Yes, it is! The 2004 release Once of Finnish metallers Nightwish really is … typical Nightwish fare after all. But with a real hard-edge Heavy Metal twist that I have not seen displayed yet by this band; before and after this record. ‘Cause the ones that came before – for instance Oceanborn and to a lesser extent Century Child – ended up being some sort of a uniform amalgam of stuff. Power Metal and Gothic Metal – yes to an extent – but nothing really knocking the socks off my feet. And the albums following this here release are of a different style in a sense.
Once already exudes a certain transformational look and feel.
The band secured the use of a full orchestra for the first time – the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Ghost Love Score already features some characteristics that could be found much later, notably to a large extent in Imaginaerum. Much to the dislike of the purist addicts of their former style of course, bemoaning the fate that got them cold. [...]