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Nightwish - 2002 Century Child



ARTIST: Nightwish
ALBUM: Century Child
LABEL: Spinefarm
SERIAL: SPI 149 CD
YEAR: 2002

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Tarja Turunen - vocals * Emppu Vuorinen - guitars * Marco Hietala - bass, vocals * Tuomas Holopainen - keyboards, piano * Jukka Nevalainen - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bless This Child * 02 End Of All Hope * 03 Dead To The World * 04 Ever Dream * 05 Slaying The Dreamer * 06 Forever Yours * 07 Ocean Soul * 08 Feel For You * 09 The Phantom Of The Opera * 10 Beauty Of The Beast

WEBLINKS: www.nightwish.com


Background
For me the latest album by Nightwish is one of the highlights of 2002. I feel a bit ashamed that, being a melodic metal fan, I hadn't previously taken notice of this stunning band. In some ways I was sceptical about female operatic vocals fronting a metal band, expecting a gothic sound rather than the symphonic melodic metal that Nightwish are about. Actually I can't get over how melodic this band is.


The Songs
Opening track 'Bless The Child' builds from a choral vocal to crunching guitars and, as our esteemed editor would say, parping keyboards. 'End Of All Hope' is so amazing that it's worth buying the album just for this song. The massive chorus opens the track and then continues unrelenting, moving between hard rocking riffs and super melodic soloing and that wonderful chorus. We're only two tracks in and I'm begging for a breather. Do you think Nightwish are listening? No. They throw 'Dead To The World' at me and I begin to think I'll lose consciousness. Once again the chorus kicks ass. Finally things move into a lower gear with 'Ever Dream'. It still rocks, but in a more mid-tempo way compared to the frenetic opening tracks. Tarja sings beautifully on this track and the solo is more melodic rock than metal. A heavy Accept sounding riff gets 'Slaying the Dreamer' going. For the most part a memorable rocker with some excellent solo parts. However, the screaming rap vocals of Marco towards the end don't add anything to the song. A synth, flute and Tarja's superior vocals are the focus on the atmospheric 'Forever Yours'. 'Ocean Soul' is another mid-tempo melodic rock track like 'Ever Dream'. It's much of the same with 'Feel For You' but the chorus is alternately sung by Tarja and Marco in a clean vocal style and punctuated by Tuamos' keyboards. Considering Tarja's operatic abilities it's not surprising to find a cover version of 'The Phantom of the Opera'. Unfortunately Marco's vocals don't really work. Another original would have been the better way to go. The final track 'Beauty and the Beast' is 10 minutes long and another brilliant song. Tuomas' keyboards are at the forefront giving the song a big orchestral feel.


In Summary
Though Nightwish will be doing the odd live event next year, you won't see another album from the band for at least a year as Tarja has decided to concentrate on her studies. It's a pity but Nightwish have given their fans an excellent parting gift. Hopefully the band will come back fresh and ready to deliver another album of fantastic melodic metal.


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