Nightwish’s “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”

This post feels long overdue and it’s been a while since I’ve written about music. In fact, its been far too long since I’ve written anything on this blog and for that, I do apologise. I’m going to do my best to avoid becoming too emotional as I write, however that’s going to be difficult. Because as someone who adores symphonic metal and finds science and reason an ongoing source of inspiration, this album by my favourite band is truly one of the most perfect things in my world.

Endless Forms Most Beautiful is a drastic departure from Nightwish’s previous work, which has celebrated fantasy, dreams, wishes, mythology and the incredible. Every album they have created has taken us on whirlwind journeys of fantasy, creating imagery that stays with us long after we first hear each song. But with this album, the band takes us on a very different journey and explores a whole new kind of incredible. The incredible of reality.

I could post a detailed analysis of every track, but in my humble opinion, others have done that far better than I have and it would interrupt the flow of what I’d like to say about this album as a whole.

Firstly, a recommendation. Listen to the entire album from start to finish. No shuffling. Even though every single song is a glorious masterpiece in its own right, taking the time to listen to the entire album in the correct order will send you on a spectacular journey through the entire creation of the universe. From the Big Bang itself, to the creation of every living creature, to the flaws of man which will lead us toward our inevitable demise.

There is such beauty in this. It sounds almost tragic in a way. But the commentary within certain tracks from the incomparable Sir Richard Dawkins reminds us of the great fortune we all share, simply in being alive. That the very fact any of even exist in the first place is a miracle. It is a notion that makes one feel so small, yet so big.

It is a notion that reminds us our time on this earth is fleeting and precious, that we are blessed to be here and should make as much use of our time on this planet as we can before we make our final descent back into the abyss from which we emerged.

The music is flawless and powerful, in typical Nightwish fashion, and the perfect poetic medium to carry the divine lyrics. In itself, it tells a story. Which brings me to a second recommendation. After you’ve listened to the full album, then listen to the instrumental version. Close your eyes and be transported to the realm of reality.

In short, I cannot say enough good things about this album and cannot recommend it enough.

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