Review: Nightwish – Élan (Single)

Nightwish - Élan - Artwork
Artist: Nightwish
Album: Élan – Single
Rating: 5/5


1. Élan (Album Version)
2. Sagan (Non-Album Bonus Track)
3. Élan (Alternate Version)
4. Élan (Radio Edit)

You emerge into a forest: In the distance, you hear beautiful, orchestral music led by an angelic voice. You search for the source, only to find that your search is in vein. Still, you hear these mysterious sounds… where could they be coming from? Who could create such a masterpiece? This is what I feel every single time I turn on a Nightwish song. If you haven’t been living under a rock, it’s likely you’ve at least heard of Finland’s Nightwish. With 7 albums under their belt, beginning with 1996’s Angels Fall First and leading up to the release of their new album Endless Forms Most Beautiful which will grace your ears and pierce your heart on April 7th. The lead single, “Élan” is inspired by untold stories of abandoned places in Finland. It goes without saying that a subject such as this would have a beautiful video accompanying it, wouldn’t it? Well… if your answer is yes, you’ve got it! The video follows the flight of a beautiful owl who, many might recognize, as being the symbol for Nightwish since the beginning. The single also includes an alternate version, which is focused more on the melody and entrances you that much more. This is the first single to feature new vocalist Floor Jansen (vocalist of ReVamp) and it truly shows the talent she has. It’s also the first to feature Troy Donockley (formerly just a guest musician) as a full-time member of the band, making Nightwish a sextet for the first time ever!

Close your eyes: Listen to the gorgeous, playful flute lead the track in. Suddenly, the rest of the band comes in and you feel the song transform. It blossoms into a full band, orchestral titan. When the chorus comes in, the beauty intensifies as the band follows the melody… all the while, led by that mysterious but beautiful flute solo. Of course, some might think “if you’ve heard one Nightwish song, you’ve heard them all”, right? That’s where you’re wrong. If you haven’t taken the proper time to analyze the genius of this band, especially keyboardist/founder Tuomas Holopainen… you’re truly missing out. No two songs in this band’s repertoire are the same. Every track has a theme, every track has an immense amount of emotion. Whether it be anger, sadness, joy or anything in between… Nightwish has happily got you covered. This track serves as a rebirth for the band. It’s still the same amazing group we’ve all grown to know… but there’s something about the addition of Jansen and Donockley that truly complete the missing piece of the puzzle. It was hard for me to get used to second vocalist, Annette Olzon after listening to the soaring voice of Tarja Turunen for so long. However, when “Bye Bye Beautiful” was released… I knew I would be hooked. Just as I was getting used to her, things changed again.. this band is a dynamic whether or not you want to admit it. As they must, things change and love it or hate it, you have to accept it. Having said that… I believe “Élan” was all the proof I needed to know that Nightwish has, again, made the correct choice. The way that Jansen’s voice moves so fluidly along with the track, keeping up with its playful, energetic nature is truly breathtaking.

Another nice treat you get with the purchase of the single is called “Sagan”. Any guesses on what (or who) it’s about? That’s right… the title, as it suggests, is about the brilliant master of science, Carl Sagan. He is best known for his contributions to the research into extraterrestrial life, along with the first physical messages (the “Pioneer Plaque” and the “Voyager Golden Record”) that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might discover them. This is an amazing tribute to the work of an incredibly accomplished scientist and a great addition to the many songs that pay tribute to the subject.

Whether you’ve been a fan from the beginning, picked up somewhere in the middle or maybe this is your first outing? If you want a band that truly defies the odds, creates something unique and puts the sort of work and passion into their music that every fan deserves… you need to check out Nightwish. Check out the video for “Élan” below and be sure to pick up your pre-order of Endless Forms Most Beautiful out March 27th in EU, March 30th in the UK and March 31st in the US on Nuclear Blast Records!

“Élan” (Official Music Video)

Nightwish is:
Floor Jansen – Vocals
Tuomas Holopainen – Keyboards
Marco Hietala – Bass & Vocals
Emppu Vuorinen – Guitars
Jukka Nevalainen – Drums
Troy Donockley – Pipes, Flutes & Whistles

Nuclear Blast:
Amazon (Deluxe):
Amazon (Standard):
iTunes (Deluxe):
iTunes (Standard):
Google Play:

Amazon Music:
Google Play:

On Tour: