NIGHTWISH have come a long way since "Angels Fall First". Even when you listen to their second album "Oceanborn", you still notice drastic changes. Then there's always the ever so obvious sign of maturity.
I bought my first NIGHTWISH album without even taking the time to test the waters. All I knew was that they had a female vocalist who had a major in classical singing and music theatre. I myself have a strong interest in classical music, and have had five years of operatic voice training along with four years of piano. I've always been interested in how opera entwines itself into the various styles of Metal.
The only NIGHTWISH album I could find around here was "Wishmaster" and although I had been "warned" about this album by many, I decided to buy it anyway. Despite what I heard from others, I actually found "Wishmaster" to be an excellent CD.
It wasn't until recently that I added "Angels Fall First" to my collection. To be honest, I can't really say what I was expecting to hear, but sadly, it wasn't what came out of my speakers. Don't get me wrong. I'm a big NIGHTWISH fan, but there was just something missing from this release. It didn't come on as strong as the others I had heard previously. Maybe it's because I didn't follow the band from the beginning. I was spoiled by the better, later albums; and I was expecting something magnificent.
I wish I could pin point what I felt was missing from the album, but it's pretty much impossible. I've listened to it time and time again, and still I've come up with nothing. I noticed that Tuomas did a bit of vocal work on the CD, but to be quite honest it wasn't that great. It wasn't horrible either, but he should just leave the vocal portion of the albums to Tarja. Sometimes I can't help but get the feeling that women are somewhat under-used sometimes when it comes to making an album. However, this is definitely not the case when it comes to NIGHTWISH. Personally, I can't hear enough of her anyway, so I guess it's not a bad thing.
While "Angels Fall First" pales drastically in comparison to the other albums in the NIGHTWISH library, there are still some parts of it I found enjoyable. (Online August 7, 2003)