KILL or KEEP Vol.5
Welcome to the KILL or KEEP milestone instalment, Vol.5. What a moment this is. We have gone from powers of 2 to powers of 5. We have transcended the snottiness of bashing mediocre bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails and reached such heights that we can make up whatever bollocks we so please and potentially tackle a legitimately “good” artist one day. What a giddy moment.
There was (probably) going to be a celebration of this belletristic triumph, but before it got organised, Sputnik MVP Staffer Dewinged (legeeend) spontaneously declared that he was going to listen to a Nightwish album with one hour’s notice, and a different kind of gravity asserted itself.
The album in question turned out to be Once, the 2004 opus among opuses viewed by many as the group’s symphonic peak – this being the most significant Nightwish album that JohnnyoftheWell (lol loser) had not heard, a glitzy pact was formed on the spot. Dewi got to take the next steps on his Epic journey with added style; Johnny got to go back in time and cover his tracks. What’s not to love?
Unfortunately, these motivations were both ultimately selfish, hardly reflective of KILL or KEEP‘s deeper imperative for critical justice and practical public advice. To remedy this and save the whole affair from corrupt SputStaff-exclusive sticky-pokey, we invited the unmodified unmastered vox pop microdeity LeddSledd into the fray (baaased). With not partisan attachments past, present or (likely) future, he has the least to gain from this sh*t; please listen to him when you’re not sure to believe. That is the gang. Let’s delve!
Each participant must KILL and KEEP some songs. This session was almost entirely unplanned and has no bonus rules.
Each participant, please explain your attitude going into and/or prior experience with Emotion Sides A and B and/or intentions for this exercise.
Dewinged: Ok, so I’ve been on a Nightwish fever for like a week. Can’t remember how it started but the important thing is that we are about to dive into the DEFINITIVE Nightwish experience (or so they say), ready to push play when you are my dear.
JohnnyoftheWell: Let’s go back a long, long time ago to when my favourite band was Children of Bodom and I was a little bit OBSESSED with Tarja-era Nightwish. What a time. Unfortunately I was incorrigibly feeble and never listened to anything outside of the now-legendary Oceanborn-Wishmaster-Century Child power trio. Weak! Is it too late? Dewi’s passion has reignited my craving for epic and big. In we go, time to redeem a boi!
LeddSledd: Before going into Once, the only experience I have with this band is the time in early high school when my nerdy band teacher had my class members each write a review for a Nightwish concert on Youtube “as if we were a concert reviewer from the Rolling Stone”. It was a semester final and I got a B+. The selection was between them and Simon and Garfunkel but we just had to have a metalhead student in attendance who insisted on the former. Having not heard them since then, I expect a military-grade level of cheese and some decent acoustic folkiness. Let’s dive in!
The album starts.
(1) Dark Chest of Wonders
JohnnyoftheWell: What a smutty title.
Dewinged: “Once I had a dream” yeah me too boy, me too.
JohnnyoftheWell: We are seen.
Dewinged: Ok no cheating, I’ve seen this one on the Wacken live vid.
JohnnyoftheWell: Wow this is pretty heavy for a Nightwish song, no?
Dewinged: Marko did something crazy with the bass there at the beginning but this goes faster than I can type. Ooooh Tarja! You awaken things in me, my queen.
JohnnyoftheWell: She is beauty she is grace. Wow I like how the certified Thrash riff is a prelude to a keyboard prelude. Symphonic.
Dewinged: It’s a prelude to the prelude that introduces the prelude.
JohnnyoftheWell: This kinda feels like an intro track more than an openeNoooope never mind, that’s a fucking chorus.
Dewinged: This chorus is dope.
JohnnyoftheWell: We are soaring.
Dewinged: A Nightwish slam, who would have thought.
JohnnyoftheWell: Emppu got chug fever here. Very early ’00s Children of Bodom of him!
Dewinged: There’s so much shit goin on behind Tarja’s singing, Tuomas is a sick motherfucker.
JohnnyoftheWell: Is this why she left? Like, calm down you sexy keyboard gremlin.
Dewinged: I love how this draws a fine line between a Disney soundtrack and power metal. Ok, Chest of Wonders is a hard KEEP for me, great opener for live shows too.
JohnnyoftheWell: Well that was certainly an opener. Every good album needs an opener! Big chugs big chorus I guess it’s a KEEP.
Okay aside from the expected synth strings, this is going much harder than I expected.
The choir and power metal lyrics confirm to me that the cheese is real.
The chugs are respectably heavy but also pan pipes?
