Finland's Nightwish, however, has made it safe to broach the subject of chamber metal without an air-sickness bag at the ready. Bona fide superstars in their homeland and throughout much of Europe, Nightwish plays seductive, black-velvet metal that's at once orchestral and heavy as a felled redwood. Fronted by opera singer Tarja Turunen, the band blends breathy vocal histrionics with fist-pumping power chords and sprawling, Wagnerian arrangements. Though Nightwish's five albums have had only sporadic U.S. distribution, its latest, Once, will be released by metal prime-mover Roadrunner Records in October. In the meantime, the band is embarking on its first comprehensive American tour. Finally, a night at the opera where they serve Budweiser.
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