Rating:
6.5
Nightwish - Once
7 June 2004


01. Dark Chest Of Wonders
02. Wish I Had An Angel
03. Nemo
04. Planet Hell
05. Creek Mary's Blood
06. The Siren
07. Dead Gardens
08. Romanticide
09. Ghost Love Score
10. Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan
11. Higher Than Hope
12. White Night Fantasy [bonus]
13. Live To Tell The Tale [bonus]
14. Where Were You Last Night [Ankie Bagger cover] [bonus]
+ Nemo [video]


Before hearing the 'Nemo' single, I was looking forward to this new album of Nightwish (one of my favourite bands by the way). After hearing this single I was even more looking forward to the full-length. After listening to Once a good dozen times, I realize I was so better-off before. I hate saying that, like almost all the fans it twists my bowels to criticize Nightwish, but Once is to me terribly disappointing. Maybe I've heard too much about it, about the use of an orchestra, about the heavier riffs, Tarja's best performance ever…

Though, the album starts off really well with 'Dark Chest Of Wonders' that ressuscitates a certain heaviness that was absent since Wishmaster. 'Wish I Had Angel' sounds a bit like Century Child's songs, but shows an excellent use of the vocals duet of Tarja Turunen and Marco Hietala. This song is a bit common but good anyway. 'Nemo' after that is a real killer, the kind of song that grows on you after twenty seconds and decides to live in your head forever. Undoubtedly this is the best song of the album, along with the following, 'Planet Hell', a really aggressive one, in the vein of Oceanborn. To keep going with the positive points, the use of the orchestra is brilliant. They were probably expected to fall in the trap of overusing it, as most bands do when they are given this chance, but no, the bits are cleverly dispatched here and there, without covering the rest of the music, without taking too much importance, actually the orchestra is here only to enhance the quality of some instrumental parts. It's all the contrary compared to the last Dimmu Borgir for example, and it's an excellent surprise, as I was expecting something like a new Therion-wannabe.

So you're gonna ask me, if I like it so much, why the hell do I say that I'm disappointed? Well, the answer is: reread the previous paragraph, and you'll notice I'm only talking about the first four songs. After these ones, the high standard of Once suddenly collapses. 'Creek Mary's Blood' is certainly the worst and lamest song they've ever dared record: it's supposedly an epic song… well, ok, then why, if it's epic, is it so cheesy and mellow? And what is with this Amerindian guy reciting his poem for two minutes without music? The whole song is based on good intentions and the will to create something different, but it's just so long… The rest of the album is better, but without real interest. I mean indifference quickly settles down, and the only thing that makes you realize Once is over is this strange and unusual feeling that your house is too quiet without loud music. I'm being nasty here, actually one song among the last seven caught my attention, the ballad 'Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan': I don't know whether I noticed it because of the singing in Finnish or the real quality of the song, but it's a nice ballad overall.

Finally, I hate sounding nostalgic, but when you hear Oceanborn and Wishmaster, admittedly their two masterpieces, and then this Once, don't you dare tell me it's the same level... Actually the best parts of Once are when Hietala sings. Brings out a bit of change, especially since I am also slightly disappointed with Tarja's voice, which doesn't sound as powerful as before. I have the bitter impression that Nightwish starts letting go, that they think they're the best, the leaders in their genre, so they don't have to work, in other words, I have the feeling that they've caught the Children Of Bodom syndrom. This is the reason for the low rating. You're not untouchable, so now c'mon guys, WAKE UP!

Highlights: the first four songs, plus Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan


Band profile: Nightwish
Album: Once


 


written by Collin | 30.06.2004

Guest review by
Spyroid

Rating:
9.5
I would say that this is something as uncommon as a perfect (when it comes to rating) album with flaws! I used to claim that every perfect album needs to have unity, and be totally free of any letdown songs/flaws. And Once, plus a handful other albums, are the exceptions to the rule of mine.

Nightwish are one of the most professional bands out there. When I listen to 'Once', I can't find any flaws at all in the musicianship. All the good songs are perfectly completed compositions and their lyrics are tastefull and interesting. The choirs and orchestra are perfectly blended with the really Heavy Metal riffs and drums, and the piano/keyboard pieces are great. Toumas is probably the reincarnation of Mozart and I would guess that his father is Howard Shore or Andrew Lloyd Webber. This is soundtrack metal at it's finest. Since I love cheesy epic soundtracks, this of course appeals to me!

