Nightwish - Nemo
Spinefarm Records
Orchestrated Power Metal
3 songs (12'57)
Release year: 2004
Nightwish, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Ben

So here we are with the new single Nemo by everyone’s favorite Finnish superstars, Nightwish. To whet our appetite for the highly anticipated upcoming full length Once, we have three new songs to digest and enjoy, Nemo, Planet Hell, and White Night Fantasy. Only the third is exclusive to this single. So what can we expect from Once based on these three songs? With all the talk of Tuomas using a real orchestra and a choir, is this as epic as we’ve imagined? Or has Nightwish just run out of ideas and are scraping the barrel to come up with material?

The first track on here Nemo is your standard Nightwish balladesque song. You have the piano intro, the throbbing guitar riff, and the catchy chorus all done at a mild beat. Tarja seems to have abandoned her operatic singing in place of a more gentle, refined tactic, much like on End of All Hope. I find Nemo enjoyable, and while it does follow a pattern set with previous singles such as Ever Dream and Deep Silent Complete it is a highly rousing song that has a slow buildup and a huge climax with the orchestra strings and brass going off in the outro. The chorus is strong, and rolls smoothly out of Tarja and is the main hook of the song. Tuomas’ piano playing is again, delicate and sweetly, it fits the dark and lamenting feel of the song perfectly. While Nemo is obviously a safe choice for the band to release as a single it is not a cop out.

Planet Hell is next and if Nemo was the safe Nightwish song then this is the monster of the single! Starting off with abrupt choir chants much like on Iced Earth’s Damien, we build up into a pounding drumbeat with wild, frantic violin sections all going off at the same time. Brass horns provide a thematic and soundtrack feel to this intro before it all explodes in a huge, heavy riff that sounds like all hell is breaking loose. The orchestra sound comes to the forefront and it is fucking massive! Tuomas has finally captured the perfect blend of Nightwish’s brand of Power Metal with movie soundtrack orchestration. For those of you who can’t stand Marco as a singer then you won’t like this song because him and Tarja trade off the verses and share the chorus together. Marco sounds much more vicious here than he did on Century Child, he has a biting rasp to his voice now that makes him that much more of the polar opposite of Tarja’s lilting singing. A huge surprise and a great new side of Nightwish, I really hope that the rest of the album is done in this manner.

Although Nemo and Planet Hell are killing songs for sure, I don’t know what the hell White Night Fantasy is. Musically this is still very much Nightwish but the vocals are just horrendous! The verses are delivered in sharp punctuated syllables much like something Bjork would do. I do not know what possessed Tuomas to tell Tarja to sing this way because it does not work out for them at all! Thankfully this is a bonus track and is not going to be on Once. It’s a shame the vocals in the verses had to be atrocious because Emppu has a beautiful acoustic guitar solo in the middle of the song that makes me almost sit through it just to hear.

So to sum up Nemo in a nutshell, we have the heavy ballad single track Nemo, the powerful and spectacular Planet Hell, and the confusing, “what the hell were they thinking” White Night Fantasy. As a teaser for Once this has done the trick, I believe that with the potential shown here, the orchestration mainly, then Once has a very good chance of being the best Nightwish album to date. We’ll just have to wait and see…

Killing Songs :
Nemo and Planet Hell
Ben quoted no quote
Other albums by Nightwish that we have reviewed:
Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Nightwish - Oceanborn reviewed by Cory and quoted 91 / 100
Nightwish - Imaginaerum reviewed by Cory and quoted 84 / 100
Nightwish - Dark Passion Play reviewed by Marty and quoted 92 / 100
Nightwish - Wish I Had an Angel reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
To see all 16 reviews click here
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