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Pretty damn impressive... - 75%

Nightcrawler, September 25th, 2003

...For an EP, anyway. This is pretty much a preview of what was to come on "Century Child", although there are a couple of notable difference. First of all, only one of the four songs found here is a ballad- and it's way better than any ballad found on "Century Child". The rest is pretty classic Nightwish stuff, a little less straightforward and more keyboard-based than the stuff like "End Of All Hope" and "Dead To The World".

The "Bless The Child" EP (or single, whatever you prefer) has been released in quite a number of editions. This one has four tracks; "Bless The Child", "The Wayfarer", "Sleepwalker" and "Nightquest". "Bless The Child" is also the opening track from "Century Child" (see my reviews for special notes about that one).
The highlight of the EP is the second track, "The Wayfarer". It seems something like a follow-up to "Wishmaster"'s "Wanderlust". It begins with a very memorable and uplifting keyboard melody, that right before the finish suddenly tunes down and in comes this monster fucking riff that will completely knock you off your feet. Amazing stuff. The entire song is amazing throughout, with enchanting vocals, solid riffwork and catchy keyboards.
"Sleepwalker" is a magnificent ballad, despite some annoying almost techno-ish keyboard effects at random points. Very slow and emotional, and with a mesmerizing atmosphere.
"Nightquest" is another asskicker. Starting with a cool but strangely distorted guitar riff using production similar to the opening riff on "Children of Bodom" (the song), and from them goes on at a pretty fast pace with lots of keyboard melodies and also there's this groovy piano break. Tarja's vocal performance on the chorus is especially notable, along with a wicked guitar solo.

This is what "Century Child" should've sounded like. Featuring three standard Nightwish tracks of very high quality and one solid ballad, this is definitely worth spending some money on if you find it. However, obviously there are only 4 songs on here, and it really leaves you wanting more.