Nightwish – “Decades: Live In Buenos Aires” 2CD / DVD / 3LP / Blu-Ray (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
Clearly a band that doesn’t do things by half measures, “Decades: Live In Buenos Aires” is a 21 track double live album culminating a 9 month long world tour, during which North American fans were each offered a free copy of the “Decades” compilation album, and not to be hard done by, their Latin American counterparts in Argentina were filmed by 19 cameras to do true justice to the splendour of this recording! Under the masterful hand of the band’s founder, Tuomas Holopainen, whose perfectionist quality has taken this Finnish band to stadium level success across the world, “Decades: Live In Buenos Aires” is no mere selection of greatest hits, but carefully chosen by the master himself to best represent the band to someone unknown to them. Indeed, the flow and arrangements of newer material alongside seasoned classics is impeccable, arousing your passion time and again through captivating atmospheres both subtle and powerful such that this is one of those releases that you can sit back and be completely absorbed until the end – only to be tempted to listen to it all again! It’s all etched over tracks like ‘Dead Boys Poem’ where Floor Jansen’s ethereal touch builds the emotion culminating in the heart stirring chorus, and in the latter part of the track when the band inject power, her equally drawn out passion is nothing short of stellar. Following the folk instrumental of ‘Elvenjig’ is ‘Elvenpath’, whose dramatic tones influenced by film scores mixed with power metal and orchestrals show the diversity of styles that under the expert composing skills of Holopainen that are brought to bear so movingly to the listener. With a massive roar greeting ‘I Want My Tears Back’, Troy Donockley’s uilleann pipes pipes meld brilliantly with the catchy Celtic riffs as the entire band – not forgetting the crowd at the Estadio Malvinas in Buenos Aires – together shout out the chorus words – outstanding! Injecting irresistible splendour on ‘Amaranth’, it’s not only tasteful mix of heavy orchestrals and ultra catchy rock melody, but the subtleties of the individual instruments that add their own special effect to the overall song that make it so stirring and indeed, the Estadio crowd acknowledge its reach by singing and when beckoned by Jansen, chant out loudly to show their appreciation. Indeed, you could be there with them, such is the allure of “Decades: Live In Buenos Aires”. It’s epic, nothing short of epic (again)!