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Nightwish - Decades - Live In Buenos Aires Award winner

Decades - Live In Buenos Aires
by Kai Naiman at 28 January 2020, 2:44 AM

It wouldn't be a NIGHTWISH record if it received a ranking less of 'Almost Perfect', now, wouldn't it? The band that proudly conducted the global Symphonic Metal scene since their inception, back in 1996 and doesn't shy off providing us with new and exciting episodes every few years in their own book of musical wonders, recently released their latest live release, entitled "Decades - Live In Buenos Aires". Performed and recorded in late 2018 at the Estadio Malvinas in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this compilation includes no less than 21 amazingly conducted and produced tracks off the band's outstanding catalogue.

"Decades - Live In Buenos Aires" featured some highly-anticipated tracks such as the timeless "End Of All Hope", "Wish I Had An Angel", "Gethsemane", "Dead Boy's Poem", "I Want My Tears Back", "Nemo" and more. These tracks withstood the test of time, and received a deserving top-notch performance by both the long-standing memebers of NIGHTWISH, as well as the later-joined ones, such as Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen, English folk multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley and who up until recently was the stand-in man being the drumkit, Kai Hahto, and is now an official member of the band. Every one of these fantastic musicians added his own flair and touch to these songs, and managed to make the sound larger, more diverse and overall bombastic and rich. This was eminent in tracks such as "Nemo".

On their unearthly concert in Buenos Aires, NIGHTWISH managed to bring some of their discography's best works to a new high, but what about their lesser known numbers?; Unfortunately, these tracks got pushed back to the corner of this release, even though their production team tried their best to arrange their setlist in such order that they won't be overshadowed by the greatness of their better-celebrated coequals. "Come Cover Me", for instance, is such track that should have been played off without, perhaps. Although the current performance of the band did justice to this track, it sadly wasn't on the same stratum as tracks of the likes of the "Slaying The Dreamer" fame. It did sound like the fans who were lucky enough to attend that show had a great deal of fun, but when listening to this concert through your speakers at home, it loses the strength and angst it had when experienced live. Floor's particular performance of "Amaranth" seemed to be on the weaker end, and while not a bad act by itself, it doesn't do the song justice and should probably be reconsidered for future setlists by NIGHTWISH.

"Decades - Live In Buenos Aires" features a few outstanding intermission tracks, which, in my opinion, must not go unnoticed. "Swanheart" and "Elvenjig" are the sole instrumental vestibules of the entire evening, and what great eclectic those two tracks are. Both "Swanheart" and "Elvenjig" are when Troy Donockley gets his two minutes fame, and is centered. Immersed by a distinctive Celtic sea of sound, the whole band steps down, and lends their trust to the Englishman - who does wonders with his whistles, flutes, pipes and other folk instruments.

Overall, the fans of the genre, both old and new, can put their trust on NIGHTWISH and their label Nuclear Blast, which seems to be keen on releasing these live releases every so often. This is nothing short of a golden opportunity for new fans who want to dive deeper into the band's legendary realm, but also for those who consider attending a NIGHTWISH concert in the near future, and wish to get a glimpse of what may be held in store. Otherwise - I would not recommend nor consider this release for longer-time fans, as this release would not bring anything new to the table, by their standards. With all of this being said, the Finns and their fellow European counterparts are worthwhile to be given a good listen to, if anything. Immerse yourself with a wall of sound no other band can replicate.

Songwriting: 9
Production: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Swanheart
2. End Of All Hope
3. Wish I Had An Angel
4. 10th Man Down
5. Come Cover Me
6. Gethsemane
7. Élan
8. Sacrament Of Wilderness
9. Deep Silent Complete
10. Dead Boy's Poem
11. Elvenjig
12. Elvenpath
13. I Want My Tears Back
14. Amaranth
15. The Carpenter
16. The Kingslayer
17. Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean
18. Nemo
19. Slaying The Dreamer
20. The Greatest Show On Earth
21. Ghost Love Score
Tuomas Holopainen - Keyboards
Floor Jansen - Vocals
Emppu Vuorinen - Guitars
Marco Hietala - Bass, Vocals
Troy Donockley - Whistles, Pipes, Guitars, Backing Vocals
Kai Hahto - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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Edited 02 February 2023

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