Nuclear Blast Records
FFO: Epica, Within Temptation, Delain, Leaves’ Eyes, Sonata Arctica
It has been nearly five years since Nightwish delivered ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’. Their first album with Floor Jansen on vocals was met with an almost anti-climactic average results with many fans still longing for the heady days of Tarja Turunen at the vocal stand. This year does have the Finns returning with their latest album ‘Human. :||: Nature.’ hoping to fully recapture the hearts of their fans.
Unfortunately, those fans expecting another ‘Oceanborn’ or ‘Angels Fall First’ will be sorely disappointed as what Nightwish deliver with ‘Human…’ is an album which may show the band at their most mature and adult. Nightwish have always had an air of this around them and it is this maturity which helped them carve out their legacy within the genre, but with ‘Human…’, the experience behind them helps the music stand tall and for once, the plaudits are not all lain upon the female fronted focus; in fact, the album’s closing epic ‘All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World’ is worthy of a movie Oscar. The orchestrations scored during this piece not only have all the hallmarks of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, but the legato melancholic cello notes are comparable to ‘Game of Thrones’. Furthermore, the addition of Jansen’s operatic choral voice really does have the ability to spirit the listener away into the wilds of the imagination. However, that is also the crux of ‘Human…’, the beautiful serenity of this album can lead it into being little more than background, albeit decent, music with many of the songs being quite unmemorable. Yet, it is the track ‘Harvest’ which really stands out with its world music African vibe, its warm and comforting chorus will have the listener humming it for days.
It would be unfair to compare this album to the early works of Nightwish, this is Nightwish for a different era. Whilst ‘Human…’ may not appeal to everyone, there is plenty to digest here over multiple listens from an album that has more layers than an overgrown onion and dedicated time is needed to fully understand this beautiful album.