Album Reviews

Nightwish – Imaginaerum Review

Released by: Nuclear Blast

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Symphonic Metal

Links: http://www.nightwish.com/en/

 

Line Up:

– Anette Olzon – vocals

– Tuomas Holopainen – keyboards

– Marco Hietala – bass / vocals

– Erno Vuorinen – guitars

– Jukka Nevalainen – drums

 

Tracklist:

1. Taikatalvi

2. Storytime

3. Ghost River

4. Slow, Love, Slow

5. I Want My Tears Back

6. Scaretale

7. Arabesque

8. Turn Loose The Mermaids

9. Rest Calm

10. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove

11. Last Ride Of The Day

12. Song Of Myself

13. Imaginaerum

 

How much metal can you take out of a band before they can no longer really be known as a metal act? Obviously there’s no real clear answer to this question, but one thing’s for sure…Nightwish are treading a fine line with their new opus Imaginaerum. Yes, they have always had a very thick layer of Symphonic keyboards and orchestral sections, but never anything near this level. It makes more sense to know that this album is going to be a soundtrack for a film made by the band, so maybe once that is released, the album may make a little more sense to some.

As is stands at the moment though, your level of enjoyment will depend on your tolerance for the lack of a real metal feel, and of course whether or not you have happily embraced Anette Olzon or still pine for the lost days of Tarja Turunen. For me personally, I never had any strong affinity with Tarja anyways, so that side of things isn’t really an issue, but the lack of a real harder edge does leave me somewhat nonplussed about the whole thing. I did enjoy the overall concept here, which is based around the musings of an old composer lying on his death-bead thinking about his past, and the album artwork is certainly some of the most impressive of 2011, oh and also the production is pretty bloody great all-round. As far as the actual musical component of Imaginaerum goes though, I couldn’t really get into enough to say I liked it, but didn’t have enough of a problem with it to say I didn’t like it either.

Occasionally the guitars get a chance to rev it up a little bit, and there’s even the odd heavy male vocal, most obvious in the third, and my personal favourite track of the album GHOST RIVER. But for the most part this is a very keyboard-laden affair, and has a real pop vibe to it, going so far as to say that tracks like STORYTIME and I WANT ME TEARS BACK could almost be confused as beefed-up versions of ABBA songs. Then there’s TURN LOOSE THE MERMAIDS, which has a real classic Disney film feel to it and the instrumental title track as a closer, which I guess will be used for the credits at the end of the film when it is made.

You can hear what the band are attempting to do here, and for that I do give them credit, but the overall finished product is something that is sure to split fans right down the middle. Die-hard will lap it up like mother’s milk for sure, but those that have enjoyed the more metal leanings of the band in the past will likely find not a whole lot on offer within the tracklist of Imaginaerum.

 

Written by Zeezee

Ratings    Zeezee    6/10

 

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