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Nightwish Imaginaerum album cover
3.75 | 155 ratings | 5 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Taikatalvi (2:35)
2. Storytime (5:22)
3. Ghost River (5:24)
4. Slow, Love, Slow (5:50)
5. I Want My Tears Back (5:07)
6. Scaretale (7:32)
7. Arabesque (2:52)
8. Turn Loose the Mermaids (4:19)
9. Rest Calm (6:59)
10. The Crow, the Owl and the Dove (4:10)
11. Last Ride of the Day (4:31)
12. Song of Myself (13:29)
13. Imaginaerum (6:18)

Total Time 74:28

Bonus CD from 2011 SE:
1. Taikatalvi (instrumental) (2:35)
2. Storytime (instrumental) (5:22)
3. Ghost River (instrumental) (5:24)
4. Slow, Love, Slow (instrumental) (5:50)
5. I Want My Tears Back (instrumental) (5:07)
6. Scaretale (instrumental) (7:32)
7. Arabesque (instrumental) (2:57)
8. Turn Loose the Mermaids (instrumental) (4:19)
9. Rest Calm (instrumental) (6:59)
10. The Crow, the Owl and the Dove (instrumental) (4:08)
11. Last Ride of the Day (instrumental) (4:30)
12. Song of Myself (instrumental) (12:32)
13. Imaginaerum (instrumental) (6:18)

Total Time 73:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Anette Olzon / vocals
- Emppu Vuorinen / guitar
- Tuomas Holopainen / keyboards, piano, producer
- Marco Hietala / bass, vocals
- Jukka Nevalainen / drums, percussion

- Troy Donockley / uilleann pipes, low whistle, bodhrŠn, bouzouki, Cumbrian chanting
- Dermot Crehan / Hardanger fiddle
- Pekka Kuusisto / violin solos
- Dirk Campbell / sorna
- The Young Musicians London / chorus children vocals
- Lynda Richardson / choirmistress
- The Metro Voices / chorus vocals
- Jenny O'Grady / choirmistress
- The Looking Glass Orchestra / strings & winds
- Thomas Bowes / orchestra leader
- Pip Williams / vocals & orchestral arrangements, orchestrations & direction
- James Shearman / orchestra conductor
- Jussi Tegelman / soundscapes, music box
- Kai Hahto / percussion
- Paul Clarvis / ethnic percussion
- Stephen Henderson / ethnic percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Gina Pitkšnen & Janne Pitkšnen

CD Nuclear Blast - NB 2789-2 (2011, Germany)
2xCD Scene Nation Oy ‎- SCENECD-002 (2011, Finland) Bonus disc with orchestral versions

2xLP Nuclear Blast - NB 2789-1, (2011, Europe)
2xLP Nuclear Blast ‎- NB 2877-1 (2012, Europe) Orchestral version of whole album

Thanks to mamboboy for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy NIGHTWISH Imaginaerum Music

NIGHTWISH Imaginaerum ratings distribution

(155 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

NIGHTWISH Imaginaerum reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's really an excellent symphonic metal album!

WOW! Man ..... I think the four years in waiting after their Dark Passion Play album in 2007 is worth. Nightwish has just released Imaginaerum as their seventh studio album on the 30th of November 2011. I was not quite following to what the band was up to during the making of this seminal album but from the net I found that 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. What an interesting storyline. Well, it's not for Tuomas only, it's for me personally as I had a dream when I was childhood that I wanted to be a composer of great prog music. What I meant at that time was that I wanted to make a music as great as Gates of Delirium (Yes) or Supper's Ready (Genesis) or Tarkus (ELP). But unfortunately, told me another lesson that the better way to be a composer was to give that job to other people and I would just enjoy and review the music .....

The album was produced alongside the movie of the same name, directed by Stobe Harju, who previously directed Nightwish's "The Islander" music video, and the album and the film share the same themes and general story. The first single off the album, "Storytime" was released on November 9 and quickly topped the Finnish single charts. Imaginaerum was certified 2x Platinum in Finland on the day of its release, with more than 50,000 copies sold.

Solid composition

When I talk about prog, I think this album has little measure on it. But, I will have a look more on how the composition has been crafted by the band. First off, I think this album has a quite strong and sometimes memorable, in some segments, in terms of tagline melody. From the opening track of Taikatalvi that sets the overall tone of the album, sung in Finnish, has successfully demonstrated clear direction on the musical side. It flows naturally to other tracks in nice melody. In terms of harmony, the album demonstrates great combination of all instruments and orchestration they play. For the metal fans, the music may sound awkward as the guitar sound is not quite dominating the solo part of the music. In terms of tempo and style changes there are many that I can feel throughout the album. The album lacks complexities as most of the tracks do not provide challenges to the listeners. They music just flow beautifully even if you do not like prog music at all. It's quite an easy listening music, I believe. In terms of structural integrity - this album proves that they are the masters of music making as the overall structure of the music is solid and cohesive - it supports the storyline, really.

I have been playing this album many times, I think more than 5 times and everytime I play, I always play it in its entirety. Only when the album reaches track 7 Arabesque, I always play another round again because I love this instrumental piece. Actually, not only that, the music sounds nice really as right after the opening track they play Storytime which has up tempo style, performed in simple melodic metal style. The continuation to Ghost River happens beautifully with excellent orchestration. The female vocal performs nicely with clear voice. I don't feel anything diminishing with her vocal quality compared to previous singer, Tarja Turunen. Yes, the vocal style is different, but it still fits with Nightwish music. It's a great transition that the band was able to manage well. The orchestration work is really great. I even love their previous album Dark Passion Play.

