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Angels Fall First (1997)


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  1. 1. How would you rate this album?

    • 10 (This is Nightwish at its peak, from here it can only go downhill)
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    • 9
      2
    • 8
      0
    • 7
      1
    • 6
      0
    • 5
      0
    • 4
      0
    • 3
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    • 2
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    • 1 (Shitty band, shitty equipment, no commercial potential)
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Angels Fall First (1997)

Nightwish_Angels_Fall_First.jpg.bda939159d09cde390ab4be69d0d32d3.jpg

 

Track list (with relevant threads when available)

Original Finnish limited-edition release:

  1. Astral Romance (lyrics)
  2. Angels Fall First (lyrics)
  3. The Carpenter (lyrics) 🎞️ official video
  4. Nymphomaniac Fantasia (lyrics)
  5. Once Upon A Troubadour (lyrics) (Note 1)
  6. A Return To The Sea (lyrics) (Note 1)
  7. Lappi (Lapland) (lyrics)
    1. Erämaajärvi
    2. Witchdrums
    3. This Moment Is Eternity
    4. Etiäinen

Standard international release: (Note 1)

  1. Elvenpath (lyrics)
  2. Beauty And The Beast (lyrics)
  3. The Carpenter
  4. Astral Romance
  5. Angels Fall First
  6. Tutankhamen (lyrics)
  7. Nymphomaniac Fantasia
  8. Know Why The Nightingale Sings? (lyrics)
  9. Lappi (Lapland)
    1. Erämaajärvi
    2. Witchdrums
    3. This Moment Is Eternity
    4. Etiäinen

Related tracks (original 1996 demo): (Note 2)

  1. Nightwish (lyrics)
  2. Forever Moments (lyrics)
  3. Etiäinen (instrumental with spoken word by Tuomas)

 

Notes:

  1. "Once Upon A Troubadour" and "A Return To The Sea" were included as bonus tracks on many regional releases or reissues of "Angels Fall First", some as early as 1999, and on compilations such as "Wishmastour 2000" (2000), "Bless The Child" (2002), and the extended version of "Highest Hopes" (2005).
  2. Recorded for promotional purposes and initially unreleased. Included on the 2007 "Nightwish Reloaded" reissue of "Angels Fall First". Also made available as downloads with a code provided in the booklet of a 2002 Limited Edition release of Century Child.

 

From the band:

 

from http://nightwishtaikatalvi.epizy.com/article5.html (1998 Eternity Magazine interview)

Tuomas:

I love fantasy literature & movies, fairy-tales and staff so in "Elvenpath" I just wanted to give honour to the imaginative worlds already created or yet to be found.

"Beauty and the Beast" is a sad true story, need I say more...

"The Carpenter' is a very dismal and bitter song as far as the lyrics are concerned. It deals with my aspects over religious issues and the hypocracy, which is a spreading disease in today's world.

"Astral Romance" was the first heavy song ever written for Nightwish, and the lyrics reflect from the band's name. Again a sad true story in "Angels Fall First".

"Tutankhamen" is an Egyptian dream of mine.

"Nymphomaniac Fantasies" should be thrown to the deepest pit found on this earth. Infidelity and disloyalty are the worst sins that mankind has created and I wanted to express my feelings in the form of music. The result turned out to be rather corny (*hmmm really?), however...

"Know Why The Nightingale Sings" is a song about freedom, dreams and my sister's hobby. That's it.

I love Finnish landscapes and nature, especially in lapland. "Lappi" was born after I was hiking there one summer. It was a great experience.

 

from reddit (quoted from a 2011 interview yet to be identified)

Know Why The Nightingale Sings

Tuomas: "I remember this song because my Sister, she’s a parachute jumper and teacher. And I once asked her like 12 years ago, what’s so good about jumping of a plane and flying in the air? What’s the feeling? Why do you do it? Her answer was “why does the Nightingale sing?” And we have never talked about it since. This is a true story. It really made me think and that’s what the song is about as well."

 

from http://nightwishtaikatalvi.epizy.com/article8.html (1998 Entry Magazine interview)

Nymphomaniac Fantasia

Tuomas: As for the song, i have few excuses. I've always felt that infinity and disloyalty are one the worst sins mankind has created, and these things make me angry and sad. So i wanted to express those feelings again in a musical form, but the result turned out rather funny. Lyrics and music don't work the way they should, but the language at the end of the song is always good for a laugh - even if i didn't mean it.

