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Nightwish is a Finnish heavy metal band, formed in 1996. While it is mostly the brainchild of Tuomas Holopainen who writes most of their songs, it is best known for its vocals. The vocals are performed by Tarja Turunen, who has studied classical singing in the Finnish Sibelius Academy[?], and currently studies opera singing in Germany. Their music style can be described as operatic heavy metal.

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Band history

Nightwish started out as Holopainen's experiment using acoustic guitars, no drums and the operatic voice of Tarja Turunen. At this time there were three band members: Holopainen, Turunen and Erno "Emppu" Vuorinen (guitar).

In early 1997 Jukka Nevalainen joined the band, to play drums[?]. The acoustic guitar was replaced with an electric one. In April they went into the studio and recorded seven songs. These songs can be found on the limited edition of Angels fall first.

In May the same year, they were signed onto the Finnish record label Spinefarm Records[?]. Angels fall first was released in November, and reached position 31 on the Finnish album chart. A single entitled "The Carpenter" had been released beforehand, and it reached position 8 on the Finnish singles chart.

In 1998 Sami Vänskä joined the band to play bass guitar. This year they released the album Oceanborn. This album was a little heavier than the previous one. The album reached position 5 on the Finnish album chart. The single from that album, "Sacrament of Wilderness", went straight to the first place of the Finnish singles chart. This album did better than anyone expected.

In 1999 they recorded the single "Sleeping Sun", for the eclipse in Germany. This single sold 15.000 copies during the first month, in Germany alone. Oceanborn was certified gold in August.

In 2000 Nightwish participated in the Finnish qualification for the Eurovision song contest with the song "Sleepwalker". They ended up in third place. They won the public televoting, but the jury overruled. In May they released the album Wishmaster. It went straight to first position in the Finnish album charts, and stayed there for three weeks. During those three weeks it was certified gold. Wishmaster was, despite long-awaited releases from Iron Maiden and Bon Jovi, declared album of the month in the German magazine Rock Hard[?].

In 2001 Nightwish recorded a cover of Gary Moore's[?] "Over the Hills and Far Away". Together with a couple of new songs and a remake of an old one, this was released as the EP Over the Hills and Far Away. They also released a VHS, DVD and CD with live material. All of these were entitled From Wishes to Eternity. Shortly afterwards, Sami Vänskä left the band, and Marco Hietala from Sinergy[?] and Tarot[?] took over the bass guitar (he did not leave the other bands he plays in).

In 2002 Nightwish released Century Child, and the singles "Ever Dream" and "Bless the child". The main difference from previous albums is the use of a live orchestra on most songs, to get a stronger feel of classical music. Century Child was certified gold two hours after its release, and platinum two weeks afterwards. It set a record on the Finnish album charts as well; never before had the second been so distant from the first place.

Band members:

  • Tarja Turunen - Vocals
  • Tuomas Holopainen - Synth, piano
  • Marco Hietala - Bass, backup vocals
  • Erno Vuorinen - Electric guitar
  • Jukka Nevalainen - Drums

Discography (albums):

  • Angels fall first (1997)
  • Oceanborn (1998)
  • Wishmaster (2000)
  • Over the hills and far away (2001)
  • Century child (2002)

Related Bands

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