Finnish/British/Dutch symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH will release their ninth studio album, "Human. :II: Nature." on April 10 via Nuclear Blast. The long-awaited follow-up to 2015's "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" will be a double album containing nine tracks on the main CD and one long track, divided into eight chapters on CD 2.
Speaking to Germany's Rock Bottom, NIGHTWISH keyboardist and main songwriter Tuomas Holopainen said about "Human. :II: Nature.": "The original idea was not to do a double album. We thought we can fit all the material on one album, but since a CD only takes about 78 minutes of material and the album is 83 minutes long, or something like that, we had to split it into two discs. Which ended up being a brilliant decision, because now it even makes more sense when you think about the dynamics of the album. It's 'Human. :II: Nature.'. And the first nine songs are all about humans telling stories about humanity, human nature, about other humans, with a human voice. Then, after that, you flip the disc and go into the nature for half an hour for some instrumental escapism. So that's the 'nature' part of the album."
Asked if "Human. :II: Nature." is a concept album, Tuomas said: "I wouldn't use the term 'concept album,' but there is a little theme that's running through all the songs, so in a way, it is a thematic album. At some point through the songwriting process, I realized that the word 'human' appears in all the songs, and these are all somehow connected. Then I kind of realized that, 'Okay, this song is about the power of human imagination,' 'This song is about the power of human empathy,' 'This song is all about music descending on mankind,' 'This song is about human versus technology.' So, 'Okay, let's call this album 'Human'.' But that doesn't sound quite right, so the last song, it's all about the beauty of planet Earth. The last song is kind of like NIGHTWISH's love letter to planet Earth. So that's nature — human nature. That's how we came up with the title of the album."
"Human. :II: Nature." was recorded from August to October 2019 at Röskö campsite, Petrax Studios and Troykington castle, as well as Finnvox Studios, by Tero Kinnunen, Mikko Karmila and Troy Donockley. The mixing was done by Mikko Karmila at Finnvox, with Tuomas Holopainen and Tero Kinnunen. Mastering was done by Mika Jussila at Finnvox.
The track listing is as follows:
06. How's The Heart?
01. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Vista
02. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - The Blue
03. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - The Green
04. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Moors
05. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Aurorae
06. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Quiet As The Snow
07. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Anthropocene (incl. "Hurrian Hymn To Nikkal")
08. All The Works Of Nature Which Adorn The World - Ad Astra
NIGHTWISH will play "a select amount of dates" in North America at the end of the summer. The short trek will kick off on September 8 in Toronto and will include shows in Los Angeles and New York.