Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

NIGHTWISH

Progressive Metal • Finland


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Nightwish picture
Nightwish biography
Founded in Kitee, Finland in 1996 - Still active as of 2019

Finland's NIGHTWISH has founded a medium where pure angelic vocal beauty combines with rugged metal guitars, and where intricate keyboard arrangements team up with driving rhythms, creating a soaring stylistic mix. 2003's symphonic metal shining star Century Child has set the band upon a stunning adventure in crafting a unique and genre-defining sound.

Humbly begun in 1997 as keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen's, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and trained operatic vocalist Tarja Turunen's ill received acoustic project, they found balance when they added drummer and percussionist Jukka Nevalainen and opted replace acoustic with electric guitars. Entranced with their new identity, NIGHTWISH was quickly signed to Finland's premier label, Spinefarm. Debut "Angels Fall First" made a huge impression upon the scene thanks to its unique hybrid of sounds and styles, with much of the focus centering on the operatic and enigmatic singing of front woman Tarja. The initial offering was soon followed by the even more progressed and adventurous "Oceanborn", which stayed in the Finnish pop charts for over 30 weeks. At this time, they had three singles in the top 10. This success led to packed shows in Finland, and soon to continental European shows and ensuing success. The overseas reactions and a growing cult-like interest in the United States encouraged Century Media to sort out a licensing agreement securing their next studio output for domestic release, as well as the two back catalogue pieces so they could be appreciated by a wider audience. In 2000 the band released their third effort, "Wishmaster", immediately going platinum at home and selling well over 20,000 units in the U.S. with very little support or notoriety from the industry and promotional outlets.

The year 2002 was one filled with many successful events for the band. NIGHTWISH acquired bassist Marco Hietala (TAROT, SINERGY), who added another dimension to NIGHTWISH's enveloping sound. Marco, in addition to his commanding bass lines, contributes powerful male vocals. The band returned to long time recording home Finnvox Studios (STRATOVARIUS, CHILDREN OF BODOM, SENTENCED) to record drum tracks. They then moved to their hometown of Kitee, Finland to record guitars, bass and keyboards. In March 2002 they returned to Finnvox to record vocals, choirs and percussions, and to mix the album. What came out of these recording sessions is shee...
read more

NIGHTWISH forum topics / tours, shows & news


NIGHTWISH forum topics Create a topic now
NIGHTWISH tours, shows & news Post an entries now

NIGHTWISH Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all NIGHTWISH videos (1) | Search and add more videos to NIGHTWISH

Buy NIGHTWISH Music



More places to buy NIGHTWISH music online Buy NIGHTWISH & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

NIGHTWISH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

NIGHTWISH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.56 | 140 ratings
Angels Fall First
1997
3.98 | 244 ratings
Oceanborn
1998
3.50 | 157 ratings
Wishmaster
2000
3.35 | 141 ratings
Century Child
2002
3.63 | 203 ratings
Once
2004
3.81 | 200 ratings
Dark Passion Play
2007
3.76 | 143 ratings
Imaginaerum
2011
2.95 | 18 ratings
Imaginaerum - The Score (OST)
2012
3.76 | 135 ratings
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
2015
3.81 | 66 ratings
Human. :II: Nature.
2020

NIGHTWISH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 16 ratings
From Wishes to Eternity
2001
4.25 | 52 ratings
End Of An Era
2006
2.88 | 19 ratings
Made In Hong Kong (And In Various Other Places)
2009
3.93 | 24 ratings
Showtime, Storytime
2013
4.29 | 7 ratings
Vehicle Of Spirit (Wembley Arena)
2017
3.88 | 5 ratings
Decades: Live In Buenos Aires
2019

