ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Nightwish - Once

Even outside of the metal scene, symphonic metal titans Nightwish are a well-renowned entity within the whole music world, obtaining a great following over the years for their dramatic, symphony-laden soundtracks. Among these albums is the band's fifth full-length release from 2004, simply entitled "Once." Each track has their own story to tell, whether dramatic and explosive, such as "Wish I Had an Angel," or graceful and soaring, with tracks like "Nemo" setting the best example for this element. Famed vocalist Tarja delivers full-hearted operatic singing that truly makes this record spread its wings in regards to the spine-chilling drama it has to offer. The orchestral elements and singing choirs assist in carrying out this effect, rendering the music as both theatrical and atmospherically enormous, along with the potent singing of bassist and backing vocalist Marco Hietala. The bold-sounding guitars and drum work give the music a base to work off of in terms of the musical drama this record conjures up and, therefore, a nicely solid structure. Every element plays its part in making this album an unforgettable and dramatically powerful listen. In every song it plays to its audience, "Once" tells a sorrowful yet breathtaking tale majestically in symphonic and metallic form.