“Once” by Nightwish

Artist: Nightwish
Title: “Once”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 6/7/2004
Genre: Operatic Power Metal
Rating: 8/10

Finland’s finest certainly has to be the band Nightwish. For several years they have been raising the bar of operatic styled heavy metal music and continue to astound fans and newcomers alike with each release. Their latest CD entitled “Once” shows that this band still has a fresh amount of ideas and the well they draw from shows no sign of being dry any time soon. The piece does not waste any time in showing how hard it will hit you with opener “Dark Chest Of Wonders”. As a matter of fact I would have to label this release as perhaps the heaviest piece that Nightwish has unleashed on the fanbase. “Wish I Had An Angel” chugs along, and features a lot of bassist Marco Hietala on vocals. This could have easily been a Tarot tune as well. “Creek Mary’s Blood” is a well-put together tune but I found it pretty interesting for Tarja to be singing about the people who came and took over America from the Indians especially being from the lands of the Vikings. The CD is full of the lush orchestrations you expect on a Nightwish piece and this is most apparent in the track “Ghost Love Score”. There really is a lot for the fan of this style of music to sink their teeth into. I would have to say my preferred tracks are all of those that were listed above. I never tire of listening to them.

This will be the first release for Nightwish under the Roadrunner Records banner as they were previously handled by Century Media records. The band is smart in giving the audience some extra tracks and even a video of the track “Wish I Had An Angel”. I was actually a bit curious why they did not include the video for the more radio friendly metal hit “Nemo” as not only is it a good song, it is a better video entirely. Very vivid imagery and effects while “Angel” is more a straight performance video. As with most Nightwish CD’s they are still including a full-color booklet for the fan to have the lyrics to the songs. Yet omissions seem to happen with the words for “White Night Fantasy” and “Live To Tell The Tale”. Of the bonus pieces, I would think “Higher Than Hope” is perhaps the best of them. “LTTTT” has an opening which harkens more to 80’s New Wave than that of metal, before it kicks in. The lineup has fortunately not changed over the past few releases and still is comprised of Tarja, Jukka, Tuomas, Marco and Emppu which is a good thing. I think this is a solid lineup and I hope they stick with this for the long term.

If there is some reason you are still waiting to get into this band, make it your business to rectify that quickly. They have become one of my very favorites and I cannot lie when I say their material never loses its freshness. There is something for everyone on this piece.

Track Listing:
1. Dark Chest Of Wonders
2. Wish I Had An Angel
3. Nemo
4. Planet Hell
5. Creek Mary’s Blood
6. The Siren
7. Dead Gardens
8. Romanticide
9. Ghost Love Score
10. Kuolema Tekee Tajteijijan
11. Higher Than Hope
12. White Night Fantasy
13. Live To Tell The Tale

Official Homepage: www.nightwish.com

Editor’s Note: This article was written for another medium prior to the 2005 launch of PiercingMetal.com and has been added to our content for your enjoyment.

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