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Once Enhanced, Extra tracks
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The opening song, "Dark Chest of Wonders" begins with a pounding metal riff unlike anything else on the album - very reminiscent of "Slaying the Dreamer" or more recent In Flames. However, it doesn't last. Soon afterwards, trademark Nightwish power-riffs kick in, infectious and energizing, bringing along with them a parading symphony that does not go unheard. The last chorus is absolutely beyond belief, with the band almost *dueling* with the symphony in a musical power struggle. "Wish I Had an Angel" is very similar to "Dead to the World", with bassist Marko Hietala taking over the vocals in the chorus of this heavy piece. "Nemo" (released as two singles) and "Planet Hell" are Nightwish staples, accessible and tremendously melodic; the latter of which showcases the symphonic textures in a very isolated, gothic atmosphere ("Carmina Burana" is not a stretched comparison).
The album has two longer pieces, both of which are exceptional tracks. "Creek Mary's Blood", an 8-minute eulogy to the destruction of native Americans during the colonial period is woeful, slow and touching, building up to becoming a horn-driven hard rocker.Read more ›
Nightwish, the most succesful Finnish band are back with their 5th album, Once. Just like the import version, this will probably get many confusing reviews so I'll try to help.
First, about Nightwish.
In the mid 90s, Nightwish appeared as a Power Metal with Symphonic elements that had Tarja Tarunen A professional Mezzo Soprano as frontwoman. Their first album, "Album fall first", is actually a good album but doesn't have a good production. Their next album, "Oceanborn" is an excellent release with a better production. Tarja's performance is awesome.
Their next release "The Wishmaster" is considered by many their best album. Is certainly the most "Power Metalish" but it doesn't lose the atmosphere. After "The Wishmaster", Nightwish comes out with "Century Child" which was a big change. The guitar work almost dissapeared, the Operatic vocals almost go away showing another style from Tarja and the band becomes more quiet plus they added a second vocalist (Marko Hietala who is also the bassist). Now to me, "Once" is pretty much "Century Child" mixed with "The Wishmaster" which is great. Tarja adapts her voice to the new style better than in "Century Child" basically because Toumas Hollopien (Keybordist and songwritter of most of the material) wrote the music in a way that they can fit with Tarja's voice.
Songs like "Dark Chest of wonders" or "Nemo" are actually Power Metal songs but that have the atmosphere of the new Nighwish. Epics like "Ghost Love Score" show the orchestra that worked with Nightwish for this album more than the other tracks and "I wish I had an Angel" show the alternative ideas being a track with heavy riffs and a "Techno Beat" that sounds like an Industrial Metal band.Read more ›
From the opening number "Dark Chest of Wonders", you hear the great orchestral arrangement that compliments the music so well. It is basically like hearing a heavy metal movie soundtrack. There is a lot going on, but somehow, it works. And it works to damn near perfection. This track alone is worth the purchase, but it continues with the 2 songs that could help the band breakout here in the states, "Wish I Had An Angel" and "Nemo". The brilliant thing about these tracks is while each of them maintains intense musicianship, they both have big hooks that will be embraced by a more mainstream audience. And at the same time, they will satisfy even the most jaded metal fan. The assault continues with "Planet Hell", easily the albums most fierce song, and goes through a rollercoaster of changes as the album continues.
Opera and metal meet in perfect harmony. Who would have thought?
This one (Once) is more soundtrack'ish than the previous ones (they're accoimpaned by a full orchestra on most songs), still not forgetting the fast heavy-metal songs which in this album are for example Dark Chest Of Wonders, Wish I Had An Angel (great duet with Tarja and Marco), both have really heavy, even murderous guitar riffs By Emppu.
I'll review some of my favourites on the album:
3. Nemo - Released as a single, usual Nightwish style music, more popular-sounding than the others, still really good, great chorus *****
5. Creek Mary's Blood - A long, epic song. I especially love the Native-American Indian chanting and Tarja's singing is supreme *****
9. Ghost Love Score - Also a long, epic song, AMAZING chorus which sends chills in my spine. Great slower parts in the middle of the song. *****
10. Kuolema tekee taiteilijan - A song with only orchestra, piano and solo cello with Tarja singing in Finnish. The lyrics are sad, almost prayer-like, but really beautiful. I'll translate the lyrics for you into English, so you can understand the meaning (there may be errors, sorry for that)
Original Finnish lyrics by Tuomas Holopainen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The thing you must understand about "Once" is that this is not "just a heavy metal album". Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christopher Woods
This was my first NW cd and first exposure to this band 3 weeks ago!never knew they existed,ran across a youtube video of End of an era,gave it a listen and it blew my mind--by... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Darryl