I mentioned those because they feature the band heavily rather than the new singer. I didn't mention Last of the Wilds because I was mainly pointing out the fact I like their voices a lot, but I'm fine with more instrumental stuff.
Shame you didn't like The Islander. I thought it was a beautiful break from the norm. The driving drums and catchy (amazing) chorus blew me away the first time I heard it. While not as good, it reminded me of Opeth's The Lotus Eater at the beginning of Watershed.
EDIT: The other thing to consider with Nightwish is that they aren't just Power Metal, IMO. They're Symphonic Power Metal. You get bands like Rhapsody of Fire or HammerFall that may use symphonic elements sometimes, but those elements are absolutely integral to the Nightwish 'house sound'.
Also, I like The Poet and the Pendulum, but honestly...They basically wrote a Tarja song and tried to get her to sing it. That's the one song on the album I think just absolutely crumbles without Tarja...It's kind of upsetting, because I love the lyrics and the song in general...but man it just shows how weak their sound can really be without her. The break around 5 minutes is just embarrassing.
The driving Siren-esque guitar solo gets me every time though. Simple but oh so sick. Starts at 7:10 with the strings and then just builds to that sick lead and rhythm entrance. I could listen to those few bars all day long.
Not my favourites from that album. I know many really enjoy The Islander, but I just find it boring.
My favourites are Last of the Wilds (I know, another instrumental), Amaranth and The Poet and the Pendulum (apart from the very last bit).
To me The Poet and the Pendulum is one of the strongest songs in this genre, though I think it should end at the ten minute mark.
Though I must admit I don't have that much experience with this kind of music, as I listen more to melodic metal and american stuff like Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold and Killswitch Engage.
Edited by MorbidToaster - 4/10/13 at 9:27am