Operatic female vocals are gonna have to grow on me pretty hard.
(2) Wish I Had An Angel
Dewinged: Ok I know this one too lol.
JohnnyoftheWell: This is probably more what I expected – this Disney four to the floor beat is epic.
Dewinged: Can’t say I’m a big fan of Marko’s parts here, I do love what Tarja does in the background.
JohnnyoftheWell: I’m in love with my lust burning angel wings to dust – Marko is giving Tarja emo fever.
Dewinged: Drums sound almost like electronic beats, but seeing how Jukko plays this live… the man is (was?) a machine.
JohnnyoftheWell: Ye, this is techno opera at its most refined!
Dewinged: Ok Marko, that’s some impressive screaming.
JohnnyoftheWell: This is one of those songs I feel kinda silly listening to in my bedroom but at the same time desperately want to see as an actual musical. Needs a huge set, dramatic backlighting and buff choreography, dir. Tim Burton.
Dewinged: Oh that’s a collab I would love to see. One thing I love about this band, they know how to put on a goddamn show.
JohnnyoftheWell: That was ridiculous and I enjoyed it but also cringed at it, what are these feelings I feel and why has this foul song put them in competition??? If this was a mean KILL or KEEP I’d KILL it, but I also wanna KEEP it because techno, but my instincts are true so KILL.
Ooh kinda like this wtf electronics nevermind I don’t.
Diggin’ that bassline but I cannot see why the drummer does not drum himself because the beat gives the impression of being cheap and kinda lame.
The weak angsty vocals feel a bit tacked on at the end there
Not enjoyed, gotta KILL this one.
Dewinged: Ok Wish I Had and Angel is kinda meh for me, KILL. Because NEMO IS HERE.
Dewinged: I got to know this song just yesterday, watched the official video almost by chance… meaning I was half asleep, and selecting stuff from youtube with one eye open,
JohnnyoftheWell: Is this a Nightwish power ballad
Dewinged: This song is fucking magic.
JohnnyoftheWell: I swear I’ve heard this/seen this but I cannot recall, which is odd because that chorus is a winner.
Dewinged: Yeah man, seriously, one of their best (of what I’ve heard so far).
JohnnyoftheWell: Did this album pre-date Finding Nemo? I forgot how old it was until 10 minutes ago.
Dewinged: I truly hope so. Sick break. Absolutely in love with this song.
JohnnyoftheWell: Omg that vibe of the guitar solo ending and an ethereal bridge coming in with a chord/key change before you’ve even adjusted to the concept of it ending is so Nightwish.
Dewinged: Tuomas has his modus operandi for sure haha.
JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah this is big. It’s not Ever Dream but it is certainly big.
Dewinged: Agree, Ever Dream is the power ballad of power ballads.
JohnnyoftheWell: These outro strings are big and alarmingly straightforward. You can feel Tuomas’ brow creasing as he fights back the urge to do skitty arp shit between every sustained note.
Dewinged: Tarja’s version is magical, but gotta admit Floor Jansen’s version is heart ripping stuff.
JohnnyoftheWell: KEEP Nemo, this is Nightwish and one does not KILL an epic power ballad.
Dewinged: Ok Nemo is obviously a KEEPer, probably my favorite of the album.
The female vocalist is scaling back the operatic flair a bit which suits her better, I think.
Also the piano is rather nice and twinkly.
This is the best chorus so far and I can start to feel myself soaring a bit rather than wincing.
Yea this is definitely one of the better ones.
(4) Planet Hell
Dewinged: Ok, I’m new to this one, let’s see.
JohnnyoftheWell: This is ominous.
Dewinged: Oh yeah, OH YEAH.
Dewinged: Very Threshold (I know you love that prog band)
JohnnyoftheWell: Drop D prog riffs no way. Our antihero is introduced in a low stakes highoctane skirmish with a band of local pirates.
Dewinged: I mean how can’t you vibe to this Eurovision pirate maelstrom…
JohnnyoftheWell: This back and forthing is interesting because Tuomas is slaying it even more than the actual back and forthers. Sorry Tarja and Marko. Wait, this was Eurovision??
Dewinged: It could be. If you wanted.
JohnnyoftheWell: Ngl this hook might be my favourite so far. That’s probably unclear because there are like 1000 hooks here but you know the one.
Dewinged: There we go, Castlevania Tuomas strikes again.
JohnnyoftheWell: Wow a villain voice breakdown marko you sly dog I didn’t know you had it in you.
