing in my life that has remained constant since 2000. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but the music is emotional, as are the circumstances surrounding its creation, so I think it’s fairly normal to have an emotional reaction to it.

Enough babbling from me. Now, you listen to this track. Then go listen to the whole album. That’s an order.

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