Nightwish - Showtime, Storytime (Roadrunner)

Bombast, pomp, plus a side of cheese...
Release Date: 
29 Nov 2013 (All day)

So (mainly) Finnish act Nightwish tick off another milestone in their path to the top table of the metal pantheon: The Double Live Album. Those of you who saw the band at any point in the past year or so (I didn’t, but I’m reliably informed by MaF editor Scott Adams that they were ‘fucking brilliant’ in Sydney in January )on the Storytime Tour from whence this live document comes will be familiar with this set, which takes in the best cuts from every album the band has released this century , going back as far as 2000 to dabble in She is My Sin from the Wishmaster album. 

But the bulk of the set comes from 2011’s Imaginaerium (natch) and the 2004 release Once, a heady mix which goes a long way to prove, if any proof were needed, just how great a fit for this band new vocalist Floor Jansen is; Whether it’s material from the Tarja Turunen or Anette Olzon eras Jansen takes the song on and owns it within seconds of opening her nuclear-powered gob. It’s an absolute vocal tour de force, this record, and there really isn’t enough praise in the space of a mere review to convey just what a powerhouse she is.

Highlight of the piece is undoubtedly the epic, grandiose Ghost Love Score, which seems even more massive live than in it’s studio version. It’s the centrepiece of the band’s live set and they absolutely smoke the version included here; Elsewhere Storytime and Nemo are thunderously good, with the divine Ms J carrying the melody of both songs with consummate ease. Romanticide – which to me seemed a bit of a filler on disc – here becomes a monstrously heavy piece of metal theatre (complete with a confusing introduction about sausages from bassist Marco Hietela), Jansen unleashing a helium filled scream as guitarist Emppu Vuorinen riffs like an absolute bastard, whilst Amaranth is slowed down and heavied up (that man Vuorinen again making a match winning contribution) without losing the earworm nature of it’a glorious chorus.

It’s all here then – as mentioned even the outrageously cheesy stage raps of Jansen and bassist Marco Hietela remain untouched – a superb remembrance of what history might well come to see as one of twenty first century metal’s most important bands at the top of their game.