- "Century Child"
Spinefarm Records 2002
"Century Child" of a dreamstory called Nightwish is launched! It went immediately gold in Finland, yet another proof of how popular the band is. The band decided to work with an orchestra on this new record. This cooperation can be heard on five songs (incl. the opener "Bless The Child"). A great idea for achieving wider sound dimensions. But was this idea successful?
What can I say? I'm very disappointed. This time they totally missed their goal. Music is very rational and very much castrated. I'm sure that the band was under time pressure with this release. Fully occupied, they just couldn't find the time for some fresh ideas. So what can we hear on the new record are a million times heard motives. This band become so popular, carried on the wings of early success, that they don't care about their quality anymore.
"Wishmaster" was a real jewel. Clean as an eye and a real masterpiece. Everything was balanced, great work of the whole team. There we've got songs with heads and tails. But what the band delivers is the opposite. Boring use of guitars (only riffing can be heard), poor work of rhythm line in bridges, drums are done without any enthusiasm. So who needs a drummer at all, and who needs a bass guitar player. Computer programming could do complete rhythm section. It would be cheaper, with the same effect.
Guitars are castrated too, because of the way they're played and their production. Guitars are mainly hidden somewhere far behind. Keyboards and the orchestra are forced in front, so you can't get an impression that you're listening to a metal band. That there is a lot of empty space between rhythm line and keyboard/orchestral arrangements is another bad thing. Vocal lines are real killing time to digest. A thousand times heard motives. Always staying in school learnt frames. The band is out of ideas. They're selling just their name.
We have mostly mid-tempo songs, even when sometimes band succeeds to bring out more power rhythms, they are stopped by paused breaks with vocal lines covered by keyboards. I was trying like hell to feel some soul anywhere in Nightwish's new product. Everything is dictated by music school knowledge of artists in the band. When I was listening to the record for the first time, I fell asleep in the middle of the second song, which is by the way the fastest piece, the heaviest one ("End Of All Hope") on the entire record.
What can also be found on the new record are men's vocals that were done by band's bass guitarist. Soulless again, without desired contrast to Tarja's vocal they were searching for. This contrast nerves me very much. I'm not saying that guy hasn't got a well trained vocal. It is not enough if you can't put yourself into music, your heart I mean. All those screams are useless and can't convince me. This was also over forced.
I don't know. They should take a long resting period. Some strange rumors can be read that Tarja is leaving the band. I hope that won't happen. Anyway Nightwish are a big name now. With "Wishmaster" they've shown, that they can be great composers, innovative with full energy force and that they really deserve (with all the hard work they've put into it) to became a well known name. I'm sure that "Century Child" is just "a little shit" that happens to almost all bands in their music carrier. Funny, in lyrics they're talking a lot about the soul, but unfortunately their new product is soulless.