As I sit here listening to the seventh album and newest release from Nightwish, “Imaginaerum” all I can do is sit here and tell you how amazing it is. Never really being a fan of Nightwish and never having any real interest in them other than a few songs, I haven’t had much history with the band. I’ve listened to some of their best over the years and I enjoyed “Dark Passion Play” for a time. But I think this is the first album that I was able to sit down and dissect and really enjoy. The album contains everything and more from the band. From power metal, to symphonic metal, goth metal, folk, jazz, and more all rolled into the classic Nightwish sound.
The album stars with the symphonic opener “Taikatalvi” right into the heaviness of “Storytime” and “Ghost River.” Ghost River might be one of my favorite songs Nightwish has ever made. It shows one aspect on this album that I love, absolutely love, Anette is not the main vocalist all the time. Hietala does a fantastic job covering his bases with a powerful, yet raspy power metal vocal that really brings the sense of parody to the band; and he and Annette can harmonize seamlessly. Speaking of Anette, I love her vocal performance on “Scaretale” She just shrieks like a banshee, a far cry from the operatic style we are used to from her.
“Slow, Love, Slow” is about as close to anything as the band will ever get to jazz. I must admit I didn’t like the song at first but the more I listened to it, especially in the context of the album, I began to enjoy it more and more. Right after that one of the heaviest songs on the album and the one filled with the most folk element: “I Want My Tears Back.” Anette and Hietala show off their dual vocals a long with the power metal inspired “Last Ride of The Day”. Any song that is upbeat with a fast tempo that can make me feel like I can ride into battle with it, is a damn good song in my book.
It will be interesting to see how this album will sync up with the full-length feature film to be released in 2012 but until then we have this. A damn good album and I’m as surprised as anybody will be that I like it. It should be more than enough to quell some of the TARNJA FIGHTS and hopefully fans will look at the album for what it is, one hell of a symphonic metal journey.