May we live in interesting times, right? The bad – or strange – news never stops, and we’re in for more in 2021.
Nightwish‘s Marko Hietala has decided to quit the band with immediate effect and to – in his words – “…leave public life.” It appears that during the terrible last year, he had second thoughts about his life as a musician and the music industry as a whole. Which – wisely – led him to take a time-out and leave one of the greatest Symphonic Metal bands of all time. And that is a pity.
Hietala always struck me as one of the main members of Nightwish besides Tuomas Holopainen. He – indeed – was a prolific contributor to the tremendous success of the band. RMR will always remember him best for his performance in Dark Passion Play and the excellent Imaginaerum. Whereas later, his visibility lessened and – sadly – reduced itself more and more to the simple role of the bass player.1)
This always left me slightly bewildered over the last years. And I am thus not all that surprised about Hietala‘s somewhat sudden departure from the band. Nightwish stated that they will fill the bass player position with a session musician for their Hvman. :||: Natvre. world tour later this year.2) Here is the joint statement that the band released today.
Now, Marko Hietala appeared on this blog not only as a member of Nightwish. RMR also covered him as a guest performer with other bands such as Delain. A band that, without his stellar performance on Lucidity and April Rain, would never have gotten that far. Or again, he famously appeared on Avantasia’s Ghostlights or Dark Sarah – in between others.
The RMR blog’s reach is of course limited and Hietala‘s involvement with other bands and miscellaneous music projects is legion. To cover all his other achievements would be the fodder of a future post, though.
Now, before this short article turns into a dirge of sorts, let’s remember him as one of the best metal musicians of the last decade and more. One who certainly shaped the way Symphonic Metal looks and feels today.
That said, the RMR crew wishes Marko Hietala the best of luck and godspeed to wherever his future path in life may take him. Let’s hope that he will soon be back on stage to delight us with many more stellar metal tunes.