Tartarean Desire Webzine
Here it finally is, the most anticipated metal release of 2002, or at least one of them. The first album from Nightwish was rather immature concerning the song writing but you could still easily tell that something big was about to hit us very soon. "Ocean Born" proved that theory more than one could ever have expected and Nightwish was suddenly one of the biggest metal bands in the world with enormous success in both Europe and South America. "Wishmaster" was also a wonderful album althouth there was very little progression from the last album except for an even more powerful and professional sound. I was very excited when I sat down to listen to their new album and I was positively surprised. After the last album I feared that there was no way for the band to push their music further but luckily I was wrong. "Century Child" shows a band who does not want to stand still but continue to develop. I don't think it has anything to do with Marco Hietala (Tarot, Sinergy) joining the band on bass but this does not sound like a complete copy of their last albums. The pompous and bombastic arrangements that have become a trademark for the band are still there of course but the songs are more complex than they have been before with stronger classical influences. This time even the slower, more ballad-ish songs sound good and this is because Tarja have finally found out how to sing. Don't get me wrong here. She has always had an amazing voice but this is the first time that she has shown any noteworthy qualities of melodic singing which is very important when it comes to less aggressive songs. Then comes me complaining again. Changes always have their price and this time there are too many songs with a traditional rock structure to them which makes them a little boring at times. Another thing is that they have decided that it was a good idea to throw in a few male vocals. They sound absolutely awful and only ruin the overall impression. If they want to have a male vocalist he should at least be able to sing or otherwise stick to just spoken words. Now I'm done complaining I think. This is unfortunately the weakest Nightwish release since the debut but it is still a superb album that should not disappoint any fans of the band. Once again the best songs are better than last time and the worst songs are worse... Stand-out tracks: "Bless The Child", "End Of All Hope", "Beauty Of The Beast".