With ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’ Nightwish had a false start with their new singer Floor Jansen. She’s an amazing singer with a wide vocal range, but I couldn’t hear much of that on the album. I also missed the familiar Nightwish sound I was used to. Believe me when I say I’ve been a huge fan for a long time. But when I heard ‘Noise’ for the first time two months ago, I was pleasantly surprised and I’ve begun to wonder if the band still have been searching for the right sound with Floor. We all know Nightwish isn’t afraid of trying out new things and broaden their musical horizons, so my curiosity for their latest album ‘Human :||: Nature’ started to grow. The album cover is sober and fancy at the same time using the combination of black and gold. The image shows us engraved stones and I’m pretty sure there’s a link with the album title. ‘Human :||: Nature’ consists of two CD’s and is available as:
- a jewel case album;
- a digibook with 48 paged booklet;
- an earbook with a bonus instrumental CD;
- a 3 LP vinyl in multiple colours and limited orange and brown swirl.
I suspect that the first CD is called ‘Human’ and the second ‘Nature’, but let’s see if Nightwish managed to find the right path this time.
With ‘Music’ this album knows a calm, but powerful start. The music and Floor‘s voice are peaceful in the beginning, while the bridge gives us a nice piece of guitar work. At the end, there’s a smooth transition to the second song ‘Noise’. As I mentioned before, it’s one of my favourites. This song criticizes the fact that people are only concerned with social media these days.
Another favourite of mine is ‘Harvest’, a lively folk song. It was clear to me it wasn’t Marco singing, so it made me wonder who it was. Surprisingly Troy is the one delivering a beautifully melodious, clean vocal performance here. Anyway, this song is obviously the misfit of the album, which causes divided opinions. True fans know by now every Nightwish album has one. You like it or you don’t, but I think it provides a nice variation.
Talking about variation, Nightwish did a great job to create a varied album. Vocally, we have Floor who hits high notes in songs like ‘Shoemaker’ and ‘How’s The Heart’, while showing her rough side in songs like ‘Pan’ and ‘Tribal’. The latter is also musically outstanding on this album with tribal drums.
Musically you can hear Nightwish has been experimenting a lot. ‘Human : ||: Nature’ gives you the symphonic sound we are used to combined with modern sounds. The most remarkable is the second CD with 8 tracks being part of one song. In total more than 30 minutes long and almost completely instumental. It’s very relaxing what makes me suspect that the first CD is the human part an the second is the nature part.
After hearing this album I’m not completely satisfied, but I’m not disappointed either. I think it sounds a lot better than the previous record, but I think I just need more time to get used to Nightwish‘s new sound.
Release date: April 10, 2020
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
6. How’s The Heart
11. The Blue
12. The Green
15. Quiet As The Snow
17. Ad Astra