NIGHTWISH — Once (review)

NIGHTWISH — Once album cover Album · 2004 · Symphonic Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
Conor Fynes
'Once' - Nightwish (5/10)

Nightwish is a band with a very distinctive sound; characterized by the powerful operatic voice of their singer, Tarja Turunen. While theres incredible talent to be found here, there's something that feels very lacking here. There are some great, mind-blowing tracks on here such as the film score inspired 'Ghost Love Score,' but alot of this music is nothing more than general symphonic metal; and were these instrumental tracks, there would be no way of telling this great band apart from the countless symph-metal bands in a sea of mediocrity.

Tuomas Holopanien has proven to be a very able and brilliant composer, and if he utilized his talents to the extent he does on the more serious compositions more consistently, I would have no problem giving this a great rating.

As it stands, the only two amazing songs for me to be found here are 'The Siren' and the aforementioned 'Ghost Love Score.' 'Ghost Love Score' in particular is of special note because it uses orchestration to the point of giving the song a true motion picture soundtrack-like quality to it; it is a song that would not sound out of place resonating in any theater.

'The Siren' delves into greek mythology, and has a strong neoclassical feel to it. The chorus works wonders, and is a magical moment I kept rewinding to listen to over and over again. Tuomas really knows how to counterpoint vocals very well.

The rest of the music here though is very mainstream metal sounding. Mind you, being 'mainstream' does not by any means automatically condemn, but I really wish there could have been more ambitions involved with this project. It's alright, and I gave it the few listens it deserved, but now is time to move on... Three stars.
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