1. Dark Chest Of Wonders
2. Wish I Had An Angel
4. Planet Hell
5. Creek Mary’s Blood
6. The Siren
7. Dead Gardens
9. Ghost Love Score
10. Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan
11. Higher Than Hope
Tarja Turunen (v)
Marco Hietala (b, v)
Emppu Vuorinen (g)
Jukka Nevalainen (d)
Tuomas Holopainen (k, pi)
June 13, 2004
Since I got to know the band back in 1998 at the time of their second album “Oceanborn”, I always found the anticipation of a new Nightwish album one of the most exciting periods of the year. The Finnish metal superstars have the talent to each time create something slightly different around their ever so bombastic sound and never disappoint. They have however never sounded like they do on their new album. “Once” may not be Nightwish’s first attempt to integrate real classical instruments into their music, but it is the first to feature a full blown orchestra and choir on all of its songs.
A penny or two were invested in this realisation. Pip Williams, renowned for this work with Uriah Heep and Status Quo a.o., was hired to arrange, orchestrate and direct the London Session Orchestra and Metro Voices, both of British origin and renowned for their work on movie soundtracks of amongst others The Lord Of The Rings. Main songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen worked hard on composing and arranging double-layered songs that would enable the classical instruments to break through the metal layer and lift the material to a level no Nightwish song has ever been.
What they have come up with is immense and overwhelming. The album starts off with “Dark Chest Of Wonders”, an ideal opener with heavy and low guitar riffs, which also reveals how important the orchestra and choir will be on this disc. Mark the impressive piece in the midst of this song: a true orgy of strings and voices. Following are two songs that have been or will be issued as singles: the catchy “Wish I Had An Angel” with its haunting chorus and powerful male vocals of bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala and power ballad “Nemo”, a true hair raiser thanks to the magnificent guitar work of the small Emppu Vuorinen in the fabulous mid piece. For your information, “Wish I Had Angel” will be used for the soundtrack of “Alone In The Dark”, a horror movie based on the eponymous computer game featuring Christian Slater and Tara Reid. But first it’s on to “Planet Hell”. Pay special attention to the beautiful lyrics on this song, which – besides the superb chorus - make this one of the best songs on the album in my view. Then it’s time for a different atmosphere with “Creek Mary’s Blood”, which features traditional American Indian musician John Two-Hawks. Trumps of this song are its great structure, its beautiful melody and another great guitar solo. From Indian to Eastern culture is a small step, especially on a Nightwish album. Tarja’s voice has never sounded as it does on “The Siren”, an intriguing Eastern influenced song on which Hietala is at his best as well. We now arrive to the heaviest part of the album with the powerful “Dead Gardens” and especially “Romanticide”, which is in that way somewhat similar to “Slaying The Dreamer” off the “Century Child” album, albeit it is much more melodic and less sleazy. Following next is the 10-minute epic “Ghost Love Score”, the most movie soundtrack influenced song on the album, reminding of The Lord Of The Rings and especially Gladiator movies. Again the structure is impressive and is one of the reasons why this may become one of Nightwish’s best songs ever. “Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan”, meaning ‘death makes an artist’ in English, is the calmest song on the disc, fully sung in Finnish and leading to “Higher Than Hope”, a more than worthy album closer with a “Dead Boy’s Poem” feel at the end.
It is difficult to say if “Once” is Nightwish’s best album to date as they have never delivered an album below the 80% line in my opinion. But it definitely rivals with the quality and originality of “Oceanborn” and the sound of “Wishmaster” and is by far their most varied album to date. But what’s more: the band strengthen their position at the top of best metal bands ever… (SL
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A VERY,VERY NICE ALBUM,CRUNCHY GUITARS,NICE KEYS,GOOD CHORUS,AND ONE OF THE MAIN THING IN THIS BAND,WHATEVER SOME PEOPLE SAY:AWESOME VOCALS BY TARJA,IF THE ANGELS ABOVE LOOKS AND SINGS LIKE HER...I WANT TO BE IN HEAVEN RIGHT NOW!!!!
Every song on this cd is awesome! Pure melodic/Power metal. The production is superb. a "MUST HAVE" for any fan of this genre, and for Heavy Metal in general. Excellent!
Awesome! Bombastic, Epic. Since Tarja is no longer a member i'll be interested to hear the next album. I am of the opinion that Nightwish is a sound, which hasn't yet been bettered by similar artists, and Tarja, although fantastic wasn't the main draw for me. I love the orchestrations, melodies and harmonies and despite the inevitable comparisons of future vocalists, I bet the album will still sound like Nightwish.
