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Nightwish - Century Child CD (album) cover

CENTURY CHILD

Nightwish

 

Progressive Metal

3.34 | 104 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

russellk
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The welcome addition of MARCO HIETALA on bass (and occasional vocals) reinvigorated NIGHTWISH. Their previous studio album, 'Wishmaster', was less than it ought to have been, and they compounded this error by trying to capitalise on the admittedly excellent song 'Over The Hills and Far Away' by packaging it with live material and flogging it as a full album. What they needed was some strong material, and HIETALA helped them provide it.

Simply put, this album contains songs that are sonically larger than those of their peers. Enormous, in fact. The louder you play them the better they get. Their brand of symphonic metal relied much less on ridiculous soloing or cheesy power chords and much more on melody and restraint (well, in the context of the genre, anyway). Their meticulous production gives the music tremendous depth: just listen to the exhilarating opening to 'End of All Hope': they exploit the limitless possibilities of TURUNEN's voice, supporting it with solid playing and majestic stabbing chords that suggest DVORAK or MAHLER as much as anything from the metal pantheon. Not for a moment do they sound like they are making noise for the sake of it.

Of course, I'm not for a moment comparing NIGHTWISH to the masters of nineteenth century classical music. I'm merely giving you an idea of how this music is flavoured.

As with all NIGHTWISH albums, the songs are of variable quality. There are tracks of such quality that, were they all of this level, 'Century Child' would be a five-star album - or, taking other tracks (such as 'Dead To The World'), a two-star album. HIETALA is feeling his way throughout the album; it seems that the band doesn't yet know what to do with his voice, employing him mainly as a 'clean' vocalist.

The treat here is the conclusion to the album. NIGHTWISH do a splendid, menacing rendition of 'Phantom of the Opera', which acts as a prelude to their first true epic, 'Beauty of the Beast'. While the fans may not agree, this is what they were born to do: longer tracks with a 'soundtrack' feel.

A good album, building towards something great.

russellk | 3/5 |

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