NIGHTWISH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.23 | 17 ratings
From Wish to Eternity - Live
2001
2.57 | 9 ratings
End of Innocence
2003
3.00 | 3 ratings
Nemo
2004
3.00 | 5 ratings
Wish I Had an Angel
2004
4.00 | 3 ratings
Once
2006
3.40 | 5 ratings
Amaranth
2007
3.96 | 29 ratings
End of An Era
2007
2.80 | 5 ratings
Bye Bye Beautiful
2008
4.25 | 12 ratings
Showtime, Storytime
2013
4.67 | 3 ratings
Vehicle of Spirit
2016

NIGHTWISH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Golden Wishes
2001
3.57 | 5 ratings
1997 - 2001
2001
3.13 | 8 ratings
Tales From The Elvenpath
2004
3.75 | 26 ratings
Highest Hopes - The Best Of Nightwish
2005
2.50 | 2 ratings
Bestwishes
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Ballads of the Eclipse
2006
2.67 | 3 ratings
The Sound Of Nightwish Reborn
2008
3.00 | 3 ratings
Walking in the Air - The Greatest Ballads
2011
5.00 | 2 ratings
Endless forms most beautiful TOUR EDITION
2015
4.00 | 3 ratings
Decades
2018

NIGHTWISH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.14 | 5 ratings
Demo
1996
2.91 | 5 ratings
The Carpenter
1997
4.00 | 6 ratings
Sacrament of Wilderness
1998
3.75 | 4 ratings
Passion and the Opera
1998
3.00 | 6 ratings
Walking In The Air
1999
3.00 | 9 ratings
Sleeping Sun (Four Ballads Of The Eclipse)
1999
2.68 | 10 ratings
Deep Silent Complete
2000
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Kinslayer
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Wishmastour 2000
2001
3.01 | 28 ratings
Over The Hills And Far Away
2001
3.53 | 8 ratings
Ever Dream
2002
3.70 | 14 ratings
Bless The Child
2002
3.87 | 12 ratings
Nemo
2004
2.69 | 14 ratings
Wish I Had An Angel
2004
3.32 | 7 ratings
Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan
2005
4.42 | 13 ratings
The Siren
2005
3.72 | 9 ratings
Sleeping Sun
2005
2.00 | 5 ratings
Erämaan viimeinen
2007
1.43 | 9 ratings
Amaranth
2007
1.11 | 8 ratings
Eva
2007
3.14 | 7 ratings
The Islander
2008
4.00 | 2 ratings
Dark Passion Play Instrumental Version
2008
2.83 | 6 ratings
Bye Bye Beautiful
2008
2.67 | 3 ratings
Amaranth
2009
3.50 | 6 ratings
The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
2012
4.00 | 4 ratings
Storytime
2012
3.38 | 8 ratings
Elan
2015
2.00 | 1 ratings
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
2015

NIGHTWISH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Human. :II: Nature. by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.81 | 66 ratings

BUY
Human. :II: Nature.
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by ssmarcus

2 stars Economists and social scientists of all stripes utilize various metrics to try to determine the overall health and well-being of a society. And while we can all agree on the importance of GDP per capita and life expectancy as indicators of a society's overall well-being, no one seems to have considered looking at the extent to which progressive metal dominates a society's pop-music landscape as a possible metric. Certainly, a country like Finland that has swapped "Bieber-fever" for Nightwish's glorious symphonic metal has its priorities straight!

Despite relishing the fact that Nightwish is Finland's most commercially successful musical export, I find myself quite a bit less enthusiastic about the group's latest release HUMAN. :II: NATURE.. The album is chock-full of pomp but still manages to feel kind of bland. And while the first disk has enough likeable standard symphonic metal songs for me to have rated this album a 3 out of 5, the second disk's suite of purely symphonic music is underwhelming, to say the least. I would have expected Tuomas Holopainen, Nightwish's keyboardist and songwriter, to be a bit more musically self-aware and avoid producing a mere fantasy-movie- soundtrack-rip-off.

