„When I listen to the songs on our debut album, it’s a whole different thing, but then again it’s not, because the atmosphere, the passion and especially the mentality of the band has always been there and hasn’t changed in 20 years.”
»Decades« Meanwhile, more than 20 years have passed and the visions of the ambitious musician have long been an impressive reality, manifesting themselves on eight fantastic studio albums. With NIGHTWISH, the Finnish songwriter is able to create breath-taking sound cascades with cinematic imagery, combining epic bombast with opulent metal attitudes in beautiful melodic symphonies. NIGHTWISH forged their own style long ago; often imitated, never duplicated! Mastermind Tuomas Holopainen is not just an excellent and unique composer; he is open to new influences and eager to experiment with the unknown. These are some of the key components of success for the band, which was always ahead of its time and not only set new standards with its latest album »Endless Forms Most Beautiful«, but also created a monumental masterpiece. Never before has a band merged the most complex elements of classic, soundtrack, and metal so consistently and brought such a powerful result to life.
Now it’s time to take a look back and review the last 20 years in a musical way. In keeping with their upcoming 2018 world tour, NIGHTWISH will release a brilliant best of work called »Decades«, which unites the most important songs of the band on two CDs in their original versions.
The Suomi sound makers have always been recognized for their exciting journey of discovery and as a tribute to all that, this release presents a phenomenal cross-section of this formidable career through the lens of their grandiose evolution.
The band has deliberately decided not to include bonus tracks or unpublished songs on the record, “for the simple reason, that we don’t have any”, says composer Tuomas Holopainen.
“The other thing that many people requested was that we should re-record some of the older stuff with Floor and Troy, but the answer to that is also a very clear ‘No’. The songs are what they are. They are absolutely perfect in their imperfection and reflect the era in which the band existed at that time. So I thought it would be a sacrilege to go and tinker with them afterward.”
The songs are arranged chronologically. From the most recent song ‘The Greatest Show On Earth‘ to the first demo song ‘Nightwish‘. Creating the setlist was not easy for Tuomas. “You sometimes have to kill your darlings and find the quintessential songs from each album that best represents what the band was at that time. It’s like trying to curate the perfect overall dynamic for the compilation but of course, there are also songs like ‘Dead Boys Poem‘, ‘Ghost Love Score‘, ‘The Greatest Show On Earth‘ or ‘Elvenpath‘, which just have to go with this compilation. That’s how the process went.”
An absolute rarity and special gem manifest itself in the form of the first demo song of the Finnish-Dutch-English formation called ‘Nightwish‘, which – despite its considerable age of over 20 years – already shows the strong foundation, talent, and skill of a band that just started their musical career. A song that still conjures a big smile on Tuomas “and it’s not a bashful grin”, he honestly reveals. Rather, it is the astonishment over an incredibly exciting journey that the band has experienced so far. “Things have changed a lot in the last 20 years but then again some things have not changed at all, for example, the real reason why we formed NIGHTWISH and why we’re still doing this. But the way we experience and hear music has changed. The biggest difference can be found in the stories we want to tell.”
Tuomas Holopainen himself has experienced the work on »Decades« almost like a nostalgic journey through time, which has sometimes felt crazy and surreal. “Last week we had a rehearsal session here at my place with Emppu, going through all the songs that we want to perform on tour this year and we just practiced those tracks again and again. Listening to the lyrics and the whole process, in general, was an exciting experience, which also puts a big smile on my face. We really wouldn’t make or write these kinds of songs today, but back in the day this is who we were, this is what we wanted to do. And this feels awesome and I think we can be proud of it. We must never forget that one of the most wonderful things our planet has created is the miracle of evolution”, the songwriter explains and this can be also seen in NIGHTWISH. „When I listen to the songs on our demo album, it’s a whole different thing, but then again it’s not, because the atmosphere and especially the mentality of the band has always been there and hasn’t changed in 20 years.”
Ultimately, everything is just a matter of attitude and the concept of »Decades« manifests itself more significantly than ever before, presenting a deeply impressive musical career of an ambitious band still burning with virtuoso passion. „The key is not to put you under pressure to be even bigger and more epic than before”, the charismatic composer sums up. “Just find some new ways of telling some new stories that you want to tell, to keep the whole thing interesting for yourself and the band. It doesn’t mean that it needs to be bigger; it just needs to be different enough to keep it interesting. That’s our goal for every album – and always will be!”