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Nightwish - Once CD (album) cover

ONCE

Nightwish

 

Progressive Metal

3.62 | 158 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Business as usual.

Same metal lines, same opera-oriented vocals (even if special), same recipe than their previous "Century Child". Some sort of Broadway musical with a metal edge topped with the appearance of an orchestra. Same comments as before: it sounds more and more as an "Ayreon" clone to my ears.

Can't get thrilled by such a work to be honest. I only came to this band on the tip of my niece (seventeen years old) and I was quite favourable to their debut album which was quite original. But the band was unable to renew themselves and the music offered sounds as déjà vu for a hundred times.

The magic is gone as far as I'm concerned. Creativity sits next door and there are hardly any surprise to listen to this album. Some decent metal, with a slight prog angle; that's what I retain from "Once". A song as "Planet Hell" is a real downhill to? hell! Really cliché and pitiful. It is compensated by a more original "Siren". Oriental mood are quite welcome: it finally breaks the unity of sounds available on most of the album.

All songs (but two) are again shortly formatted (three to five minutes range) and offer little room for inventiveness. "Dead Gardens" is the archetype of a heavy metal partition without any attraction and the pompous "Romanticide" is just too much, frankly. Only growling are missing.

Under these circumstances, the sweet, light and peaceful "Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan" provides such nice and moving moments. Quite welcome should I say. and one of my preferred track on this album. I also quite appreciate the mix acoustic / metal riff of "Higher Than Home". At least it sounds some more diverse than their usual production.

Let's now talk about the two longer pieces.

They are indeed much better. Closer to my concept of progressive metal; which means a definite prog flavour: melody, harmony, good balance between the band and the orchestra, not too many metal lines. In all "Creek Marys Blood" is a quite well achieved song. The closing section with some American Indian words sounds truly different. A highlight.

The longest song from the album "Ghost Love Score" is also on the plus side even if it seriously leans towards a musical. At least, the vocal harmonies are fine and some folkish passage is also more than welcome.

In all, I would say that this album is being saved by the two mini epics and a couple of softer/acoustic songs. Only therefore, I rate this album with three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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