Review Summary: Nightwish regroup and release their most sophisticated record to date
Nightwish were, at the time:
Tuomas Holopainen: Keys, lyrics
Tarja Turunen: Vocals
Emppu Vuorinen: Guitar
Marco Hietala: Bass and vocals
Jukka Nevalainen: Drums
, released in 2002, was a fresh start for Nightwish. Long gone were the pompous guitar/keyboard-driven songs like Sacrament of Wilderness and Crownless. This album contains more ballads and slower songs. For Nightwish frontman Tuomas Holopainen, the year 2001 was the worst in his entire life, and you can really hear his depression and sadness on this record. While their newest album, Dark Passion Play, was supposed to be their darkest one yet, Century Child in my opinion still holds that prize.
Tarja's vocals are amazing on this record, in my opinion much better than on, say, Oceanborn or Wishmaster. Just as good, anyway. She is less dramatic but so much more emotional and beautiful. The very first song, 'Bless the Child', gives me chills every time. The follow-up, End of all hope is basically Wishmaster times two, and is definitely the fastest song on the album, proving that Nightwish can still rock like no other band.
Dead to the World is the first song where you can hear Marco, and what a performance he gives! Hiring Marco as a secondary singer is one of the best decisions Tuomas ever did. I love they fast keyboards here, this song is definitely among the best on Century Child. Ever Dream is a pretty typical Nightwish ballad with keyboards and guitar here and there, but it's definitely their best since Oceanborn. Forever yours is, if possible, even more breathtaking. I strongly believe that only metal bands are able to put this much emotion into a ballad. The flute in the background really does it for me, and Tarja's vocal performance is once again flawless.
The Phantom of the Opera is nothing less than one of the best covers I've heard (check it out [url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=i5SUSmedMm8]Here[/url]) A cool metallization of a classic song, Marco once again shows that he belongs to the band. Just when you think you've heard it all, you're hit in the face with 10-minute epic called Beauty of the Beast, which is nothing less than one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard in my life. The song has three parts, the first one being a rather calm tune with pretty lyrics. The next part has an awesome guitar solo and a killer chorus, and it's also much faster. The last part only has a guy reading a poem, but it works well as an outro.
All in all, if you're put off by Tarja's powerful vocals on the previous albums, Century Child is definitely the album to get, as she sings in a much more normal way here. If you want power metal, go buy Oceanborn or Wishmaster instead. This is my personal favorite of all Nightwish albums, and it really has a soul of its own. You'll just have to hear this one!
Songs to download:
End of all hope
Beauty of the beast