NIGHTWISH – Hvman. .II. Natvre

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Those of you out there who thought that the song “Noise” that Nightwish decided to release as the forerunner of “Hvman. .II. Natvre” would be a representative cut of the album, well they might wanna think again. I have to say that “Noise” is most likely the solo track on the album that reminds something of the past Nightwish efforts and Tuomas Holopainen’s way of songwriting. “Hvman. .II. Natvre” is totally different to anything that Nightwish has presented so far to us. Maybe the concept and the lyrical content of “Noise” is the only indicative factor of the album’s theme about the beauty and the protection of nature with the tragic consequences of technology with social media and smartphones.

“Hvman. .II. Natvre” is divided in two parts with the first one being probably more operatic (even for the Nightwish standards) and containing some really in depth songs that takes a few listening sessions to grab them and appreciate them. Floor’s vocals and overall performance is flawless and I have to say this is definitely her top moment of her entire career. “Music”, “Noise”, “Shoemaker” and “How’s The Heart” testify the aforementioned words and they are really standout moments.

The second part of “Hvman. .II. Natvre” is an orchestral ode to nature where Floor narrates the written passage in the prologue of “Vista” and the epilogue of “Ad Astra”. This is a bunch of 8 tracks with classical music accompanied with sounds of natural phenomena and various musical passages that quite probably are inaudible in regular devices and without the aid of headphones. Having said that, Tuomas once again proves that he is a truly inspired musician. The potential listener shouldn’t anticipate catchy songs like “Alpenglow”, “Elan” or “Nemo” as this a more classical-inclined record with not that many easy-listening compositions in there. No hits to be found but instead only great music.

I must repeat that this is not an easy listening experience but when you realize the depth of the songs and the ties with opera that Nightwish bind then you will instantly characterize “Hvman. .II. Natvre” a rock opera…why not?