ALBUM REVIEW: Nightwish – Human. :II: Nature.

Release Date: April 10th 2020
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Website: www.nightwish.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nightwish
Twitter: www.twitter.com/nightwishband

Rating:

Finnish fantasy rockers Nightwish return with the latest chronicle in their epic saga. Coming five years after the band’s previous release, ‘Human. :II: Nature.’ certainly makes up for time missed, providing an ambitious seventeen tracks that Nightwish fans can really sink their teeth into.

‘Human. :II: Nature.’ is a musical novella; each track is a chapter that tells its own tale, whilst simultaneously tying into the overall narrative of the album. Opening with the aptly named ‘Music’, the band embark on a melodic conquest – the build up is slow, but once the breakdown hits, you know that you’re in for one hell of a journey.

Floor Jansen emits a spellbinding performance for this second instalment in her Nightwish career, wielding the lyrics like witchcraft. Her operatic vocals steer us through the whimsical ‘Shoemaker’ before Troy Donockley takes the helm for ‘Harvest’, a track that takes a step back from the ferocity of the predecessors and showcases are more folky element.

This experimentation is carried throughout the remainder of the album. ‘How’s The Heart?’ offers a radio-friendly respite carrying a pop beat punctuated with bursts of fiddle, so not to detract too much from the essence of the band, followed shortly by the penultimate ‘Tribe’, a track that leaves you breathless after its bombastic delivery.

Then comes the second act. The ‘All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World’ series on the album’s second disc plays like the score from a movie. Despite its impressive intricacies, this section of the album could’ve worked better as an entirely separate release. One worry is that after nine tracks of gargantuan storytelling, the cinematic brilliance of the album’s second half might be overlooked. Aside from this, it’s a shame that Jansen‘s beautiful vocals are backbenched for such a significant chunk of the runtime.

‘Human. :II: Nature.’ embodies the best qualities of classic Nightwish whilst continuing to push the boat out further in terms of sound and style. It’s an adventure that casual listeners might not wish to embark upon, but is deeply enriching for those who take the time to immerse themselves in it.

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