Under The Influence #89: Anzeria on “Once” by Nightwish!

The most successful of albums from Finnish Symphonic Metal act Nightwish to date remains tinged in sadness as it was the last to feature vocalist Tarja Turunen. Entitled “Once“, the bands fifth album was released in 2004 after five months spent in four studios in Finland and England and giving rise to the bands biggest single in “Nemo” which propelled them to the Global stage. But that was not the end of the accolades as “Once” had not only reached #47 in the list of best-selling albums of all time in Finland by 2013 but 4 years later appeared on Rolling Stone Magazines “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time” ranked at #89.

Anzeria guitarist and vocalist Mehmet Erkut Atay comments “Over the years, the mischievous magic of rock and metal music that caught us at our young ages has carried us from its rivers to its seas, introducing us to the satisfying sound of symphonic metal in its depths. Although all of our members have different tastes of music, symphonic metal was our common ground, and Nightwish’s ‘Once’ album which was released in 2004 was the representation of this common ground. In this album, the guitar riffs, solos, and symphonic orchestrations combined with Tarja Turunen’s extraordinary vocals were undoubtedly the honorary teachers of the music that we wanted to make in the future. Hearing the melodies of the geography in which we live proved the universality of the eastern-western and Anatolian synthesis. It was as if we were listening to the power of different cultures in the sound waves coming out of the speakers. In this album, it would be to the point to especially focus on the songs ‘The Siren’, ‘Ghost Love Score’, ‘Dark Chest of Wonders’, ‘Wish I Had an Angel’, and ‘Nemo’. For example, the unquestionable harmony of the authentic melody in the intro of ‘Dark Chest of Wonders’ and the power metal riffs in the chorus, as well as the presentation of a magnificent rock opera that came after 02.36 along with the transitioning melody between 02.21-02.36 were fascinating. ‘The Siren’, on the other hand, was taking the audience from Egypt, first to Anatolia and then to the misty lands of the North. And ‘Ghost Love Score’ was one of the most striking songs in the album. This song presented us a fascinating adventure that we will not forget even a second of these 10 minutes. In summary, the Finnish band Nightwish blended the melodies of the east and the west perfectly, and garnished them with the white of the North like a giant rain cloud in this album. This album is like a romantic but bittersweet happiness that we feel when it snows…

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