Oceanborn wasn't just a hit in Finland, it also opened new doors for Nightwish abroad. So naturally, the pressure to come up with a comparable sophomore album was enormous. Rarely does a band fulfill the demands of a second album successfully, and Nightwish is no exception. Even though Wishmaster is mainly targeted to radio and pop audiences, it does succeed somewhat. Even more demanding listeners will find this as enjoyable as they did Oceanborn, but Wishmaster isn't as consistent as that album was. The same patterns repeat, and every track's hook is based on a powerful intro and a simple chorus. Their charm is in their overflowing drama and, as it was on their first album, the whole concept can be described as "operatic metal." It may sound inventive and full of potential for a while, but as a whole album (and with this release it's two albums), it can be a little annoying, even frustrating. Still, a lot of listeners will enjoy it; after all, it does have its moments.
AllMusic Review by Antti J. Ravelin