NIGHTWISH — Once (review)

NIGHTWISH — Once album cover Album · 2004 · Symphonic Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Approaching the end of 2004, Finnish metal band Nightwish has delivered their finest, most complex, operatic, and up to date album called Once. Eleven beautiful tracks plus two bonus tracks including a video clip of “Wish I Had An Angel” compiled into one record. Undoubtedly, Once is their peak performance so far. Opened with a killer/metal/keyboards driven track “Dark Chest of Wonder”, this song marks the starting of long journey once you stepped into this record. Tarja Turunen’s operatic voice is at its best. Not only in this song, but the beautiful voice is also clearly heard across all the tracks in this album. The first single of the album, “Wish I Had An Angel” –as well as the next track “Nemo”—sound as dark as ever. Tarja Turunen and Marco Hietala (bass/vocals) beautifully exchanged vocals line during “Wish I Had An Angel”, a dark song with catchy rhythm guitar nicely put by guitarist Emppu Vuorinen. My favorite lines in this song are “…old loves they die hard/old lies they die harder…”. “Nemo” is even darker than the previous track. How could anyone would experience such pain as described in “…oh how I wish for soothing rain/all I wish is to dream again/my loving heart lost in the dark/for hope I’d give my everything…” . Once again, Tarja’s voice is beautifully penned down on this track.

“Planet Hell” is an angry track gloriously sung by Marco Hietala. I guess on this album marco has proved that he deserved one slot on vocalist chair along with Tarja. His thrashy and heavy voice is perfect match for the beautiful and operatic voice of Tarja Turunen. “Creek Mary’s Blood” is the first epic offered by the band telling a story about the Indian tribe in America. You can feel the pain and anger at the same time expressed through “…white man came/saw the blessed land/we cared, you took/you fought, we lost/not the war but an unfair fight/sceneries painted beautifully in blood…” The next track “The Siren” is very much sounding as somewhat a ‘mysterious song’. I can’t really get what they’re trying to say with “…I tied myself to the wheel/the winds talk to my sails, not me/somewhere there my fate revealed/I hear but how will I see…”

“Dead Gardens” and “Romanticide” are pretty much similar to Nightwish’s previous efforts, songs with its rhythmic guitar driven style. If you were familiar with Nightwish’s albums pre-Once, then you will understand what I am trying to say here. “Ghost Love Score” is the second epic offered by the band. The album is closed by a song in Finnish “Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan” and “Higher Than Hope”. Can’t talk much about the song in Finnish as I have no idea what it means, while the latter is a beautiful ballad about hope… “..passiontide/an angel by my side/but no Christ to end this war/to deliver my soul from the sword/hope has shown me a scenery/paradise poetry/with first snow I’ll be gone…”

If you’re lucky enough to have Road Runner release, there are bonus tracks called “White Night Fantasy” and “Live To Tell The Tale”. Both songs are worthy as a collection as well. I personally am happy and satisfied with this album. The next question is whether they would be able to take another journey beyond what they have achieved here. It is hard to tell, let alone to predict. But surely you can’t miss this one.
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Pekka wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Kuolema tekee taiteilijan directly translates into Death Makes an Artist, you can find an English translation of the lyrics if you Google them, at least lyricsfreak has a decent translation it seems.


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