Lappi (Lapland)

Tuomas: I love this country very much and, as i said before, its nature. Maybe it's because i've live my whole life in the country surrounded by forests and lakes, so it's all natural for me. Lapland is one of my many passions and it is the most awesome and magical place i have ever been, so it was a must to bring it into a musical form.

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  • 9 months later...

I found on YouTube a transcription/translation of the spoken word at the beginning of Etiäinen (original demo version). I'm quoting from Mikko Rantalainen, the poster:

 

I think [Tuomas] is speaking a poem:

"Pakkasyössä tunturten, tanssii tulet leiskuen, elo ammoin mennyt on, tunnen sen, kutsun pohjan neitojen, yllä Lapin."

I think this has been created by Holopainen because I cannot find similar passages elsewhere. I would translate it as:

"In the frozen nights of Lapland's mountains, the sparkling fire [of aurealis borealis] dances, life [or lifehood] has already gone long time ago, I feel it, the call of Northern maids of Lapland."

The word "elo" may refer to living (as opposed to death) or harvesting the crop or in this context, losing the crop due poor weather. And the word "ammoin" is a really old word that usually refers to long time as in ancient or a generation. And the "Northern maids" are probably reference to Kalevala where such a term is used to refer daughter of the mistress of the north Louhi. For more information about Kalevala, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalevala

Another possible interpretation in this context might be a reference to Valkyrie but I think the poem would use some other expression but "pohjan neito" if this was the intended message.

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As we reach the 25th anniversary of the band, here are some archival pictures of where it all started... The original lyrics for the first demos of the forming band, in Tuomas' handwriting. Compare with the final lyrics here:

Nightwish (demo) (lyrics)

Beauty And The Beast (lyrics)

The items themselves have an interesting story, and I wonder where they have ended up now.

12977114_1058529704209722_4404238159684619077_o.thumb.jpg.76d0e5ab04230ce92972f8beb8012eed.jpg

12976778_1058529694209723_1363050949018069274_o.thumb.jpg.d457b83f39d67a48788662013469af1b.jpg

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  • 7 months later...

I recently got a second copy of the album, which includes the track "Once Upon a Troubadour". It is a CD copy from France from the year 1999. It doesn't have "Return to the Sea", but my first copy already has that as well as the demo, so it's fine.

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It must be this one, right? There have been so many different releases of AFF over the years, yet I don't think that any has managed to include every track of the first release plus the demo. Could be that the total track length wouldn't fit on a single CD though.

I love "Once Upon A Troubadour", it's so different from their other songs, and it's also (with The Carpenter) the song where Tuomas sings the most. Ok he's not great, but he's also very low in the mix and that doesn't help. But my favourite bit is when he signs with Tarja and I think it works! Tuomas may not be a born lead singer, but just like Troy and Floor he and Tarja could have sung more harmonies together. 🤩

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  • 8 months later...

It's been twenty-five years since the release of Angels Fall First. Back then, I would have been at the age of four when the album came out. But I will never forget when I heard the album when I got it along with Century Child for Christmas in 2012, the year I became a huge fan of Nightwish and the same year I got all the studio albums at the time. "Beauty and the Beast" was the first song I heard from the album.

"Forever shall the wolf in me desire the sheep in you"

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Aye, this album is something else altogether... sort of weird and wonderful, in a transition state between where Nightwish started (acoustic fireplace stuff) and where they would end up very shortly (fast-paced metal) and kind of uneven because their musical and lyrical and arranging abilities were evolving so fast, almost from song to song.

A few of the songs haven't aged so well IMO, but unfortunately those are the ones they chose to play during the Decades tour lol! 😁 On one hand I wonder what some of the other songs would sound like with a different singer and a modern production, but I don't think that many of them would actually make sense for modern Nightwish.

'Once Upon A Troubadour' with Floor and Troy? I think they wasted an opportunity to sing it at the Islander Arms!

'Astral Romance' and 'Beauty And The Beast' might be good candidates for a live comeback... but I'm not holding my breath.

'Nymphomaniac Fantasy' ? No singer, not even Troy would accept to sing these lyrics ever again while keeping a straight face! 🤣

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