 Decades: Live In Buenos Aires by NIGHTWISH album cover Live, 2019
3.88 | 5 ratings

BUY
Decades: Live In Buenos Aires
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars I really enjoy live albums and can point to any number of live recordings as having an important impact on my life, from the likes of Thin Lizzy's 'Live and Dangerous', Nazareth's 'Snaz', UFO's 'Strangers In The Night', Twelfth Night's 'Live and Let Live' and so many more. But when I came across this release towards the end of 2019 I actually groaned. Not because it was going to be poor in any sense, but out of the three albums prior to this, two had also been live. True, there had also been a compilation released, and this is the album of that tour, so it does mean there were songs being played here which had not been played in concert for many years. "I didn't just want to pick out the most successful Nightwish songs for this tour", Tuomas Holopainen explains. "Instead, I asked myself which songs I would play to somebody who had never heard of our band. At some point during the preparation process, I realized that I was smiling all the time. I remembered the curious, innocent boy writing all of these songs."

"There was a lot of rehearsing before the tour began", Holopainen recalls. "We didn't really remember how the old songs went. Floor had never sung them before, and it was also a completely different thing for Troy. I have to give a lot of credit to Floor, Marco and Troy that they're actually able to sing some of the lyrics with a straight face", Holopainen grins. "Just take 'Elvenpath'. I mean, it's about taking a ride with a witch on her broomstick and warming up the sauna." All the moaning on my part that here was yet another live album (and I love 'Showtime, Storytime'), really is minor when realising what a great album this is. The whole band are tied together, and on hearing this it really is no surprise that the new studio release has come together as it has, as playing songs such as "Cover With Me" from 2000's 'Wishmaster' would have reminded Tuomas Holopainen and Emppu Vuorinen what they were doing nearly 20 years previously, and it obviously impacted the songwriting.

Of the 21 songs on this album (and yes, I know there was a studio release between the two), only five are both on this and 'Showtime, Storytime'. I am a little surprised they didn't bring back "Bye Bye Beautiful", but perhaps that is no longer appropriate and it wasn't even included on 'Decades', and I would have enjoyed hearing "She Is My Sin" but this is just nit-picking to be fair. "Elvenpath" was the first song on the very first album, 'Angels Fall First', all the way back in 1997. Here it has been given the modern Nightwish treatment, and the crowd respond to the spoken introduction, although it must be said the reaction to the following number "I Want My Tears Back" is far bigger as the huge Argentinian audience all join in.

Well, it's the third live album in six years, but this was indeed a special night and it is great to hear the old songs being played with such conviction, standing up well against the newer material.

 Human. :II: Nature. by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.81 | 66 ratings

BUY
Human. :II: Nature.
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars 2020 has seen Nightwish with what to my ears is their finest work to date, as the individuals within the group combine to produce the album I had hoped and expected with 'Endless Forms Most Beautiful'. Here the bombast has purpose, real purpose, Troy's pipes have become integral, both he and Marko have a much bigger role with the vocals, and then at the front there is Floor. No longer is she the quick replacement who learned the set on a commercial airplane, no longer the third singer, now she stands astride the band like a colossus, prepared and more than ready to deal with anything thrown at her by Tuomas. With this album, the band have finally mastered their craft, and possibly created yet another subgenre, progressive symphonic folk metal anyone?

The music swoops, drives, demanding supreme performance from everyone, with Floor in particular being asked to sing in multiple styles, from the commerciality of Olzon and the soprano heights of Turunen through metallic gymnastics in a manner which neither of her predecessors managed. One of the major delights of this album is that although there is plenty of the bombast which one expects from the band, it can also quickly disappear as on 'Shoemaker' where the guitars stop to allow simple harmony vocals to take place instead. Towards the end of that particular song Floor is at her most operatic, lifting that trained voice above the maelstrom and bringing back memories of how the band sounded 15 years or more ago. Emppu Vuorinen has always reminded me of Tony Clarkin in that he has an unusual role as guitarist, very rarely taking a musical lead but instead there to provide force and presence, and here he delivers dramatically. Kai Hahto at the rear is also no longer the new boy, as he has been blooded on the road, and now is making the seat his own and has a quite different style to Jukka Nevalainen which works well with the new form of Nightwish being crafted by Holopainen.

