Finland's Nightwish has founded a medium where pure angelic vocal beauty combines with rugged metal guitars, and where intricate keyboard arrangements team up with driving rhythms, creating a soaring stylistic mix. 2003's symphonic metal shining star Century Child has set the band upon a stunning adventure in crafting a unique and genre-defining sound.
Humbly begun in 1997 as keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen's, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and trained operatic vocalist Tarja Turunen's ill received acoustic project, they found balance when they added drummer and percussionist Jukka Nevalainen and opted replace acoustic with electric guitars. Entranced with their new identity, NIGHTWISH was quickly signed to Finland's premier label, Spinefarm. Debut Angels Fall First made a huge impression upon the scene thanks to its unique hybrid of sounds and styles, with much of the focus centering on the operatic and enigmatic singing of front woman Tarja. The initial offering was soon followed by the even more progressed and adventurous Oceanborn, which stayed in the Finnish pop charts for over 30 weeks. At this time, they had three singles in the top 10. This success led to packed shows in Finland, and soon to continental European shows and ensuing success. The overseas reactions and a growing cult-like interest in the United States encouraged Century Media to sort out a licensing agreement securing their next studio output for domestic release, as well as the two back catalogue pieces so they could be appreciated by a wider audience. In 2000 the band released their third effort, Wishmaster, immediately going platinum at home and selling well over 20,000 units in the U.S. with very little support or notoriety from the industry and promotional outlets.
The year 2002 was one filled with many successful events for the band. Nightwish acquired bassist Marco Hietala (Tarot, Sinergy), who added another dimension to NIGHTWISH's enveloping sound. Marco, in addition to his commanding bass lines, contributes powerful male vocals. The band returned to long time recording home Finnvox Studios (Stratovarius, Children Of Bodom, Sentenced) to record drum tracks. They then moved to their hometown of Kitee, Finland to record guitars, bass and keyboards. In March 2002 they returned to Finnvox to record vocals, choirs and percussions, and to mix the album. What came out of these recording sessions is sheer magnificence. From the choral introduction of "Bless the Child," the excitement builds into a triumphant tension of rock solid guitar rhythms coupled with the mesmerizing voice that gives pause to angels. "End Of All Hope" mixes the energy and intense excitement of choral arrangements with the sirens' song that is Tarja's voice. Orchestral arrangements add depth and immediacy, which complement the classically trained chorus. The overall feeling is monumental. "Phantom of the Opera" is the band's tribute to the classic story of darkness meets light, and helps to lead into the album's closing track "Beauty of the Beast."
With the release finished, the band embarked on an aggressive European tour. NIGHTWISH also played sold-out shows in Canada and Mexico, and they made their first US appearance headlining the 2003 sold-out ProgPower Fest in Atlanta, Georgia followed by additional sold-out shows at the L'Amour IV Festival in New York.
Continuing to amaze fans with beautifully crafted songs, NIGHTWISH lead listeners on a tremendous journey. From Angels Fall First to Century Child, the band has unrelentingly written music that inspires listeners the way of the world's greatest choirs. To experience NIGHTWISH is to be exalted.
"I only wished to become something beautiful through my music through my silent devotion" - "Ocean Soul", NIGHTWISH, Century Child.