Century Child

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Band Name Nightwish
Album Name Century Child
Type Album
Released date 24 June 2002
Recorded at Finnvox Studios
Music StyleSymphonic Heavy
Members owning this album1239


1. Bless the Child 06:12
2. End of All Hope 03:55
3. Dead to the World 04:20
4. Ever Dream 04:44
5. Slaying the Dreamer 04:32
6. Forever Yours 03:50
7. Ocean Soul 04:15
8. Feel for You 03:55
9. The Phantom of the Opera 04:10
10. Beauty of the Beast 10:22
a/ Long Lost Love
b/ One More Night to Live
c/ Christabel
Bonustracks (Official Collector's Edition)
11. Lagoon 03:47
12. The Wayfarer 03:24
13. Bless the Child (Edit) 04:05
14. End of All Hope (Live) 04:17
15. Dead to the World (Live) 04:45
Total playing time 1:15:36

Comment @ vikingman369

08 January 2023

The Beginning of the End

In less than a decade, Nightwish had taken the world by storm, inventing a new subgenre of metal and inspiring a legion of European-bound imitators in the process. They were become the biggest thing to come out of Finland in the music world, to say nothing of the world of metal. Where else was there to go from here? Alas, with the benefit of hindsight, this album may very well mark what would become the beginning of the end for Nightwish.

Which is not to say that 2002's Century Child is a bad album: by no means! This ranks perhaps as the best and most consistent album since Oceanborn. Powerful headbangers like "Slaying the Dreamer" or my personal favorite "End of All Hope" positively soar, resting comfortably alongside more mellow and somber affair like "Forever Yours" and "Ocean Soul". Tuomas' Dead Boy is brought back for "Dead to the World" and the epic album closer "Beauty of the Beast", which hearkens back in name, if not in subject matter, to the Villenueve fairy tale from Angels Fall First. There's no shortage of good tracks, and the inclusion of Tarot bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala adds another powerful voice to the already mighty sirenic wail of Tarja Turunen.

So why is this the beginning of the end? Well, it all turns to our perpetual sad-boy Tuomas. On this album particularly, and on the next three to follow, we find him wrestling with being suddenly a big band. Whether intentional or no, this lead to him steadily altering the sound of Nightwish. Oh it's still metal, and high quality: just like Oceanborn, you can throw a dart at the track list on this album and land on a solid piece. But it's worth noting that the sound is nevertheless being steadily altered. Empuu, a shred-master in his own right, is being delegated to riff-master and in some cases, doing nothing more than playing chords over which Tuomas can show off his compositional skills. Granted, the Finnish halfling does a good job with what he's given, and one can see some Megadeth influences in the second half of "Slaying the Dreamer". But that, tied with Tarja's typically dark vocal tone brightening up considerably - noticeably on the aforementioned "Slaying the Dreamer" and "Ever Dream" - not to mention a killer take on Broadway showtunes (hey, Disney is basically that and they already went there on "FantasMic"), are indications of the band's shift from a symphonic power metal band to what can be referred to - both lovingly and a little sarcastically - as a "Tim Burton metal" band. That is to say, a band that makes the same kind of catchy, dramatic, darksome, dare I say "poppy", music as Burton's regular musical collaborator Danny Elfman.

This style of the band would continue on for the next nine years of the band's existence (yes, even into the much maligned second era). Whether or not that is a good thing sonically is up for debate, but it bears notice that here the band settled into a sound that could very much be called "their own." No matter how many bands have tried to imitate them over the years, they never quite got the emotive style that this album here fashioned. Unfortunately, as stated above, that meant that we would be in for a lot less headbanging power metal pieces and more down-paced somber affair.

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