Contrast all this to 'Harvest', a Celtic-style song where Troy is given the lead vocal role. Here we get some bodhran- style drumming, acoustic guitar, and even a stunning a capella chorus. I can guarantee anyone playing this will be reminded more of Iona than Nightwish, and it is an absolute delight. But not to be outshone, Marko has the lead on 'Endlessness' where his growls and attack are far more metallic. As if all this was not enough, there is a second disc which features "All the Works of Nature which Adorn the World". This is a symphonic orchestral piece in eight connected but far ranging movements which Tuomas describes as his love letter to our world. This isn't the first time they have had orchestral interpretations, but this time the music is totally different from the first disc, allowing the listener to understand that here is a composer of many different talents, and a band who are still reaching for new heights nearly 25 years on from the beginning. This is a simply stunning release from the band.

 Endless Forms Most Beautiful by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.76 | 135 ratings

BUY
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars In between this 2015 album and the previous studio release, 2011's 'Imaginaerum' it is safe to say the band had been through some struggles (seek out the excellent tour documentary on YouTube detailing what happened). Due to singer Anette Olzon being hospitalized immediately before a show in Denver, the band went ahead with Alissa White- Gluz and Elize Ryd (who were part of support band Kamelot) taking on the role, using printed lyrics and a revised setlist. This in turn led to Floor Jansen being invited in for the rest of the tour. Late in 2013 it was announced that Jansen would be the full-time replacement for Olzen, and the band also made Troy Donockley a permanent member (he had already been touring with the band for five years at this point). However, before they went into the studio to record the new album it was announced that founding member and drummer Jukka Nevalainen would not be involved due serious insomnia (he has since left the band as a musical member although to this day he is still heavily involved in taking care of band-related business), and he would be replaced by Kai Hahto (Wintersun).

So there had been a lot going on in the band, but they had weathered issues prior to this, particularly with the loss of original singer Tarja Turunen, so like many I was intrigued to hear this album. I happened to see Nightwish on the tour with Floor (who I had always admired with After Forever) and thought the band had connected really well together, so was looking forward to this. Jansen is a good replacement for Olzon, as while she can sing that material well, her voice is also suited to the earlier material of Turunen, and I expected to see something of a return to the sort of material with which Nightwish made their name. When Marco Hietala joined the band in 2001, he made a massive impact as it gave the band a second really strong songwriter and someone who could also take centre stage as lead singer, so I had very expectations indeed.

However, apart from a few standouts, what we have here to my ears is a band who are really going through the motions. It has everything that one expects from Nightwish, but somehow muted. It is bombastic and over the top, yet without the soul and passion I expect. Delicate numbers such as "Our Decades In the Sun" stand out as they are a delight, an oasis of light in a fairly dark and parched atmosphere. But, it's not a bad album, it is still much better than many bands will ever hope to release, it is just I expected more from a band who had been through so much, and I firmly expected them to take a step up from 'Imaginaerum', which I loved, yet somehow they have not managed that.

Anyone who enjoys symphonic metal is going to love this, but for me while it is an excellent album, and one which I am sure I will return to, it doesn't deliver as I expected it to.

 Human. :II: Nature. by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.81 | 66 ratings

BUY
Human. :II: Nature.
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Finnish symphonic metal superstars NIGHTWISH are like the uncle we all remember from extended family gatherings, the one whom nobody knew exactly by what thread he claimed membership, the one who always insisted on paying for group meals more for ego than generosity, the one with the over the top, larger than life yarns that always centered his touted heroics within their solipsistic frame, the one who smoked cigars continuously and blew the smoke in your face like it was a blessing, the one that everyone trash talked to each other, the one who elevated every such gathering from the unctuous familial ooze into a celebration of how grand life could be. That is NIGHTWISH, the band we love, only in private, of course, until now.