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published 05.10.2007 | Comments (7)



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vezzy - 15.07.2010 at 23:14  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.07.2010 at 22:43

Sorry I can't reply, I'm too busy giving myself a DIY lobotomy... girble flop brong *dribble*


Be careful, dude. Dahmer tried to do one of those with drill bits and hydrochloric acid... didn't work out too well.
Collin - 15.07.2010 at 23:16  
I feel left out and in need of a hairy cuddle.
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.07.2010 at 23:19  
Written by vezzy on 15.07.2010 at 23:14

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.07.2010 at 22:43

Sorry I can't reply, I'm too busy giving myself a DIY lobotomy... girble flop brong *dribble*


Be careful, dude. Dahmer tried to do one of those with drill bits and hydrochloric acid... didn't work out too well.

As long as it stops me thinking about certain metalstorm members doing very wrong things to one another then it'd be a success...
vezzy - 15.07.2010 at 23:23  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.07.2010 at 23:19

Written by vezzy on 15.07.2010 at 23:14

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.07.2010 at 22:43

Sorry I can't reply, I'm too busy giving myself a DIY lobotomy... girble flop brong *dribble*


Be careful, dude. Dahmer tried to do one of those with drill bits and hydrochloric acid... didn't work out too well.

As long as it stops me thinking about certain metalstorm members doing very wrong things to one another then it'd be a success...


But it's getting high ratings! Profit! $$$! Capitali-... Eh...
Marcel Hubregtse - 15.07.2010 at 23:49  
Written by Collin on 15.07.2010 at 23:16

I feel left out and in need of a hairy cuddle.


Hey my smelly string of onions cme here. I will give you a cuddle while I marinate your snails and frogs legs in garlic.
!J.O.O.E.! - 16.07.2010 at 00:15  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.07.2010 at 23:49

Written by Collin on 15.07.2010 at 23:16

I feel left out and in need of a hairy cuddle.


Hey my smelly string of onions cme here. I will give you a cuddle while I marinate your snails and frogs legs in garlic.

D=
BitterCOld - 16.07.2010 at 00:36  
I regret ever visiting this review and am going to go gouge my eyeballs out with a grapefruit spoon now.
Collin - 16.07.2010 at 10:53  
Written by BitterCOld on 16.07.2010 at 00:36

I regret ever visiting this review and am going to go gouge my eyeballs out with a grapefruit spoon now.


You're just saying that. In fact you're jealous and want to join the cuddle. There's always room for one more, y'know.
vezzy - 16.07.2010 at 11:26  
Collin likes sellout Anthrax! Apparently...
Thor Meister - 31.08.2012 at 07:19  
Collin! You gave over 10 AC/DC albums higher ratings than Once! That, my good sir, is ridiculous! You like AC/DC albums which are super repetitive, not very original, and not artistic at all in any sense over one of the greatest albums, Once, that I know of. Once is such a good album worthy of at least an 8. I understand your plight about the first four tracks being really strong and the rest being less strong, but how can you ignore such amazing, fun tracks such as Dead Gardens, Ghost Love Score, White Night Fantasy, The Siren? These tracks deserve immense credit. After all, Tuomas' favorite song on the album is Ghost Love Score which is easily among Nightwish's top 5 songs. Don't get me wrong, Nemo is an incredible song, but don't you think that it is a little bit of a "gotta have a huge hit single" type of a mainstream song. This goes for Wish I Had An Angel also. Anyways, I hope you listen more to the albums you review in the future.
BlackWard - 03.12.2012 at 02:27  
Looks like Collin is not easy to please... He rather has a new album that sounds the same as the previous in stead of accepting that musicians (usually) like to experiment in the music and with their instruments and their writingskills...
Shame he wrote this 8 years ago and I've read this today..
BlackWard - 03.12.2012 at 02:28  
Thor meister... Tuomas' favourite Once song is Creek mary's Blood ;-)
Epictemptation - 21.01.2013 at 04:05  
I love this album so much. Don't review an album based on your opinions, you have to review and album that will go well for all audience of the metal community.

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