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Tuomas Holopainen - Keyboards (Founding Member)
Emppu Vuorinen - Guitars (Founding Member)
Jukka Nevalainen - Drums (Joined in 1997)
Marco Hietala - Bass (Joined in 2002)
Tarja Turunen - Vocals (Founding Member, left in 2005)
Originally released by Spinefarm records in 2002, Century Child is probally one of Nightwish's most aggressive and emotional albums they've done so far. It's also their least original album. While it still has the grand and epic traits polished up with Tarja's inspiration voice, it falls flat with cheesy riffs, flat musical arrangements and a much more chilled out approach. Despite being the more commercial and weaker albums, Century Child remains a successful era for the band with the edition of Tarot's bassist and vocalist, Marco Heitala.
The album introduced orchestras to their work, and Tarja's three octaves are used less often with the exception of Slaying The Dreamer. I'd say this is a good place to start listening to Nightwish as Century Child contains all their classic elements and includes their golden line up.
"I only wished to become something beautiful through my music, through my silent devotion." - Ocean Soul
What can I say? It's a great album. Nightwish have always made great albums since the beginning of their career. Not everyone's kind of music, but great nevertheless. There are some things that annoy me about this album. In my opinion this album is really self-indulgent. A couple of times I felt the music on Century Child is really pretentious which is why it's probably more of Nightwish's most commercial sounding albums.
You can also think of this album as a concept album as it's main theme is children losing innocence. In this album you can tell that Tuomas really loves children. His love for children really does make an impact on Nightwish's music and the depth of their music. It's quite over the top on this album, and in my opinion is why I think it's a step down from Wishmaster and Over The Hills And Far Away. I'm also not fond of the booklet very much, I think there's far too much photoshop and the lyrics are bit hard to read in my opinion. These are just some of the low lights. There are some very sky high good stuff.
"Wake up, mow the weed. You'd be nothing without me! Take my life if you have the heart to die." - Slaying The Dreamer
Bless The Child gives the album an ethereal opening. It's quite welcoming with Tarja holding some very long notes. The vocals sound a little bit iffy, but it's a cute song. It's far from my favourite, but I can see how people can like it. I enjoyed the song back in the day when I first heard Century Child.
End Of All Hope is a dramatic anthem. Everything about this song is pure blast. It's quite repetitive, but I think that's what makes the song so effective. It leaves a big impact. This is why Century Child is considered the most darkest album of Nightwish's career because of the strong emotion pouring out from the musicians and the aggressive tone it produces.
Dead To The World seems to have it all. I don't really know what I like the most about it. It's a really complex and rich. I really like how Marco and Tarja sing back and forth. The keyboards, drums and guitars sound awesome. Some great lyrics with some fancy metaphors and I think the music gave the lyrics justice.
Ever Dream was a massive hit for Nightwish and is Anette Olzon's (the current vocalist for Nightwish) favourite songs from Nightwish before she joined. I think Ever Dream deserved it's success. The song starts with Tarja singling softly along an acoustic number before the huge orchestra comes in. It's heavy, operatic and also very dreamy, which I think is one of the band's best traits.
Slaying The Dreamer is amazing. Especially the ending and the middle eight. I love Marco's voice and I love Tarja's voice; their harmonies are epic. Jukka's also a monster on the drums. The atmosphere in this song is just incredible it's like a visually stunning movie for the ears.
Ocean Soul is a sweet fragile song. It's a very self indulgent track. So personal that the band no longer play it as Tuomas gets so emotional over it. Compared to some of the thunderous tracks on here, it's quite laid-back and intimate. Which I think flows nicely into the next track.
Feel For You is a very intimate song. The lyrics are very poetic and Tarja's almost whispering on her parts. I love the instrumental and chorus on this song. I guess people can complain that Tarja's not using her operatic tone, but I'm glad she's not using it on this song. I think Feel For You is perfect the way it is; raw and ethereal.
Forever Yours is an artistic ballad which takes me back to their old roots with their intimate ballads like Sleeping Sun and Dead Boy's Poem. Tarja sound really adorable on this song. I think the song could do with a bit more speed, but at the same time the low speed helps make the song stand out. I love the tine whistles on this one, it gives the song a beautiful Celtic effect.
Phantom Of The Opera is one of my favourite songs from Nightwish. It was the second song I've heard from the band, and the song itself got me into Andrew Llyod Webber's musical. Phantom Of The Opera is in fact taken from the famous broadway of the same name.
Beauty of The Beast is a song that's quite ahead of it's time for me. The production and overall musical arrangements remind me of their later work in Once, Dark Passion Play and Imaginerum. The introduction reminds me of one of their 2007 B-sides, Escapist. So with this in mind, Beauty Of The Beast shows the sort of direction they want to do in their future music. I like the mixture of both ethereal and dramatic sounds. The song is split into three parts "Long Lost Love", "One More Night To Live" and "Christabel". I like One More Night To Live the most because I think that part portrays their good side a lot more.
There's also two more well known bonus tracks called Lagoon and The Wayfarer. They're both good songs. Not the best in my opinion, I think they're more suited for hardcore dance fans. I don't really like Lagoon very much because I think it's bland, but The Wayfarer is worth a spin.