Dewinged: Didn’t hook me, DIDN’T HOOK ME, OH GOD, I missed it.
JohnnyoftheWell: I want Tuomas to make a video game score once he’s done killing fantasy pirates.
Dewinged: I swear to God my man crush on Tuomas is very real.
JohnnyoftheWell [sic]:I want to go toiletrie shopping with him. How do you spell toiletries in the singular lol.
Dewinged: Toiletry you goddamn Brit.
JohnnyoftheWell: That’s probably correct but it also looks like a specialist plumber service or some cough shit.
Dewinged: (Totally made that up). Ok, verdict time, Planet Hell, tricky, it went really fucking fast, loved the drumming, but none of the hooks.. errr… hooked me. So I’m gonna KILL it.
JohnnyoftheWell: Planet Hell ripped and did not resolve but I abide this because it had that good Tarja hook KEEP.
Finally, well-placed string orchestration! And some cool chants to boot.
Wow that is a very 80s synth.
The keyboard runs and riffing in the last third of the song is actually getting my head bobbing and I’m all for it.
Finally a banger? Imma KEEP it.
(5) Creek Mary’s Blood
JohnnyoftheWell: This song is two minutes in and so far it’s only Tarja and Tuomas. Too steamy for my liking.
Dewinged: Watched live footage of this yesterday, second half is promising.
JohnnyoftheWell: Wow this is pretty and epic.
Dewinged: This is the one with the Navajo legend, or is he Sioux? Please wiki help me here.
JohnnyoftheWell: One sec. John Two-Hawks is a person of Lakota, French, Anishinabe and Irish descent, and he honors all those bloodlines, though he is most immersed in the Lakota and Irish culture. Epic.
Dewinged: There you go.
JohnnyoftheWell: imagining honouring that many bloodlines and guesting on a Finnish symphpowermetal epic all at once. This guy is my favourite and he hasn’t even come in yet.
Dewinged: He can definitely say he has done it all. How the hell did they get this gentleman to participate on this album?
JohnnyoftheWell: Tuomas sent him his favourite toiletries.
Dewinged: His spirit is already part of me. Jesus man, this is getting serious.
JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah those chugs weren’t announcing nothing!
Dewinged: Those highs from John were earth shaking. Chugchugchugchug Emppu doing his job there.
JohnnyoftheWell: Just found a reddit thread that begins: There’s already so much hate spread throughout the internet and belief that John Two-Hawks is a fake. But the scientific facts actually seem to speak against that. Very based.
Dewinged: Yep, he doesn’t appear to care about it, I tell you, the man has presence.
JohnnyoftheWell: Emppu reminding me of the Buck-Tick guitarist who isn’t Imai right here. Just dishing out them big bad chords and raking in that spotlight. Ok this is epic.
Dewinged: Ok this last spoken part is the outro, so starting to think about this VERY DIFFICULT decision.
JohnnyoftheWell: I have no idea what is being said. But Tuomas just got cucked. In some mysterious symphonic poetry way.
Dewinged: His spirit and the cosmos is telling us to 5 this.
JohnnyoftheWell: Is his spirit that spook flute? Because I will do whatever that tells me.
Dewinged: You know, in the live footage he is saying all this stuff and the crowd is completely in awe, little they know they’re being cursed to oblivion.
JohnnyoftheWell: Wow it ended.
Dewinged: Yep, there it goes, I’m gonna say KILL. Very gimmicky, but none of the melodies stuck.
JohnnyoftheWell: I don’t know how much of Creek Mary’s Blood I really took in tbh. That song went places, which is an important part of epicness. Why can I remember none of them? I will give it the benefit of the doubt and rejam personally, but it shall be KILLed professionally.
More chanting and yessss here comes the acoustic folkiness, harps and wood flutes aplenty.
Hmmm okay this is getting a tad overblown, I would’ve preferred if they kept the metal guitars outta this one cuz it makes the Native American touches feel kinda silly.
I do appreciate the inclusion of a piece like this on a Scandinavian symphonic metal album but I’m really not feeling the execution like I want to.
(6) The Siren
Dewinged: Time for some Siren’s chant, MAKE ME YOURS TARJA!
(Also new to this one)
Cool so far, eastern vibe?
JohnnyoftheWell: This is the most familiar Century Child vibe so far I think. I like this.
Dewinged: Umm nice, nice Marko, probably my favorite part from him so far.
JohnnyoftheWell: Emppu dishing out his first actual riff since the prelude to the prelude in track 1, attaboy. Fuck me up Phrygian Tuomas.
