Nightwish – Human. :II: Nature.


Nightwish is one of those few bands whose albums I immediately purchase as soon as they are released. For 25 years, they have held a standard that is above all competition in symphonic metal, and on top of that, they have always felt like they’ve been moving forward and always gotten bigger and better. So of course, there has always been a cetrain wonder wether or not they one day will reach their limit. Maybe this could be it. My god, this album is strange.

It starts out quite majestic, but still very much classic Nightwish. The intro for Music might go on for minutes, but when the songs finally bursts out with a strong refrain and glorious melodies, it’s all worth it. Moving on to the single Noise, we get the typical Nightwish hit, all though of course a touch bigger and more grande than usual. Also Shoemaker is a really good song, but I’m starting to get worried about us not having heard any real masterpieces yet. And after that, the surprises starts to appear. First there’s a good one in Harvest, with vocals by Troy Donockley, who has never used his voice in the band before. It’s different, and it’s one of the albums strongest tracks! Weaker songs like Pan and Tribal pushes for the heavier side of Nightwish but doesn’t really make it fly. How’s the Heart is a classic Nightwish ballad in the tradition of For the Heart I Once Had and Turn Loose the Mermaids and doesn’t disappoint. Endlessness closes the first CD with great delight and it feels both quite different and quite good, although not that overwhelming. But then we have CD 2.

All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World is a 31 minute long orchestral piece which moves the works of Toumas Holopainen closer to movie scores than ever in the history of Nightwish. There’s no leading vocals or guitar riffs, just orchestral sounds. Which I guess would be okay if the music were any better. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it doesn’t feel nowhere near as grande or powerful as say Ghost Love Score, Last Ride of the Day or even Lappi from the bands very first album Angels Fall First, to compare it to earlier epics. It’s just some background soundtrack that makes some noise in the background and then fades away without leaving that much impact.

I can’t say that I’m thrilled about Human. :II: Nature (even the title is complicated). The first disc is classic Nightwish (although with with high hopes and a slight confusion) and has some really good tracks, but even with that as a single album this would probably be the bands weakest release. And then the second disc comes along, dragging the whole thing deeper in the dirt. It still doesn’t end up bad, but slightly disappointing. Nightwish has always been a band moving forward, pushing themselves further and further, always becoming deeper and bigger. The Floor Jansen era seems to be the end of that, and I have a feeling that the evolving sound is finally starting to fall apart at the seams. Perhaps it’s time for a  break for Toumas to write solo things in the tradition of All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World (like he did on his solo album The Life and Times of Scrooge) instead of putting them into the Nightwish catalogue. I don’t know, but this album leaves me head scratching.

Artist: Nightwish
Title: Human. :II: Nature.
Label: Nuclear Blast
Date of release: 10/4-20
Time: 81,39

Rating: 6/10
Standout track: Harvest

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Nightwish – Human. :II: Nature.

April 28, 2020

So of course, there has always been a cetrain wonder wether or not they one day will reach their limit. Maybe this could be it. My god, this album is strange.

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