1. Dark Chest Of Wonders 2. Wish I Had An Angel 3. Nemo 4. Planet Hell 5. Creek Mary’s Blood 6. The Siren 7. Dead Gardens 8. Romanticide 9. Ghost Love Score 10. Kuolema Tekee Taiteitijan 11. Higher Than Hope
At their 5th album “Once” is also the heaviest release by Nightwish. Here we find the Finnish quintet employing none other than the London Symphony Orchestra to embellish their songs. However this orchestra never steals the listener`s focus at the expense of the band.
On to the album: “Once” contains more riffing than previous Nightwish releases. The mixing of the C.D. is also different in that Tarja’s voice, great as ever, is not overshadowing many guitar passages. A few synthetic percussion sounds are used, such as on ‘Wish I Had An Angel’, and this shall certainly raise a few eyebrows.
In respect to the previous Nightwish album “Century Child”, bassist Marco Hietala`s vocal capabilities (Marco sang lead vocals in a number of bands including Tarot), are used to greater effect. And to be honest, he’s got quite a good voice.
Lyrics seem inspired by fables and myths to which the band tries to give a modern touch – `Creek Mary’s Blood` and `The Siren` are 2 such examples.
“Once” shall probably not go down well with all the band’s fans, and it might not be their best album. But I feel this album is a step in the right direction. It presents the band as mature, one not prepared to let its music stagnate.