Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013


CD review AURI "Auri"

Veröffentlicht am 25. März 2018 von Markus W. in Auri, News, CD Review, Rock, Folk, Celtic, Nuclear Blast, Nightwish

CD review AURI "Auri"

(9/10) Even though two third of Auri is known from Finnish symphonic metal giant Nightwish the music of this trio sounds very different. But let’s take things step by step.

Auri is a trio consisting out of vocalist Johanna Kurkela who, together with Nightwish mastermind Tuomas Holopainen and Troy Donockley, founded Auri. Being driven by the vision of virtuous imagination and big soundscape the trio started the project with the debut being the beautiful outcome of a very creative period.

“Auri” has nothing in common with metal and even rock music is only one part of this divers musical puzzle.

The eleven songs on the album are atmospheric anthems, which are a soundtrack for dreaming away into a world full of magic, melancholy and beauty. The base for each of the songs is Celtic inheritance that leads to extraordinary tracks. If you close your eyes you can ‘see’ a foggy coastline with dreams covered in mist. Multi-layered sounds create an atmosphere that is imagery and fairytale in one.

The Northern expression gets spiced-up by songs like “Skeleton Tree” which adds an oriental vibe to the mix. And it’s tracks like “Night 13” that gives this longplayer a special feel. The partly fragile and partly energetic tune stands for almost everything “Auri” represents.

“Auri” is a cinematic milestone that’s built on the books of author Patrick Rothfuss. It’s the ‘Kingkiller Trilogy’ that acts as a source of inspiration and it’s Auri, one of the female characters, that gave this trio its name.

The idea to do “Auri” was born already some years back. In 2011 first thoughts came up and it was the experimental time between then and now that created the magic that’s weaved into these 56 minutes of very well-done epical music.

“Auri” is an unusual album that shines with its perfection and emotional depth. Heavy guitars and harsh riff is something you will not find on this longplayer. It’s the cinematic infinity that gives this album a beauty and bloom. Lay back and allow yourself an hour-long journey through mystery and fairytales. Your mind creates the movie and the album delivers the soundtrack.





  1. The Space Between
  2. I Hope Your World is Kind
  3. Skeleton Tree
  4. Desert Flower
  5. Night 13
  6. See
  7. The Name of the Wind
  8. Aphrodite Rising
  9. Savant
  10. Underthing Solstice
  11. Them Thar Chanterelles (feat. Liquor in the Wall)


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018


CD review NIGHTWISH "Decades"

Veröffentlicht am 5. März 2018 von Markus W. in Nightwish, Symphonic Metal, Heavy Metal, New, CD Review, Decades

CD review NIGHTWISH "Decades"

(*/10) Introducing Finnish symphonic rockers of Nightwish feels like carrying sand to the beach. Tuomas Holopainen and band are more than 20 years in business, a good moment to look back on all the band's achievements of two decades.

"Decades" is such a retrospective that covers the years between 1996 and 2015, a "Best of" album that's comes as a 2 CD release. All songs are remastered original versions, providing new fans a brilliant overview of Nightwish's creative milestones. 

A glimpse on the tracklist shows the songs ordered in a chronological way. It's the 24 minutes masterpiece "The Greatest Show on Earth", taken from the latest record "Endless Forms Most Beautiful", that acts as the entry-point for this comprehensive Nightwish album. 

The compilation comprises of all hits, arranged in a 'batting order' that goes from new to old, with a demo version of "Nighwish" being the closer of "Decades". In between, fans find all songs that needs to be on such an album. "Nemo", "Amaranth", "The Kingslayer" and "Wish I Had an Angel", all these classic are present on the tracklist that consists out of 22 songs in total.

The double CD doesn't include any new song or bonus track and it was a conscious decision to not re-record older tracks with Floor and Troy. Nightwish's sticks to their history and heritage and the aim was to transfer it in the most authentic way.

"Decades" is what the title professes. It's a well-done summary of Nightwish's creative work up-to-date and a good release for bridging the wait till the next album will hit the shelves.





  1. The Greatest Show on Earth
  2. Elan
  3. My Walden
  4. Stortime
  5. I Want My Tears Back
  6. Amaranth
  7. The Poet and the Pendulum
  8. Nemo
  9. Wish I Had an Angel
  10. Ghost Love Score
  11. Slaying the Dreamer
  12. End of All Hope
  13. 10th Man Down
  14. The Kingslayer
  15. Dead Boy's Poem
  16. Gethsemane
  17. Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean
  18. Sacrament of Wilderness
  19. Sleeping Sun
  20. Elvenpath
  21. Carpenter
  22. Nightwish (Demo)


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Symphonic Metal

Release Date EU: March 9th, 2018


DELAIN unveils details about "Danse Macabre" shows

Veröffentlicht am 2. März 2017 von Markus W. in Delain, Nightwish, Tour, Live, Symphonic Metal, Melodic Metal, News, Napalm Records

DELAIN unveils details about "Danse Macabre" shows

Celebrating what has been an incredible year and making 2017 a worthy successor, Delain are thrilled to announce a very special run of shows for October 2017, dubbed the 'Danse Macabre' tour.