Dewinged: Yeah this has an oldie NW feel to it… is that a violin being violently played?
JohnnyoftheWell: Dude are you feeling beguiled rn?
Dewinged: There’s Tarja, calling us to the depths Johnny.
JohnnyoftheWell: Oh man she’s doing the siren thing she is ethereal she is a mirage, we are lost.
Dewinged: I’m sinking in my office chair. Last time I saw myself on the computer screen’s reflection I’d swear I was wearing clothes.
JohnnyoftheWell: And now she is wearing you.
Dewinged: This is very, very beautiful, I feel Marko’s despair, he’s also naked.
JohnnyoftheWell: Just makes it easier to feel it.
Dewinged: I like this Dark Soulish ending.
JohnnyoftheWell: Yeah I like how this is one is spooky and epic and has dynamics that pull the carpet under your naked, naked feet all at once. Very Soulsborne, firm KEEP.
Dewinged: Ok, The Siren definitely took me places, “hard” KEEP.
Now that is a sick intro riff, keep the momentum all the way through the song please I beg you Nightwish.
Vocals on here remind me quite heavily of Einar Solberg, another dramatic Scandinavian.
I don’t know what string instrument is now being solo’d upon but I thoroughly enjoy that earthy sound.
The vocals and strings are weaving a much more convincing atmosphere than the synthy nonsense from the first couple tracks.
Excellent quality misty soundscapes n shit.
(7) Dead Gardens
Dewinged: Another new one in my book, solid riffing.
JohnnyoftheWell: I have never even heard of this track before, but it is Slaying the Dreamer. So maybe I ‘ve heard it hmmm.
Dewinged: That intro is where Tuomas chugs his wine bottle.
JohnnyoftheWell: Tuomas has a gilt chalice.
Dewinged: This is building a mean chorus… do we have it!?
JohnnyoftheWell: Ok that was a sweet chorus, we may have a KEEP here. I think this is the first time I’ve heard a new Nightwish album in full since I lost my virginity. Idk why this song made me realise that.
Dewinged: What do you mean since you lost your virginity, aren’t you still…
JohnnyoftheWell: LOW blow !!!
Dewinged: Oh, OH sorry SORRY, didn’t remember this was gonna be published, my bad.
JohnnyoftheWell: “Can virginity grow back if you listen to Nightwish in your 20s?” Tarja’s backing vox over Tarja’s not backing vox is a good combination of things.
Dewinged: Oh I am very aroused now. I think in front of Tarja, everyone’s a virgin.
JohnnyoftheWell: Woah this riff is jammed up. Awesome shit.
Dewinged: Mean riffs, polyrhythms, Jukko going nuts.
JohnnyoftheWell: Love it when guitarists forget their riff halfway through and just play the first half for like 8 bars until they remember how it ends.
Dewinged: We’re doing mathcore now, and…!
JohnnyoftheWell: Killer outro very climactic
Dewinged: Hell, it’s over, well, that was sort of abrupt. Ok, phew I don’t know, it was a fun track, solid chorus, I’d KEEP it.
JohnnyoftheWell: I guess that was a relatively standard heavy Nightwish song? Could go either way, but I already prefer this next one so KILL narrowly.
Aight more heavy riffing it is!
The synths are a lot more subdued this time around (which is good!)
Good chorus n shit, pretty simple banger but a banger nonetheless.
JohnnyoftheWell: This is awesome.
Dewinged: I’m a virgin…to this track.
JohnnyoftheWell: “Romanticide” very incel, peak virgin points. Wow did Tuomas just do a thing only to get fuckin cut off by that meanass riff?
Dewinged: Oh wow this IS a Tarja chorus. That PERFECT vibrato, damn, what a diva. Another wine break for good ol’ Tuomas.
JohnnyoftheWell: I like how the second verse sounded nothing like the first verse. Damn, Emppu getting big revenge on the first half of the album over here.
Dewinged: Right? I think it’s the first time he unleashes?
JohnnyoftheWell: AND THAT WAS ANOTHER NIGHTWISH GUITAR SOLO BROUGHT TO YOU BY- nvm Tuomas bridge. Oh wow.
Dewinged: Oh I thought we were done but nope.
JohnnyoftheWell: Nop nop. This song cleared up in 3 minutes flat and left itself space for a bass laydown. And wow a screamo bridge
Dewinged: Marko time!
JohnnyoftheWell: How unexpected. Big showstopper, this show is going on and going off. Dewinged: Fucking Tuomas, this is really the work of a madman.