"Human.:II:Nature is the first NIGHTWISH studio release since the fabulous "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" in 2015, and it was worth the wait. Following a not dissimilar and equally grandiose concept, the premise seems to be that, if humanity is to survive, it must embrace nature, not as separate from it, as the biblical stewards if you will, but as an essential part of it, with an appreciation of the potential of our destructive nature to unravel its glorious and chaotic order. As usual it's a double CD, but this time the second disk is a symphony rather than a repeat of the first without the vocal tracks. For 30+ minutes, not even a distant snarl, riff, or disruptive moment is discernible, just stately melodies, strings, choirs, and a little narration to guide us along a somber soundscape relative to prior excursions. It serves notice that NIGHTWISH won't be confined by past conscription.

Disk 1 won't disappoint most long time fans, though the metal quotient continues to gradually boil off, seemingly at the expense of the Celtic overtones, augmented by the wonderful Troy Donockley and his pipes, particularly on the pub friendly "Harvest", the anthemic "How's The Heart", and the genre busting "Procession" and "Shoemaker". Whether it's the expected radiance of main vocalist Floor Jansen or the targeted precision of Marco Hietala, the personnel of NIGHTWISH have once again sacrificed individual recognition for commitment to something bigger than themselves and their fans, indeed all of them combined. It's no wonder that, even more than prog rock, NIGHTWISH counts film music as one of their bedrock influences, a realm where descriptions like too grandiose, pretentious, or excessive are devalued and mocked currency. That's why we need NIGHTWISH.

 Oceanborn by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.98 | 244 ratings

BUY
Oceanborn
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by nikitasv777

5 stars  'Oceanborn' is the second studio album by Nightwish, one of my favorite. It has everything, from fast metal tracks to slow ballads. Is hard to describe their sound, since they mix such a wide pallete of sounds. The more I listen to this album, the more I realize just how much Nightwish as a whole changed by the time of Human. :II: Nature (2020). The album also full of ambition: every track wants to make an impression. It is incredibly beautiful, melodic, original, candid and innovative. Musically, it is complex, heavy and well structured. Everything, the guitars, the bass, the drums, the flutes, the strings are blended in perfectly. The lyrics are simple yet powerful. I can safely say none of the songs are bad. But there are a few which I don't find up to the level of the others. "Oceanborn" is an amazing album which transports you to a different world. . Oceanborn is a masterpiece.
 Human. :II: Nature. by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.81 | 66 ratings

BUY
Human. :II: Nature.
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by nikitasv777

5 stars "Human. :II: Nature" shows a maturity and musical quality much better than the previous album, "Endless forms most beautiful". This album  is more "experimental" and it's a double album. The second disc, which is essentially an orchestral score with a film-like soundtrack feel to it. Since 2004's Once, the Finns have worked closely with the London Session Orchestra. The intro grabs your full attention immediately. This seminal the album is a concept album. vocals of Floor Jansen - this is a rare talent, able to sing with power, emotion and in a number of different styles. The vocal situation is made even more entertaining thanks to the Troy Donockley. And I cannot help but admire their incredible musical constructs. Nightwish have always been boisterously and riotously untamed, in both scale and sound. Nightwish bearers have just made the most ambitious record of their career and it may well be their very best, too. I have been playing this album many times and everytime I play, I always play it in its entirety. Amazing album, and 5 stars without hesitation.
 Human. :II: Nature. by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.81 | 66 ratings

BUY
Human. :II: Nature.
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by daisy1

5 stars First up,this release will divide Nightwish fans.Those expecting Epica,Within Temptation heaviness may be disappointed,but this is a band in Progression,not just recreating past glories for the sake of it.Personally I love it.2 tracks 4 and 5 are OK ,but the rest are great music.

HUMAN :II: NATURE - Nightwish

2020 Release from Finland band Nightwish. Much anticipated release and as it turns out very marmite for Nightwish Fans

1.Music : Ominous strings begin the album,kicking in with tribal drums at 1.25,heavenly choral at 2.29 -a big sound! Floor Jansen comes in around 3.08 and rocks out around 4.47 - great chorus.Classic Nightwish !

