“Once” was Tarja’s last album with Nightwish and boy did they make an impact with this one. Not only did “Nemo” become such a well-known hit in the metal world that almost everyone who likes metal knows this song (even if they’re not a fan of symphonic metal), but even songs like “Wish I Had An Angel” and “Dark Chest Of Wonders” gained almost mainstream popularity due to their memorable and captivating choruses. This album had something for everyone, sing-along choruses as mentioned, instrumentals (for almost every instrument thought of), growls and screams, operatic vocals, creepy spoken word, and so on. This was the first Nightwish album to chart in the UK and US and brought Nightwish their worldwide success. But more importantly, this sound in metal opened doors in the genre in many ways. Female artists in metal saw that popularity (we’re talking millions of album sales popularity) was now a real possibility, and any artist in metal that wanted to experiment with different sounds knew that they’d could do it and be accepted, because if a symphonic metal band could do it, anyone could.
Cradle of Filth – Nymphetamine
Critical success and commercial success are not always bedfellows, and I’m sure many Cradle of Filth fans would agree. Whilst their first four albums are generally regarded as their best, it was their next few that saw them garner the most mainstream attention. 2003’s Damnation and a Day was a bloated, overambitious major label excursion that, if nothing else, allowed extreme metal another crack in the limelight and set the scene for Nymphetamine. The Filth were not about to let the chance slip through their fingers, forging a fiery 76 minute inferno in a furnace of blazing guitars, catchy harmonies and theatrical overtones. The single edit of the title track, featuring a guest turn from ex-Theatre of Tragedy songstress Liv Kristine, acted as a gateway drug (pun intended), drawing the curious in with delectable hooks and subsequently exposing them to the blunt riff trauma of “Gilded Cunt“, “Nemesis” and “Mother of Abominations”. An important album that opened avenues for listeners to explore the darker and heavier branches of metal, Nymphetamine also has the quality to back up its broad appeal.