JohnnyoftheWell: Fuck me that riff was legit kinda nasty. We could be listening to Bullet for my Valentine right here.
Dewinged: There’s way more chugging than I expected for sure.
JohnnyoftheWell: Well, that fucked shit up.
Dewinged: Hmmm HMMMMM.
JohnnyoftheWell: First 3 minutes were so tight that I abide a messy chug coda. Good heavywish, KEEP.
Dewinged: I’d say Romanticide sort of kills itself, too much chugging and I can only remember the chorus, I’m gonna KILL it.
Intro chants sounds like funny sex moan so we’re already off to a good start.
Rather like the key change chorus and crazy kick flurry.
These chugs are a bit lame but also YES A NIGHTWISH GUITAR SOLO!
Oooooh the bass gettin funky but c’mon they can’t do anything more interesting than the chugs and gang shouts?
This is a toss-up but it ended poorly so I am forced to KILL it.
(9) Ghost Love Score
Dewinged: Ghost fucking love score my man, I think we both know this one. First things first, that intro is a MASTERPIECE, Tuomas you brilliant motherfucker.
JohnnyoftheWell: I have never heard this before, but suddenly I’m queuing for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland Paris for a solid hr for the third fking time in one day. Being 11 was no joke.
Dewinged: Ok this song battling Nemo really hard now for favorites.
JohnnyoftheWell: This is what I’ve been craving this whole time.
Dewinged: That backing vox is pure emo.
JohnnyoftheWell: It is perfect.
Dewinged: And listen to Tarja hovering it, my god this is so good.
JohnnyoftheWell: This is bringing on big Beauty of the Beast flashbacks and this is always a good thing. Wow, a new section approaches.
Dewinged: Disney hard. But somehow it gets into you.
JohnnyoftheWell: This guitar solo is bait. It’s acting lazy, but we know there’s gonna be a bridge straight after – they can fool us no longer.
Dewinged: Yeah, it’s a bit too simplistic but it somehow works.
JohnnyoftheWell: Oh wow. Instead of a bridge it cut back completely!!! Dammit Tuomas, you and your tricks.
Dewinged: This is building a tsunami my dear. We’re about to get FLOODED.
JohnnyoftheWell: Rain down on us!!
Dewinged: I’m riding a unicorn. I’m farting rainbows. OOOOOOH yes
JohnnyoftheWell: We are soaring. We are now in a forest. How did we get here? We will never know.
Dewinged: Tarja is singing us a lullaby, we’re so done dude.
JohnnyoftheWell: The animals are dancing.
Dewinged: I can see Johnny, through the fog hugging a tree.
JohnnyoftheWell: In that light and in that moment those boughs got me. Dewi is strumming a palm frond (how!!?? where) like a lyre!!
Dewinged: This is very come dance in the palace while the furniture transforms into mythical creatures and suddenly it’s a vampire movie, you know like that one…
JohnnyoftheWell: We have abandoned our senses there is only epic.
Dewinged: Back to the intro, Tuomas you magnificent bastard.
JohnnyoftheWell: What does the ghost have to do with any of this lmao. Was it a bait ghost jfc I haven’t paid attention to a single lyric on this album.
Dewinged: Ok MANDATORY shout out to Floor Jensen and the INSANE high she does on this part in the Wacken footage. Like seriously, top 10 jaw dropping moments this year.
JohnnyoftheWell: This outro is enormous, I feel the ghosts. It deserves that fadeout.
Dewinged: In the End of an Era footage (last show with Tarja) she doesn’t do the high, instead she disappears in the darkness while waving kisses, dude, legendary stuff. Love the contrast between the two performances. You can see I’ve been a bit obsessed this week.
JohnnyoftheWell: Ghost Love Score was a KEEP because if you KILL a song like that, you literally KILL Nightwish.
Dewinged: Ghost love Score is the KEEPer of KEEPS.
More of the same formula except now there’s a sitar and an…oboe? Bassoon??
Kinda meanders a bit but the dreamy lush middle section that feels like wandering through a mythical forest makes up for it. I feel that’s what this band is best at so far.
Yeeeaaaaa here we go power metal battle/adventure/pure distilled nerd section.
I’m starting to pick up that the band’s instrumental philosophy is more instruments = more cool and they’ve kinda nailed it.
Outro surprises me by being pure choir and orchestra cheese and also fkn awesome, who knew?
Certified KEEPer, much epic. Thanks Nightwish
(10) Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan
Dewinged: (Finnish gibberish) I made my homework.
