NIGHTWISH - IMAGINAERIUM (CD Review)

01.Taikatalvi
02.Storytime
03.Ghost River
04.Slow, Love, Slow
05.I Want My Tears Back
06.Scaretale
07.Arabesque
08.Turn Loose The Mermaids
09.Rest Calm
10.The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
11.Last Ride Of The Day
12.Song of Myself
13.Imaginaerum

Anette Olzon (vocals)
Tuomas Holopainen (keyboards/Piano)
Emppu Vuorinen (Guitars)
Marco Hietala (Bass/Vocals)
Jukka Nevalainen (Drums)

Additional Musicians/Guests:
Troy Donockley (Uillean Pipes/Tin Whistle/Vocals/Bodhran/Bouzouki)
Dermot Crehan (Hardanger Fiddle)
Dirk Campbell (Sorna)
Guy Barker (Trumpet)
Paul Clarvis (Ethnic Percussion)
Etephen Henderson (Ethnic Percussion)
Pekka Kuusisto (Violin)
Jenny O'Grady & Metro Voice Choir
Lynda Richardson & Young Musicians London Choir
Pip Williams & London Philharmonic Orchestra


Imaginaerum is the seventh studio album by Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish and is also their most ambitious to date.The album is a concept album as said by Tuomas in an interview telling the story of an old composer on his deathbed, reminiscing of his youth and is a sister piece to the movie of the same name directed by Stobe Harju.

According to Holopainen, Imaginaerum is the first Nightwish album to have a real intro song 'Taikatalvi', which is also one of few Nightwish songs performed entirely in Finnish, this song also introduces the snow flake theme of the album and movie, as the Finnish word "taikatalvi" means "magic winter". It is also the Finnish title of the book Moominland Midwinter.

'Storytime' has punchy riffs and a melodic chorus and still sounds poppy.

Described as a duel between the Devil and Mother Gaia, 'Ghost River' is more theatrical and weirder than the rest of the album.

'Slow Love Slow' is a jazz-like song inspired by American 1930's nightclub music, inspired by David Lynch's Twin Peaks.

'I Want My Tears Back' Has some nice pipes on it, but not that amazing.

'Scaretale' has been described as the bands take on Metallica's "Enter Sandman".

The instrumental 'Arabesque' was created soley for the movie soundtrack.

'Turn Loose the Mermaids' is a "celtic, ballad, sad, melancholic" song, with a sort of spaghetti western inspired section.

Finally a heavy (ish) song appears,'Rest Calm' and was inspired by 'Paradise Lost' and 'My Dying Bride'.

'The Crow, the Owl and the Dove' is the only one written by bassist-vocalist Marco Hietala, who has written several songs for the band in the past. Holopainen has pointed out that it's "kind of funny that the most poppy song on the album is composed by the most metalhead dude in the band".

'Last Ride of the Day' is a song about a roller coaster.

Coming in at an epic fourteen minutes is 'Song Of Myself' It is inspired by Holopainen's favorite poet Walt Whitman, and his famous poem of the same name, and the song includes a six-minute recitation of the poem.

The title track 'Imaginaerum' is the outro track of the album, conceived as what could run in the credits of the movie. Holopainen came up with the idea of making a medley of the album's main musical themes, and gave orchestral arranger Pip Williams free hands to make what he wanted of it, making it one of two songs off the album not composed entirely by Holopainen.

Rating:8/10
For fans of: Within Temptation, Epica.

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