Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 9th March 2018
Genre: Symphonic Power Metal
Whether it’s due to label demands or simply the need for a platform to kick off the next chapter in their careers, I’ve always been a bit sceptical regarding bands choosing to release Best Of compilations when it’s clear they’ve still got their brightest years ahead of them. However, symphonic metallers Nightwish are a unique example, with a career spanning over twenty years, eight studio albums and three different lead vocalists, Decades is the band’s third (yes third!) Best Of compilation.
Nightwish have maintained a slow burning rise in worldwide popularity despite well-known turbulence in the vocalist department, having admirably worked themselves up to headlining arenas on reputation alone. Following Tarja Turunen’s departure from the band in 2005, Annette Olzon was marked up as her replacement, lasting five years. The band have seemingly found their balance with latest lead vocalist Floor Jansen, who officially joined in 2013.
Decades offers 2 hours and 20 minutes of the bands most popular music, including opener The Greatest Show on Earth which stretches to an eye watering 24 minutes alone.
On paper it could be enough to put you off, but stick with it, Nightwish have gone from a niche obscurity to one of the most grandiose and theatrical bands on the planet, and given their fan base is still on the rise, this is the perfect starting point to get stuck in.
Elan and My Walden are next to follow, the first three tracks of the compilation showcasing their most recent release Endless Forms Most Beautiful. It’s clear they want their newest, and likely most proudest piece of work at the forefront of the record, which was certainly an intelligent decision.
Decades then kicks in to a solid mix of songs that put Nightwish firmly on the world stage from all three eras of the band, the only significant omissions being that of Century Child’s Phantom of the Opera and Ever Dream.
For the already committed fan, there’s barely anything on offer here that’s new, but what did you expect with Best Of compilation?! Regardless, I’m absolutely certain this will be lapped up by completionists, and offers a fantastic bridge builder for anyone looking to introduce themselves to the band’s biggest tracks.
Decades is set for release 9th March 2018 and is available to pre-order now via Nuclear Blast.
Nightwish will also headline the third and final day of Bloodstock Open Air Festival at Catton Park Derby, Sunday 12th August 2018. You can buy tickets here.