Say what you want about the success of NIGHTWISH but I think they’re one of the best bands around. I adore this band for what they’ve done so far. “Oceanborn”, “Wishmaster” and “Century Child” are albums that will stay fresh to these ears for many years to come and “From Wishes To Eternity” has gone through many spins in my DVD player. “End Of Innocence” however nailed me to the floor, I declared myself a fan of theirs forever after this DVD!!!
It took them long to finish this one but the wait was all worth it! This DVD is value for your money, more than three hours of NIGHTWISH history, very educative for me because there was a lot of things I didn’t know before watching this DVD. If you’ve got the limited edition you also get an audio CD with the bands performance at the Summer Breeze Festival in 2002.
The two-hour documentary is the main thing obviously, the journey through the bands history is told by founder and main songwriter Tuomas Holopainen. He is joined by drummer Jukka Nevalainen and Tapio Wilska (who has helped the band with vocal and tour work and now fronts FINNTROLL and SETHIAN), both have their funny stories and more serious inputs. The serious storytelling is balanced (thankfully) with some hilarious backstage footage; many fucked up situations occur when the band goes on tour (see The Night Owl Broadcast, Tero Kinnunen, Tommi Stoltz, the CHARON crew and others).
The peak of the story is when Tuomas reveals that NIGHTWISH split up in the end of 2001 and how he managed to get everything together again; most people did not know about this before, so it was a shock to many devoted fans. Some of the topics discussed go deep into the songwriters personal feelings, like when he tells about how Finnish people are afraid to show their feelings and how he eternally regrets how he treated Sami Vänskä (former bassist), how he didn’t have the guts to tell it to his face that he was out of the band, intimate and depressive stuff.
Music videos for “Over The Hills And Far Away” and “End Of All Hope” are next on the list. The first one is good actually thought the concept is a bit too much for me, the latter is just boring edited live material. The photo gallery is a challenge in itself, very confusing, I wonder why they made it this way.
Then there’s a short interview with MTV Brazil that’s not very interesting but it’s still cool to hear Marco talk about how you get Melodic Heavy Metal (a very experimental recipe hehe). The live show in Norway is a pretty good representation of NIGHTWISH when they’re onstage, full of life and entertainment.
I’ve watched “End Of Innocence” so many times by now and I still think it’s a very moving portrait of Tuomas Holopainen’s musical vision. The funny backstage drunken fun footages make the whole thing more enjoyable and varied. So all in all “End Of Innocence” is a DVD that I hold dear, it really helps watching the documentary if you’re feeling shitty about yourself.
If the DVD consisted only of the documentary I’d give it a perfect score but since the rest doesn’t have the same quality I guess it won’t happen. Make no mistake though, this is a must for those that want more than an average movie experience. (Online May 31, 2004)