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nightwish humaniinature
Artist: Nightwish
Title: Human. :II: Nature.
Genre: Symphonic Rock / Symphonic Metal
Release Date: 10th April 2020
Label: Nuclear Blast


Album Review

“The long waiting is over”, I thought happily, when I started listening to ‘Human. :II: Nature.’. Was it worth the long waiting time? It was! Mastermind Tuomas Holopainen filled a fantastic box of musical treasures.

“All it took was
Time and silence”

A quote from the album’s opener ‘Music’ seems to describe perfectly what NIGHTWISH - who always strive for the very best in their music - need to create a new album. ‘Music’ is an amazing track that takes you on an imaginary trip back to the time, when music was born. The beginning is full of single sounds, leading over into rhythm, then harmonies, orchestral parts lead over into wild drums and pipes, you will listen to parts by choruses and when after approximately three minutes Floor’s voice becomes audible and approximately one minute later an epic chorus joins her you realize “It’s NIGHTWISH!” - Floor Jansen’s clean vocals with piano, pipes and strings in the background. Slowly ancient instruments lead over into modern ones, drums, keyboards and up-tempo beat lead over into rock and Empuu Vuorinnen gives ‘Music’ a cool Metal touch with a rocking solo. A masterpiece making you curious where NIGHTWISH will take you during the journey.

The piano outro leads over into ’Noise’ the first single NIGHTWISH released with a fantastic video from ‘Human. :II: Nature.’

“Noise
From a sunless world
Your mirror is black, only a copy stares back
At a slave of brave new world
Noise
To decoy the human voice
Brain insomniac, paranoiac
Endless noise”

The music is driving and up-tempo and a lot more orchestral than ‘Music’ and a sharp contrast to the harmony and flawless transitions. A song that reflects on the time we are living in and NIGHTWISH giving you a hint, how to escape from it and now that most of us face a lockdown, it is a reminder and also shows us that we can decide how we pass the time that is given to us.

“Sunset is free
From this deity
The Earth has a real voice
Go out and get in“

The video is a cinematic masterpiece and it shows that NIGHTWISH want to make you think in which way you use technology and how it can be abused to destroy. At the same time, it is clear that NIGHTWISH appreciate technology, for they couldn’t create their signature sound, their amazing live productions and breath-taking videos without it. The final sequences of the video bear signs of hope and beautiful shots of nature that surrounds us and people can decide, what they want to put out to the world. The sharp contrast of the first two tracks that both are orchestral make you curious which aspects of humans and nature NIGHTWISH will show you during this journey.

‘Shoemaker’ is a very complex track and you better listen to the track several times to figure out the different layers of the song. There is an orchestral part, various vocal layers  and if you listen very concentrated you can hear that the guitar kind of picks up elements that you would rather expect in the field of percussion. It will be interesting to see live how Emppu Vuorinnen (who recently quit BROTHER FIRETRIBE to focus on NIGHTWISH) and Kai Haito work together in the same field. The best part in my books is the outro, starting after the quotations of William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ read by Johanna Kurkela (Tuomas Holopainen’s wife). If you are in science, you will realize, that the song is inspired by Eugene Shoemaker, an American geologist who specialized in the field of planetary science.

Shoemaker was killed in an accident in 1997 and in 1999 some of his shoes were carried to the moon with the Lunar Prospector mission. The outro reveals, that this NIGHTWISH album is an orchestral one, but compared to ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’ the orchestra remains in the background and supports the vocals in a brilliant way. It seems that Tuomas Holopainen wanted to Challenge vocalist Floor Jansen with this really difficult part on vocals, but once more Floor shows, that the outclasses her predecessors by far.