2.Noise : This track was previewed before the release and is all you'd expect from Nightwish -heavy,choral,fast,orchestral - fantastic,catchy chorus at 1.08 - one of their best ever.

3. Shoemaker : On first listen this was my favourite track.So second play: wow,that choral at 3.49 from Floor is majestic,and all too short -wish we had more of this.

4.Harvest : previewed before release.Male vocal to a simple,jolly,folky song - OK filler and a pleasant chorus.Kicks in heavier 2.45 for the middle - a kind of a heavy jig track.

5. Pan :Kind of light Phantom of the Opera,with heavy guitar interludes,very operatic around 3.20.OK track -bit stop start ,but OK

6.How's the Heart : New single -again the pan pipe sound intros -pleasant vocal - no overstretch -then a catchy chorus - pipes then repeat.Good,easy radio play - Floor at 2-48 stretches out a bit -nothing like Shoemaker -but the intent is there.Decent single -OK

7.Procession: Nice synth intro from Thomas -this is more like it -great vocals from Floor -kicks on at 3.10 -this is classic Nightwish after 2 lighter tracks.With the first 3 - another highlight. Could have been longer....

8.Tribal:Love the vocal over the tribal drum backdrop.Heavier vocals on this one.Great metal guitar and heavy - more tribal drums at 3.00 and then gets faster ,but oh so short...

9:Endlessness: Final-track on CD1 -just over 7 minutes in length. Great guitar intro then choral keys.Male vocals,then duet- like this one - very operatic in structure.It is a slow track so chance to develop a bit.Grand ending to CD1..

Top tracks 1,2,3,7.9. CD1 rating 9/10

CD2 All the Works of Human Nature Adorn the World:

Not one for metal heads ! Very classical in composition Vista -very Ennio Morricone like Blue -has some Floor female backing Green: Pleasant with recurring Themes Moors: A bit heavier than the previous parts-some tribal drums-,but again a lovely recurring theme,you'll recognise from CD1 Aurorae:Harp and choir -then very orchestral - like this one ! Quiet as the Snow:Piano,harp,orchestra -quite relaxing -then reprises general theme choral wise - kind of very Arabian nights.. Anthropocene : Strings begin this one.harp and nice violin part -again reprising the theme.Cello joins in to a crescendo leading to final part Ad Astra: Final segment of this CD2.Quiet intro,then a spoken narrative ,a rousing finish with some backing vocals to finish this amazing album.

CD2 Rating 9/10

 Human. :II: Nature. by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.81 | 66 ratings

BUY
Human. :II: Nature.
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars It took multiple listens to realize that this is a stellar release from Nightwish. It continues to head in a direction away from their classic sound, but falls in line with Endless Forms Most Beautiful. The difference with the previous album is that Human. :II: Nature. had more time to achieve a grander scale. Floor Jansen provides angelic vocals, and she sounds fantastic. Human. :II: Nature features more orchestration and less metal, especially with the second half of the album by featuring one long song "All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World." While this may turn off the fans that love the Nightwish style of metal, it will appeal to people that appreciate more of a concept and progression to their sound. However, it does have the metal infused in part one of this more balanced offering. The orchestration really stretches this to a double release as expected with an album clocking in at 81 minutes. The compositions contain no filler and the second part is not for the accessible audience. The best moments from the first part may be Shoemaker, Pan, or Procession, and part 2 is just a complete masterful listening experience. "All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World" concludes that huge orchestral piece with another spoken word concept similar to the end of Endless Forms Most Beautiful, but this time with a female voice. I really like the effect, and it has a very artistic, yet powerful impact for such a stunning song. Human. :II: Nature. is recommended to fans of different genres of music that will find many great moments, and a ton of variety. It is an album to fall in love with, and the compositions are some of the best to bear the Nightwish name.
 Once by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.63 | 203 ratings

BUY
Once
Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by FalconBleck

4 stars #39 Review

This album ramps up the production from previous ones by including a bigger real orchestra and chorus, while i skipped the previous album, i come to this one with a similar understanding of what to expect as the previous albums i have reviewed, since i have heard a ton of times 2 songs from this one.