JohnnyoftheWell: Ah this is a cooldown ballad that justifies Ghost Love Score not closing the album! Very smart.
Dewinged: I would have closed the album with GLS, honestly I don’t know how you can top that.
JohnnyoftheWell: Higher Than Hope better have some high grade fantasycrack goin on.
Dewinged: Like this is a pretty cooldown, a cold shower after an onsen overdose but…
JohnnyoftheWell: One cannot live on cold showers alone.
Dewinged: This song is like your sex partner wanting to cuddle up after you’re done already.
JohnnyoftheWell: And I’d appreciate that wavelength if it weren’t for how Tuomas is always gonna get more out of it than me. KILL.
Dewinged: Kuolema Tripakki Durruti Column, hard KILL, please let me breathe.
Very pleasant symphonic ballad vibe
These guys are way cooler when they go full acoustic
The vocals are clearly sung in some gibberish language that doesn’t exist, like Finnish
The cello solo is getting me good in feels
Very tasteful and closer-like, KEEP (but why is there one more?)
(11) Higher Than Hope
JohnnyoftheWell: This had better be big.
Dewinged: Higher than Hope, acoustic guitar, but… aaaaahh, no riff, it’s just Tarja.
JohnnyoftheWell: We are back in Disney, maybe that’s the right start.
Dewinged: Uuuuuufff reeks of ballad.
JohnnyoftheWell: Oh yes yes I like where this is going.
Dewinged: Uuh heavy ballad indeed.
JohnnyoftheWell: Wow that wasn’t where I thought it was going. This feels like an epilogue tbh, so I can abide it + Ghost Love Score not being the closer.
Dewinged: Ok man, this is gonna end with a ballad by the books, what a let down. Maybe we’re playing Within Temptation but we only hear Nightwish.
JohnnyoftheWell: Omg absolute horror reel material right there. That second chorus dragged, but this feels like the band drawing in a breath and getting ready to let it go: 1:45 left to make the album end correctly, game on. Oh it’s another chorus dammit
Dewinged: I don’t know man, I feel like this is trying to go for a third hoompalumpa… I mean it’s epic, I’ll give them that, you know what, I think this could be a grower. And that’s it, we’re through!
JohnnyoftheWell: Okay hmmmm yeah, I feel that could have been a hit earlier in the tracklist but it ended and I kinda wished the album had stopped after GLS. KILL, sorry sorry
Dewinged: Same KILL everything after Ghost Love Score, I was exhausted and in heaven.
Okay this is exactly the same energy as the last song except heavier and feebler
Bring back the cello
That guitar hook is pretty half-assed compared to the best of what the guitarist has whipped out earlier on here
Epic chorus key change? Color me astonished!
Why didn’t it end on Kuolema? KILL the bloat with fire.
Dewinged: Ok, conclusion, hell of an entry point to Nightwish, like I’ve seen commented somewhere, it’s a pretty nice display of everything this band is capable of. Nemo and Ghost Love Score, and even Dark Chest of Wonders will go straight up into my best of Nightwish comp when I unavoidably make one once I’m done with their discog run. The Siren and Dead Gardens are hidden gems too.
Pheromone: This is a farce Johnny, where was my invite and what the fuck is a Nightwish?
JohnnyoftheWell: Woah sorry, thought I left the door opened but fuckin’ Tuomas went and changed the key again. I think what this album taught me (and which I kinda already knew) was that I prefer power metal Nightwish to symphonic Nightwish, but like a little bit of the latter if possible. This album dished out a LOT of it, so was a lil bit too Disney and honestly kinda overwhelming as such. Probably my least favourite full-length that I’ve heard from them, BUT there are plenty of cuts here that I’d be happy to come back to when I get to my next 1.5annual revisitation of this band! Coolio!
LeddSledd: So that’s it! I can say my expectations of cheese and balladry have been fulfilled and then some. Best cuts had to be Nemo, The Siren, and Ghost Love Score. From what I can tell these guys love to straddle the line of majestic/well-crafted and grandiose/overblown. With the exception of Ghost Love Score, I find them to be at their best on Once when scaled-back and tasteful – I prefer it considerably over their formula of combining synths and mediocre guitar ideas with an operatic chorus. More folky, less Disney!
Dewinged: I think Century Child is edging this one a bit, but this could grow to be my favorite Tarja era Nightwish for sure.
JohnnyoftheWell: Century Child is life.
LeddSledd: Okay off to sleep with me.
Dewinged: 6/11 (55%)
JohnnyoftheWell: 5/11 (45%)
LeddSledd: 5/11 (45%)