They did it yet again. While some band just seems to capitalize on a once was success, releasing album after album the same used recipes, others try to innovate on each CD, renewing their style and music each time, having with this an evolving career. NIGHTWISH newest album, Once, is the perfect example of a band trying to innovate, while keeping respect to their roots; in this case, symphonic Power Metal.
Although Tarja’s vocals since “Century Child” are less and less operatic than before, the use of a real orchestra gives an interesting new dimension to NIGTHWISH’s music. Throughout the album, you get strong feelings of what a true epic atmosphere should be. From only the first seconds of the album, the orchestra blasts full time into the speakers with strings, brass, etc. all over the place along with a heavy guitars (finally, they got rid of the tin guitar sound the used to have).
The album features slower songs compared to “Century Child” or “Oceanborn”, but the overall sound is heavier than ever before. Two long tracks (“Ghost Love Score”, the second, being the best of the two) showcase some epic song writing talent that wasn’t really showing in past releases. There is still some vocal interaction between Marco (Bass) and Tarja, but they are less attractive than they were on “Century Child”, although Marco’s addition to NIGHTWISH is one of the best things that could have happened to the band.
All in all NIGHTWISH offers again another strong release that will please the fans of the band. The song “Wish I Had An Angel”, with his haunting techno beat in the chorus, is an instant winner and closes new NIGHTWISH live set, with no surprise, as this song is one of the best ever written by NIGHTWISH. (Online August 22, 2004)