Sound — 10
Nightwish's sound developed into a more orchestrated/darker symphonic metal than from previous albums. Also with more vocals from bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala this makes for a great album. With the songwriting of Tuomas Holopained and Classically trained Tarja Turunen theyr stronger than ever on Once. This has become theyr most popular album due to the sudden grow in popularity from their video for "Wish I Had An Angel".
Lyrics — 10
Nightwish's lyrics can sometimes be easy to comprehend the message behind them, others can only make sense to songwriter Tuomas. But on a few tracks the lyrics are not hard to figure out. In the song "Plant Hell" it has many references, including Gaia (An ancient Greek Titan), the ferryman (an ancient greek ferryman who would give people rides across the river Styx) God, The Ark of the Covenant, a dead world, paradise, and many other things. But with the vocals of Tarja Turunen and Marco Hietala every word sung is a masterpiece.
Overall Impression — 10
A great album, not my personal favourite, but still a great buy. Notable songs include "Dark Chest Of Wonders", "Wish I Had An Angel", "Plant Hell", "The Sirens", and "Ghost Love Score". I love the orchestration use for the album which gives them an even more epic sound to their already symphonic sound. If this album would be lost, you should buy two copies, if it was stolen, you should find the culperate and beat them.