Already by looking at the cover i expect great things, i like covers that are grey for some reason, like Wind & Wuthering from Genesis, pretty simple, but already the color choice is effective to give you the feelings of what to expect here, this album is supposedly less heavy and more orchestral oriented, lets see if i'm wrong.

1.- Dark Chest Of Wonders 8/10 And the album its already starting heavier, never mind what i said earlier. Overall this is a really solid composition that doesn't get boring with many changes through out, some parts repeat obviously but its made to serve the song in the best way possible, the solo is pretty nice also. The worst offenders in this song are some bad Nightwish staples, like the guitar and other instruments just doing what the keyboard is doing in some sections, another staple wich is not that bad is that they tend to repeat the chorus and to end the song they repeat it again but in a higher key, wich is better than a fade out, overall this song is really great.

2.- Wish I Had An Angel 3/10 Damn, those strings sound cool, i also like how the instruments add up in the vocal section then when the chorus starts, i really don't dig the sample bass drum. Overall pretty repetitive, some interesting ideas here and there but this isn't recommendable, sounds a little like a pop song.

3.- Nemo 7/10 One of the first things that i tried doing on the piano when creating a song was trying to immitate this song a little, its really simple but effective, gives off a feeling of cold and snow, just as the video shows. I really like the chords in this one, its a little bit repetitive but does a good job, this ballad song could work on different genres without any problem, and when i think its fine, then an small solo and climax section starts wich is fantastic and then the chorus repeats closing the song perfectly.

4.- Planet Hell 9/10 For a long time this song and the longest song where my only favorite songs from this album. I must say that even then when i was 14 i had great taste if i chose this song, some sections repeat but it never gets boring, it sounds fun to play, specially the solo wich is fantastic. I have always been more of an instrumental music fan and this song keeps me happy through out. Probably, the most boring part of this song is the introduction, i like how the song goes incrementing and then the chorus is that epic, i wish this song was longer.

5.- Creek Mary's Blood 7/10 Not only does Nightwish have classical influences, but also folk ones too, like any good progressive rock act, i really like the melody here, specially on the chorus wich feels like a fitting climax, reminds me a little of the Phantom of the Opera at times, probably because of some notes, even though the atmosphere is completely different, and about that, this song nails that as well, that's not the problem of Nightwish though, it mostly is repetition, and this shows in the song, if you play this song only with a piano, you'll realize that the notes of this song repeats themselves 3 times before the solo. The guitar solo was ok, though it played almost the same as what was played before, what comes after is better and serves better the atmophere of the song, what didn't though is the ending wich for my liking sounds too happy compared to the rest of the song, there's a fine line between epic and happy in chords, they try to fix that with the phrases at the very end wich is the first time i have listened to those because for some reason the version that i have heard so far is a shorter one, overall a solid song.

6.- The Siren 7/10 The introduction to this song is clearly inspired by classical music, it sounds really good and clever on a guitar. The major problem of this song is that the main motif is short and every section repeats twice in the song, although scrambled a little. Anyways, this is a great opener for any concert, this is a Nightwish classic that hits all the marks of a Nightwish song, a well done rock ballad with great chords, voice and heavy sound, yet i wish it would've had more going on, like an extended solo. I like the little touches of the sitar and a 3rd voice decorating the song through out, adds a little more complexity to this overall simple but effective composition.

7.- Dead Gardens 4/10 What an aweosome introduction, sadly, the rest of the song doesn't live up to it, its almost as if this song was an after thought from another longer piece. The vocal parts bore me, it must be the monotone drums and the guitar almost playing the same notes throught the entire song. The ending shows that they had little ideas, atleast the drummer gets to shine a little.