While he delivers the backing vocals for ‘Shoemaker’, multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley is on leading vocals for ‘Harvest’. It seems that Tuomas Holopainen has written the song with the focus ton Troy’s voice as it suits him perfectly. The song is strong on the folk elements NIGHTWISH often make part of their songs and it sounds so optimistic and leaves you in a happy and hopeful mood, that you might feel included to put it on repeat. ‘Pan’ shows the class of Floor Jansen as a vocalist; it seems that she meets all the different tempi and pitches without effort, the melody is like what you might call a classic NIGHTWISH melody. The instruments are powerful and the middle of the song is marked by swirling stings and you will find some energetic choir passages.

Uilleann Pipes are quite strong in ‘How’s the heart’ which is one of the songs that show NIGHTWISH’s folky sides again. ‘Procession’ focuses Floor Jansen’s plaintive voice, with a nice piano line that might give you the idea, that this is a Pop song. The melody as such is very intriguing and creates a melancholy, that is supported by Rock and dark keyboard elements. Somehow it reminds me of the kind of songs you could fin on NIGHTWISH’s album ‘Century Child’. ‘Tribal’ is a very interesting song and the drum part in the middle of the song is one of the best I ever heard on a NIGHTWISH album. ‘Tribal’ starts heavily but the vocals by Marco Hietala and Floor Jansen make it a very powerful one. The ritual chants somehow don’t fit as an intro for the drum passage for it then has no outro before the vocals kick in again towards the end of the song.

‘Endlessness’ seems to be made for Marco Hietala’s voice and Emppu Vuorinen’s Hard Rock riffs suit the melody of the song perfectly. The longing atmosphere is perfectly supported by Marco’s voice that is underlined by amazing piano parts here and there and very melodic string tones and dark keyboard elements. Floor once more shows here ability to perform classic parts that are supported by an amazing symphonic sound arrangement. The outro might make you think that ‘Endlessness’ might be a perfect song for a movie for the orchestral part and the choral elements leave a lasting impression.

The second CD seems to be a sinfonia that Tuomas Holopainen wrote to challenge all the musicians involved. Pip Williams who is responsible for the orchestral arrangements, conductor James Shearmen and The London Session Orchestra woke the whole story to life. You will find some spoken word passages in the beginning, then the music takes over. ‘Aurorae’ has a really harp passage, if you like cello, you should five ‘The Blue’ a try and if you want to marvel at Troy’s skills coming to Uilleann Pipes, you should try ‘Moors’. If you like Tuomas Holopainen’s way to write music, and you liked his solo project, then you will like the CD. If you are more into NIGHTWISH because of the class of every single member, you might only like it as a background music, why concentrating on something else.

The music speaks for itself on CD1 and CD2, for those who want to get a deeper understanding, NIGHTWISH put a link on their website that gives you access to all the lyrics https://genius.com/Nightwish-music-lyrics. The first part of the album shows that NIGHTWISH outclass all the other bands in the Symphonic Metal sector and use the orchestral arrangements to support the vocal parts. This album focuses a lot more on voices, but some people might dislike that the folkloristic elements are stronger on this album than on its predecessors. If you like albums that tell stories, this album is perfect for you. It will be very interesting to see production on stage and hear the songs live. The first video ‘Noise’ makes you longing for more.


Tracklist

CD1
01. Music
02. Noise
03. Shoemaker
04. Harvest
05. Pan
06. How’s The Heart?
07. Procession
08. Tribal
09. Endlessness

CD2
01. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Vista
02. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - The Blue
03. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - The Green
04. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Moors
05. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Aurorae
06. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Quiet As The Snow
07. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Anthropocene (incl. ‘Hurrian Hymn To Nikkal’)
08. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Ad Astra


Line-up

Tuomas Holopainen – Keyboards
Marco Hietala – Bass
Emppu Vuorinen – Guitar
Kai Haito – Drums
Floor Jansen – Vocals
Troy Donockley – Uilleann Pipes, Low Whistles


Website

https://nightwish.com


Cover Picture

nightwish humaniinature


Rating

Music: 9.5
Sound: 9.5
Total: 9.5 / 10




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