Ghost Love Score is the standout track (yes it is a little bit like the Pirates of the Carribean main theme in parts) and Creek Mary's Blood is also great.
I don't like Nightwish but I really like this album.
I think it's very complex and variated. The orchestra emphasizes the music and gives an emotional touch to the melodies.
Wish I Had An Angel is the catchy song, it's a good one.
Dark Chest Of Wonders is a beautiful song! No doubt, it's my fav track!
Then we have Planet Hell and The Siren, that sound like a BSO...
Nemo is the nice ballad, very emotional.
and the rest complete this little excellent masterpiece!
BEST NIGHTWISH SO FAR!!!
This was good enough to warrant a purchase from me, even though I had not bought anything from this band before now. I never thought I could like this band but this album has changed me somehow.
Nightwish is an ok band, if it's playing on the local where I are, then it will be just fine. I like the vocals, but that guitar work is so lame. A very overrated band in my oppinion.
Cool album with plenty or rip roaring crunching guitar riff's .
Well worth checking out
After owning "Oceanborn" (which was OK, I guess), I never felt the need to buy the follow-up albums. As this got great reviews, I was tempted. Recently had the chance to buy "Century Child" for a reasonable price (yes I'm a cheap bastard, I know) and I must say it is one of the best albums in this genre. This On(c)e doesn't come close. I prefer "Leave's Eyes" the debut album of Liv Kristine...
Could this band be "THE ONE"?. You know , the rock/metal group that finally starts to make inroads into the mainstream of radio and television ?. I ask because as we speak first single "NEMO" is playing on VH1 here in the UK which is unheard of . Plus the album has gone GOLD in many european countries. The music , well what can you say , full choirs, orchestres , sublime vocals joined with amazing songs and superb musicianship all make for an outstanding piece of music . A classic "Nightwish"have raised the bar now the others will have to see if they can reach it - essential
Hi Ive, you should check out Sethian as well. Nightwish drummer Jukka Nevalainen is involved. Sounds like a metalized version of melodic hard rock! I've never seen it around here, but it came out in Finland on Spinefarm. By the way, Twilightning's new album is coming up soon as well.
For me this band is very overrated , I don't see how so many people love this band . I must say that this band impresses me musical wise , but I just hate the female opera vocals . Hopefully some of the guys of Nightwish will start a side project with a real hardrock vocalist .Bands like Twilightning , Altaria and Edguy deserve the recognition Nightwish gets 10000 times more . Next please .
Wow! This is what symphonic metal is all about, and this album is yet more proof that Nightwish are the quintessential band in the genre. For my money, this is a male/female vocal combination that has yet to be bettered, and the rest of the band are also at the top of their respective fields of endeavour. I think "Once" represents the band's best work so far - a must-have album for fans of operatic/symphonic metal.
My first ever album of Nightwish and I have no regret in buying it. I've been waiting for years to do buy a Nightwish disc - being sceptic - because it's quite a mainstream band here in The Netherlands and if's often called kidsmetal here, because it attracts a younger audience than the stuff I'm used to listen to. But I'll dump the prejudice from now on and I'll just be another Nightwish fan!
Es cierto que se nota una clara falta de Emppu, pero aun asi "Once" es una CD MARAVILLOSO, al escucharlo se pueden experimentar una variedad de sensaciones hermosas (y diferentes) que tal vez en discos anteriores no llegaban a sobresalir. Para mi, el mejor trabajo de Nightwish (sin despreciar los otros CD's que tambien son magnificos)...
Sounds good, looks good. Again a great album!
Extremely good new Nightwish album. Better than Century Child, even better than Wishmaster.
The diversity is fantastic, the feel is overwhelming. The orchestra and choir do their job with much enthusiasm, and Tuomas proves that he's capable to pull you into his world of fantasy instantly.
In previous albums, there were a few songs that I sometimes skipped, not with this one. Each song is a masterpiece in a class of its own. Best songs have to be Dark Chest of Wonders, Ghost Love Score, the single Nemo, Wish I had an Angel, Planet Hell, Creek Mary's Blood, The Siren, Dead Gardens, Romanticide, Higher than Hope, oh and also Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan ;-)
PS Adjust rating for this one please, worth about 8 stars
Their best (so far)! A clear winner in all aspects!!!
This is certainly not bad, but way overrated. This band is a hype and I don't see why.
There are hundreds of bands with more talent and better songs, but no attention for them.
As said before, not bad, but certainly not a winner !
without any doubt, one of the best releases this year, it's melodic, heavy and in one word impressive !! And that voice, man that voice...
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