8.- Romanticide 6/10 I can hear a slap bass, yet it plays the same things as the guitar, or is the guitar playing the same? In the starting vocal parts i like how some notes in the piano decorate, but i would've chosen strings over "ohs", the metal in this song is strong and the chorus works well with the song for this purpose, but for some reason the same scale piano decorations still occur in the chorus, while the violins are doing a good job, then Thomas uses both strings and "ohs" in the guitar solo? So he used strings on this songs but decided to add another layer of "ohs" and also the violins and the decorations, wich i think is a little overkill, specially for the chorus. The chords are mostly sick as always

The solo is something to behold, 26 seconds of brilliance that should leave anyone unsatisfied, the bass finally does something different but its overall pretty fast and boring.

I like the final instrumental part, they gave the bass more protagonism for a little time though they could've improvised a little more in this part, it also reminds me of the ending to Dead Gardens, wich wasn't that good, atleast this one was more developed until reaching that part.

9.- Ghost Love Score 10/10 I mean, what can i say that hasn't been said, this is insane, the start of this song its perfect and then continues being amazing. First of all, the first chords that set up the mood and the complex composition that keeps adding until the first verses wich gives a slight relief, then goes increccendo, and Tuomas adds the perfect notes to accompany the second verse, in the first minute the song shows what wants to do, take you from your place, tell you an story and bring you back, but nothing will ever be the same, this kind of experience that this song offers its on par with the best music i've heard and totally fits with other progressive rock classics, while i have given other Nightwish songs a 10, this one for me is the biggest crowning achievement of the band so far.

The instrumental, this composition shouldn't envy what the classical orchestral artists have done, you can say whatever about Nightwish, but i'm sure as hell that whatever band you're a fan of has never done something like this song, they could've done some other great stuff, but only Nightwish did this one.

This song shows how much passion the group has not only for the composition but for the production, this one in particular, compared to all their songs so far sounds excelent, really well put together and an excelent selection of what sound to put here and there, i can even pin point an instrument that sounds like Sitar in the background of some parts, pure brilliance.

10.- Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan 8/10 I must say, many of the Nightwish songs have beautyful chords, great startings and all, this being the only song written in finish in this album and being that it reached number 1 in that country (their home country) shows how much they know the audience there but it also shows how beautyful that country is, and this song that talks about death its pretty and nostalgic for some reason, probably one of my favorites simple ballads that Nightwish has produced, there's only orchestra and chorus, no metal here, and i appreciate that. This song gives much more respect to the atmosphere than Creek Mary's Blood, where they tried to overcompensate.

11.- Higher Than Hope 6/10 Starting with a mostly sweet instrumental it quickly becomes heavy when it reaches the chorus, its an interesting direction that i don't know if to aprove, if i go straight to what they're playing i think that its overall a pretty solid ballad, while its not the best on the album and gets a little repetitive, the middle section gives an interesting add up to the climax wich i would've liked to hear more developed instead of going to the chorus back again like Nightwish always does when they don't know how to finish a song.

I expected a little more on this album, is still great because each song in it is well done and likeable (except the chorus on Wish i Had an Angel wich i outright don't like), yet i expected more instrumental parts, i expected more songs like Gethsemane or The Pharao Sails to Orion or more songs like Ghost Love Score, i'm still happy with the results though and this album overall gets a 68/100... yes, almost the same score as the first album, i mean, overall after listening to it and listening to previous albums again, i realized that i have been wearing out of Nightwish a little, that's why i skipped Century Child after listening to the first 2 songs.

Even though my scale says that i should give it 3 stars, it needs 2 more points to be 4, and i'll give it that, it deserves that score because i think that the overall package is an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. I really like the direction on wich this is going, after all, Nightwish is still around and i have more albums to review, a group can't last forever doing the same songs right? maybe there's a certain 14 minute song that i really admire in the next one...

Thanks to [email protected] for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives