Friday, October 05, 2007

A secret passion

My choice in music can best be describes as 'diverse', I guess. There's a lot of soundtrack in my collection, a few albums by different artists, quite a few collections of songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s, musicals and other things (like books on CD). Surprisingly many CD that have found a place in my collection during the last two years are from one group: Nightwish (5 currently, as opposed to three each from P!nk and Robbie Williams and one or two of various other artists).

Now, I don't expect you all (whoever you might be, Sitemeter tells me you exist) to know this group, they're doing gothic rock and come from Finland. The first song I ever heard from them was "Nemo" and the first album I bought, though not the first they produced, was "Once" which included this song. Another song from that album, "I wish I had an angel", features in the soundtrack of the movie "Alone in the Dark", one of the few movies based on computer games I can recommend (if you've got a strong stomach and like horror movies). My favourite songs by the group include

  • - Nemo
  • - I wish I had an angel
  • - Over the hills and far away
  • - The Phantom of the Opera
  • - Bless the Child
  • - End of all Hope
  • - Sleeping Sun
  • - Sacrament of Wilderness
  • - Dark Chest of Wonders
  • - Creek Mary's Blood
  • - Higher than Hope
  • - Wishmaster
  • - The Kinslayer

As you might guess from the names of the songs, Nightwish isn't exactly a group with cheery, bright and happy songs - although hearing the female lead sing "The Phantom of the Opera" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical always takes my breath away, she's just so good.

Rhythm and music change a lot between the songs, too. From hard rock in songs like "I wish I had an angel" or "Wishmaster" to soft songs like "Nemo" or "Sleeping Sun" - with "Over the hills and far away" they even produced a great ballad. (I learned two things from that song: Never sleep with your best friend's wife and - if you really think you have to - never leave your gun at home while doing so. Otherwise you might find yourself imprisoned for a crime you didn't commit.)

Some of their songs are quite long. "Ghost Love Score" from "Once" lasts something shy of eleven minutes, "The Poet and the Pendulum" from "Dark Passion Play" (their latest album) even comes down to almost fourteen. To give you an idea about the actual song texts, some excerpts from "Dark Passion Play":

From "The Poet and the Pendulum" / III. "The Pacific"

(there's 5 parts to the song):

You live long enough to hear the sound of guns,

long enough to find yourself screaming every night,

long enough to see your friends betray you.

From "Amaranth":

Baptized with a perfect name

The doubting one by heart

Alone without himself

War between him and the day

Need someone to blame

In the end, little he can do alone

You believe but what you see

You receive but what you give

From "Whoever brings the night":

The Dark, created to hide the innocent white, the lust of the night

Eyes so bright, seductive lies

Crimson Masquerade where I merely played my part

Poison dart of desire

From "7 Days to the Wolves":

This is

Where heroes

And cowards

Part ways

Light the fires, feast

Chase the ghost, give in

Take the road less travelled by

Leave the city of fools

Turn every poet loose

Heroes, cowards, no more

Even though it might seem to you now that I must be very depressed to listen to such music, I'm not. I like listening to such songs when I'm either travelling (because the strong beat will keep me awake) or while writing. It inspires me. And the texts which, even though they're dark, at least have a deeper meaning and make me think about them, are also inspiring.

So, Nightwish is my secret passion, not because I don't want anybody to know, but because I rarely comment on my tastes in music.

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