Joining the band for this exclusive set of dates is long-time friend and collaborator, Nightwish lynchpin Marco Hietala. Having contributed to most of Delain's records with guest appearances and after worldwide requests from fans, Delain and Hietala will now storm the stage together on the 'Danse Macabre' tour.

These shows will feature a specially selected set list of rarely heard Delain songs, a sneak preview of new material, special effects and much more. ‘Danse Macabre’ promises to be a spectacular evening with Delain. 


Here are the dates;
26/10/2017 FR Paris Alhambra
27/10/2017 CH Pratteln Z7
28/10/2017 DE Bochum Zeche
29/10/2017 DE Munich Backstage
31/10/2017 NL Utrecht Tivoli
01/11/2017 UK London KOKO  


CD review FALLEN ARISE "Adeline"

Veröffentlicht am 9. Dezember 2015 von Markus W. in Fallen Arise, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Symphonic Metal, News, CD Review, Nightwish

(7/10) ROAR is publishing right now some quite interesting bands from Greece. Fallen Arise is one of them. The band comes from Athens and they have been founded back in 2009. The guys have been the opening act for e.g. Xandria some years ago before they released their first EP called "Eternal". The debut was published a few years later. It was in 2013 when "Ethereal" have seen daylight.

2015 is the year the bands second album. "Adeline" is it's name and Fallen Arise has recorded 11 new songs, framed by a Prologue about Adeline and an Epilogue at the end. What gives this storytelling an extra touch is the two singers. Spyla and Chris are doing more than 'just' the good old female vocals growl thing. The two voices harmonise pretty well and are perfectly made for breathing in life into the story.

The music of the five piece can be best described as symphonic metal with a bit of a progressive touch. In case you need a reference I would give you Nightwish, even though the guys from Athens doesn't reach the level of the Finnish masters of bombast.

However, not everbody can play Champions League which doesn't mean you get bad stuff to hear. Fallen Arise comes with quite some ideas which they include in their songs. From hard riff rockers up to classic swctions the band includes a wide spectra of sounds in their music. The result is a solid symphonic metal album that has some really nice ideas.

"Adeline" might miss the final knock-out punch, will say 'hit', but fans from Nighwish and Shadow Gallery should be at least aware of this record.





  1. Prologue in D Minor
  2. The Curse of Adeline
  3. We're becoming Gods
  4. Divine Bride
  5. Silent Weeping
  6. The Heart of the Damned
  7. My Last Breath
  8. White Crystal Angel
  9. Funeral
  10. Music Box
  11. As Far the Memory remains
  12. Oceans of Time
  13. Epilogue


Label: ROAR

Genre: Symphonic Metal

Release Date EU: October 23rd, 2015

CD review FALLEN ARISE "Adeline"

CD review TARJA "Luna Park ride"

Veröffentlicht am 26. Mai 2015 von Markus W. in Tarja, Nightwish, Symphonic Metal, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(*/10) There are in the meantime quite some female-fronted metal band around that combine classic soprano vocals with hard guitar riffs. One of the first ones have been The Gathering, but it was Nightwish from Finland that brought this mixture more into the spotlight, while celebrating huge successes.

One important factor in this was singer Tarja Turunen. The soprano singer was one of the cornerstones when it came to Nightwish's sound at that time.

As we all know, Nightwish and Tarja decided to break up. The Finish singer with the enormous voice decided to continue releasing solo albums - four up till now. Next to those longplayers she also had two live releases and number three is out now in the shops. 

Knowing that her husband Marcelo Cabuli is from Argentina it isn't a too big step to understand that this country became almost a second home for Tarja. And what is more obvious than also recording a show in Buenos Aires.

The concert from the newest live release took place already in 2011. It was March 27 when Tarja perfomed a show in the Luna Park in Buenos Aires that included many Tarja solo tunes, but also "Wishmaster" from the Nightwish-times. Another special is "Where were you last night" that is enriched with Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven is a place on earth" and Bon Jovi's "Living on a prayer".

The second CD is a mixture of different live recordings that took place in 2010 on the Masters Of Rock plus the 2011'a Summerbreeze festival. "Anteroom of death" is from Wacken 2014 and is performed together with a-capella band Van Canto, while a few other songs have been recorded in Ekaterinburg in Russia. Esp. the Masters Of Rock songs with choir and orchestra stands out a bit from the rest.

In some parts the tracklists of the two CD's are identical, but there is enough different material on the album that makes to something special and exciting for fans of Tarja and female fronted bombastic metal.





CD 1:

  1. Dark star
  2. My little Phoenix
  3. The crying moon
  4. I walk alone
  5. Falling awake
  6. Signos
  7. Little lies
  8. Underneath
  9. Stargazer
  10. Ciaran's well
  11. In for the kill
  12. Where were you last night, Heaven is a place on earth, Living on a prayer
  13. Die alive
  14. Until my last breath
  15. Wishmaster

CD 2:

  1. In for a kill
  2. I walk alone
  3. The archive of lost dreams
  4. Crimson deep
  5. I feel immortal
  6. The siren
  7. Until my last breath
  8. 500 letters
  9. Damned and divine
  10. Neverlight
  11. Anteroom of death (feat. Van Canto)
  12. Never enough
  13. Die alive
  14. Victim of ritual


Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Symphonic Metal

CD review TARJA "Luna Park ride"

News from TARJA's upcoming live album

Veröffentlicht am 9. April 2015 von Markus W. in Tarja, Nightwish, Bon Jovi, Rock, Symphonic Metal, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, News

Tarja will release a new live album end of May via earMusic. The name of the record will be "Luna Park Ride" and contains 15 songs. The show was recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2011. Here comes the tracklist.



01. Dark Star

02. My Little Phoenix

03. The Crying Moon

04. I Walk Alone

05. Falling Awake

06. Signos (Soda Stereo cover) 

07. Little Lies

08. Underneath

09. Stargazers

10. Ciaran’s Well

11. In For A Kill

12. Where Were You Last Night – Heaven Is A Place On Earth – Livin’ On A Prayer

13. Die Alive

14. Until My Last Breath

15. Wishmaster


Bonus Material (only on CD, DVD und Blu-ray)
01. In For a Kill - Masters of Rock / Czech Republic 2010. Featuring Philarmonic Bohuslava Martinû Zlin and choir.
02. I Walk Alone - Masters of Rock / Czech Republic 2010. Featuring Philarmonic Bohuslava Martinû Zlin and choir.
03. Archive of Lost Dreams - Masters of Rock / Czech Republic 2010. Featuring Philarmonic Bohuslava Martinû Zlin and choir.
04. Crimson Deep - Masters of Rock / Czech Republic 2010. Featuring Philarmonic Bohuslava Martinû Zlin and choir.
05. I Feel Immortal - Summerbreeze / Germany 2011.
06. The Siren (Nightwish) - Summerbreeze / Germany 2011.
07. Until my Last Breath - Summerbreeze / Germany 2011.
08. 500 Letters - Ekaterinburg / Russia 2014.
09. Damned & Divine - Ekaterinburg / Russia 2014.
10. Neverlight - Ekaterinburg / Russia 2014.
11. Anteroom of Death - Wacken / Germany 2014 featuring Van Canto.
12. Never Enough - Summerbreeze / Germany 2014.
13. Die Alive - Summerbreeze / Germany 2014. 

14. Victim of Ritual - Summerbreeze / Germany 2014.

News from TARJA's upcoming live album

CD review NIGHTWISH "Endless forms most beautiful"

Veröffentlicht am 3. April 2015 von Markus W. in Nightwish, Symphonic Metal, News, CD Review, Floor Jansen, Heavy Metal, Power Metal

(8/10) The pressfolder for the new Nightwish album starts with a statement that is "A new era begins". This can mean a lot and things can go to all directions with the new era. And honestly, after having heard the first single release "Elan" I was doubting if the statements means something positive. Fortunately things went in the right direction and the new Nightwish is far better than the first single.

So, what is the new era about. First of all "Endless forms most beautiful" is the debut for Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen performing with Nightwish. I liked her voice already with Revamp, her solo project, and After Forever, where she earned the first credits. I actually think that her voice fits perfectly to the sound of the Finnish symphonic metal band since it's powerful at one moment just to twist into soulful almost fragile parts a few moments later.

Next to Jansen there is another new member on board of the symphonic cruiser. Jukka Nevalainen had to stop with Nightwish due to health issues and found with Kai Hatho an excellent replacer. It seems that both changes have brought a new spirit into the band. In this sense - a new era.

The overall theme for the album is science, evolution and biology. The name of the record, a quote from Charles Darwin, does emphasis this and eleven tracks on the longplayer can be seen as chapters in a book. And it is evolutionary scientologist Richard Dawkins himself that contributed in a narrator role in during the opener "Shudder before the beautiful".

The 'centre' of the album and the finale furioso is marked by the epical "The greatest show on earth". The 24 minutes long masterpiece is divided in five chapters that and thematise evolution. Things have come full circle since also Richard Dawkins comes back in his role as narrator. It is those spoken word parts together with samples of birds and additional elements that divide the different sections of this milestone. At some moments I had the feeling that it's a bit overdone with all those extras, but it doesn't have a n negative impact on the totality.

Songs I also want to mention are the more heavy ones like "Weak fantasy" and "Yours in an empty hope".

With "My walden" the folk elements get some attention and the tune reminded me a bit to Nightwish's cover version of "Over the hills and far away" from Gary Moore.

If "Endless forms most beautiful" marks a new era for Nightwish I don't know. However, the album sounds fresh and modern. It comes across more passionated than the latest studio releases and got a better punch. I'm happy that "Elan" stays the only weaker track on the album. For the rest I just can say: Go for it.





  1. Shudder before the beautiful
  2. Weak fantasy
  3. Élan
  4. Yours in an empty hope
  5. Our decades in the sun
  6. My walden
  7. Endless forms most beautiful
  8. Edema ruh
  9. Alpenglow
  10. The eyes of Sharbat Gula
  11. The greatest show on earth


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Symphonic Metal

CD review NIGHTWISH "Endless forms most beautiful"

NIGHTWISH on tour in North America together with SABATON and DELAIN nd

Veröffentlicht am 12. Dezember 2014 von Markus W. in Sabaton, Delain, Nightwish, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Symphonic Metal, Tour, News

And here are even more Delain and Sabaton tour dates. Both bands are also touring through North Amercia in 2015 together with Nightwish as being the headliner. The dates are:

NIGHTWISH on tour in North America together with SABATON and DELAIN nd

CD review XANDRIA "Sacrificium"

Veröffentlicht am 29. April 2014 von Markus W. in Xandria, Nightwish, Heavy Metal, Symphonic Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Xandria is already around since the early 90's but started to get more into focus from 2000 on. The music of the band from Bielefeld, Germany is to describe as symphonic metal. They are comparable with bands like Nightfish.

Xandria didn't have a lot of good luck with their singers. With Dianne van Giersbergen, who is not related with Annike van Giersbergen, the band has their forth vocalist. Let's hope that she will stay in the band for a few years, which would be from a continuity standpoint a good thing.

Since the former singeress Manuala Kraller did a very good job the curiousity was sky high about the performance of Dianne. Already at this stage I can say that she did a good job. The new album called "Sacrificium" became a logical continuation from the former LP. Dianne's vocals are classical and operatic. Actually she is not that far away from Manuela Kraller. This also means that Xandria's big idols are still the Finnish genre grandfathers from Nightwish. Parallels are more than visible and audible.

In my opinion Xandria is brave to kick-off the album with the longest track. "Sacrificium", the title track, is also the opener of the new record. With an epical length of 10 minutes the song is really special on the album. In my opinion it is also one of the highlight. It's many-faceted, with a lot of heavy riffing parts as well as slower elements, inclding some spoken word sections. The choir adds even some more bombast to the tune. The driving metal track "Nightfall" is another good song on the album. It is less pompous than the other tunes and this fits the band actually very well. "Temple of hate" goes into the same direction. A power metal track with some slower parts (which actually have similarities with the earlier Alan Parsons (after 1:45 min.)) Next to that the song is full of screaming guitar soli and in the end you find some Irish elements. The heaviest composition on "Sacrificium" is called "Betrayer". Pounding drums and a slow heavy riffs dominate this song. It spreads an dark and gloomy atmosphere and is really thrilling.

The production is powerful and balanced. The mix between vocals and instruments is as it should be, which leads to a warm and organic sound.

But I also have to say that I'm not the biggest fan of the operatic and dramatic female vocals. I prefer more the style of Sharon den Adel and Doro and I like the mix which Liv Kristine found with Leave's Eyes.

But however, the album is a good one and definitely to recommend to all fans of Nightwish and Tarja.





  1. Sacrificium
  2. Nightfall
  3. Dreamkeeper
  4. Stardust
  5. The undiscovered land
  6. Betrayer
  7. Until the end
  8. Come with me
  9. Little red relish
  10. Our neverworld
  11. Temple of hate


Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Symphonic Metal

CD review XANDRIA "Sacrificium"

New NIGHTWISH video from Wacken in 2013

Veröffentlicht am 20. Dezember 2013 von Markus W. in Nightwish, Video, Heavy Metal, News

Here comes the new video from Nightwish's "Showtime, story time" live DVD. The song is called "Romanticide".

New NIGHTWISH video from Wacken in 2013

New video from ANETTE OLZON (ex-NIGHTWISH)

Veröffentlicht am 17. Dezember 2013 von Markus W. in Anette Olzon, Nightwish, Rock, News, Video

After she left Nightwish Anette Olzon works on a new album. The release date is February 2014 and the album is named "Shine". Here comes the first video for the song "Falling" which sounds surprisingly good.


CD review NIGHTWISH "Showtime, storytime"

Veröffentlicht am 13. Dezember 2013 von Markus W. in Nightwish, CD Review, News, Heavy Metal

(9/10) After the successful latest studio release "Imaginaerum" and the first movie made by the band called "Imaginearum by Nightwish" the band rounded off this successful episode by having three big festival shows during summer 2013. The final one of these three events took place at the legendary Wacken Open Air. This was the last show of an 104 gigs tour and it was a great opportunity to celebrate this with a new live CD/DVD.

In front of more than 80.000 fans the band played a fantastic show. Since I haven't seen the DVD I just can refer in this review to the CD. But already listening to the songs gives a good impression of the show. The live album is a perfect capture of the show. The band plays a lot of their highlights. Of course the focus was, with songs like "Storytime", I want my tears back" and "Ghost river" (just to mention some of them), on the "Imaginearum" album. Next to that the band also added older tracks like "She's my sin" from "Wishmaster". Unfortunately they haven't added the title track (one of my faves) itself to the setlist. But they played "Wish I had an angel" from "Once", which is another great song and one of my top5 Nightwish tracks. The live version is even more powerful than the studio version. Great to hear. Taking about power; I also have to mention Floor Jansen. For me she really adds something extra to the band and was a good choice. I like her way of singing. She has a voice which can handle the real rocking parts, but she can also handle the classical vocal lines in a great way. And she has a lot of power and energy which makes the songs much intensive. Don't get me wrong here. I think that Tarja and also Annett Ohlsson did a good job, it's just that I like Floor's voice more and I hope that she will stay in the band as long as possible.

To sum up. "Showtime, story time" became a great live album with a good sound and excellent songs. I could imagine that the visual impression on the DVD makes everything even more exciting. By the way. The DVD comes also with 120 minutes documentary called "Please learn the setlist in 48 hours" and two extra live songs - "I want my tears back" (recorded in the Hartwall Arena) and "Ghost love score" (recorded in Buenos Aires).



  1. Dark chest of wonders
  2. Wish I had an angel
  3. She is my sin
  4. Ghost river
  5. Ever dream
  6. Storytime
  7. I want my tears back
  8. Nemo
  9. Last of the wilds
  10. Bless the child
  11. Romanticide
  12. Amaranth
  13. Ghost love score
  14. Song for myself
  15. Last ride of the day
  16. Outro (Imaginearum)

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD review NIGHTWISH "Showtime, storytime"

NIGHTWISH will capture their show in Wacken for a DVD

Veröffentlicht am 29. Juli 2013 von Markus W. in Nightwish, Wacken, Heavy Metal

Finish female fronted metal band Nightwish decided to capture their entire show at the Wacken Open-Air this year for a live DVD/Blu-ray. The show will take place on August 3. Nightwish will play on the true metal stage.

Nightwish mastermind and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen says:
“The time has come soon to wrap up the magical & memorable one-and-a-half year `Imaginaerum World Tour´ 2012-2013! We still have three shows left, one of them being at the legendary Wacken Open Air Metal Festival on the 3rd of August. This show will be something extra special, since it will be released later this year on DvD/Blu-ray, together with a massive `Imaginaerum World Tour´ 2012-2013 documentary. Our darling flying Dutchwoman, Floor Jansen, has been nothing but incredible during her time in Nightwish on this tour, so this is a perfect opportunity to immortalize the current vibe of the band on film.”

Festival shows of Nightwish:

03.08. D Wacken - Wacken Open Air
10.08. B Kortrijk - Alcatraz Festival
11.08. D Hildesheim - M’era Luna Festival

Photo: Ville Lipiäinen

Photo: Ville Lipiäinen


NIGHTWISH has their own tablet app

Veröffentlicht am 5. Juli 2013 von mwie in Nightwish, Heavy Metal

Finnish symphonic metal band NIGHTWISH have their own free tablet app. The name of the app is “NIGHTWISH FanPod Vol.1” and is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian to date.The app is available via iTunes and Google Play.

Photo byVille Akseli Juurikkala

Photo byVille Akseli Juurikkala