The music turns slow and melodic with Slow, Love, Slow and then returns back into up tempo with a poppy stuff I Want My Tears Back. There is no reason for not liking this easy to digest and energetic track. Scaretale is a melodic power metal track with great orchestration and guitar riffs. I always love the combination of guitar riffs and string orchestra. In some musical breaks the orchestra sounds really powerful and captivating. Arabesque is a masterpiece orchestral work - the most favorite track for me. Turn Loose The Mermaids demonstrates great vocal work combined wonderfully with acoustic guitar, woodwind and string section. It's really a melancholic track.

Rest Calm brings the music into medium tempo style followed with thin guitar riffs and grandiose orchestra. This time male vocal takes part followed with nice female vocal. I love the flow of this track - it's really cool. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove is a mellow track with duet vocals. Last Ride Of The Day is really a wonderful composition with grandiose orchestration followed with another great track Song Of Myself . The album concludes with a reprise section in instrumental version - performed in orchestra fashion.

I do not need to conclude this wonderfully crafted album. It's a masterpiece symphonic metal album - 4.5 stars.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars Nightwish does a great job blending hard-hitting guitar riffs, entertaining compositions, choral arrangements, and symphonic instrumentation into a solid and approachable metal package. Imaginaerum is many things, and maybe tries to achieve too much during its running time, but pulls it off stylishly and memorably. It's all good, occasionally great, and sometimes excellent. Most appealing of all is the fact this group is doing something unique within a genre dominated by guitar-led soloists and men who sound like women.

The album opens with the winding of a music box which grows to an ever more lush and dynamic overture. It evokes sort of a sweeping orchestral feel that captures the imagination. And then the chugging begins. We're brought into the first real song "Storytime," an upbeat, energetic and riff-fueled rocker that has trombones blasting out hits alongside the drumming, and violins accompanying the female vocals, and epic walls of choir sound. There's a bit of cheese in there, but the overall effect is very enjoyable, and Nightwish does an outstanding job of giving the orchestra and choir something to do besides just support the band. In fact, I don't recall a single guitar or keyboard solo throughout the entire album. Heresy!

As things continue we're given moments of hard and heavy metal, folksy balladry, epic percussive moments, and emotive vocals. There is a lot of variety to be found here, a nice welcome compared to the typical prog metal fare. Here's a few examples:

"Slow, Love, Slow" is a mellow and lush ballad that has has a jazz-club feel, with brushed drum work and trumpets blowing away in the background. What a surprise, considering that the track before had harsh, throaty guitar riffing.

"Scaretale" is one of the better metal songs. It has a bouncy and stylish tone that makes it feel like something from an early Tim Burton film. It's heavy, quirky, and filled with hooks. Yeah it's a little silly, but the combination of vocalists and styles works well.

"Arabesque" is probably one of the standout tracks. It's an instrumental with an eastern flair that builds and builds and builds to a massive percussion finale that completely grabs hold of you.

"Turn Loose the Mermaids" begins with thoughtful balladry with acoustic flutes and piano that accompany the vocals... and then all the sudden we shift into the drums, violins, and trumpet fanfare of a spaghetti western. No I'm not kidding, and yes it is as fun as it sounds.

In being objective its safe to say that Imaginaerum will appeal to some more than others, but if you're interest in heavy music fronted by a first-rate female vocalist, or are a prog metal fan interested in something that stands out uniquely in a sea of Dream Theater soundalikes, this album comes highly recommended.

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars Every once in a great while a prog metal album earns my attention and eventually affection if not outright obsession. If I was to sketch out a template for an exemplary specimen in this sub genre, it would exclude growls but include male and female vox; be melodramatic and highly visual; juxtapose crunchy riffs with light catchy melodies; and of course include some concession to the folk idiom. It would sound a lot like "Imaginaerum" by NIGHTWISH. Of all these characteristics, it's their ability to transition over the top, even operatic vocals, heavy guitars and symphonic orchestration to tunes reminiscent of childhood nursery rhymes that completely wins me over. This deliberate lapse into nostalgia marks the fulfilment of the concept, and is just plain entertaining as well. It begins with the breathless "Storytime" and is eclipsed by the Celtified "I want my tears back", resuming on the schizophrenic "Rest Calm" and capped on the frenetic "Last Ride of the Day". Along the way are several more even tempered pieces like the languid jazzy "Slow Love Slow", the gorgeous "Turn Loose the Mermaids" and the even more sensitive "The Crow, The Owl and the Dove". At times the feverishness threatens to dampen the forehead, as in "Ghost River" and "Scaretale", but this remains a compelling work of the imagination that has also found a significant following in the prog world and beyond.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I have been looking forward for the release of this record with mixed feelings for quite a while. I really adored the band's last bombastic, diversified and impressive output "Dark Passion Play" and was intrigued by this new record, its concept and the upcoming movie in relation to this release w ... (read more)

Report this review (#808896) | Posted by kluseba | Thursday, August 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars By way of introduction I have to say that Nightwish with "Imaginaerum" took a step to the new level and this release is something more than just symphonic metal.Probably the best nightwish album .I said:"an album" but it is actually a soundtrack to the film or something like theater play. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#681069) | Posted by Emej | Saturday, March 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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