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Nightwish - Imaginaerum CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.75 | 155 ratings

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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

Gatot | 4/5 |


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