ARTIST:

NIGHTWISH

(FINLAND)
TITLE:

IMAGINAERUM

(2011)
LABEL:

NUCLEAR BLAST

GENRE:

MELODIC METAL

TAGS:
Celtic, Concept-album, Easy-Listening, Female vocals, Melancholic, Symphonic, Theatrical
"If some will regret certain aspects less "Metal", those who will be able to let themselves be carried away by the imagination of this work can only feel invaded by its narrative power."
LOLOCELTIC (14.12.2011)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

If some still had doubts, Nightwish is above all the work of Tuomas Holopainen. Entirely out of the imagination of the leader and keyboardist, "Imaginaerum" is the proof, the logical continuation of "Once" and "Dark Passion Play", continuing to develop the symphonic and orchestral aspects, but also progressive and Celtic. Conceived as the soundtrack of a film to be released in March 2012 and recounting the adventures of an elderly man refusing to grow old and travelling through imaginary worlds while he sleeps, "Imaginaerum" pushes the experimentations even further and takes the opportunity to impose Anette Olzon to the fans of the Scandinavian band, which "Dark Passion Play" hadn't completely managed to do 4 years before.

Indeed, regularly sharing the vocals with Marco Hietala, the Swede offered a real recital, demonstrating hitherto unknown theatrical qualities. It is true that, unlike the previous opus, "Imaginaerum" was composed knowing that she would play the role of frontwoman. The metamorphosis is no less breathtaking, especially on the surprising and jazzy "Slow, Love, Slow" which she leads with sensuality, while Emppu Vuorinen delivers a solo all in feeling and in perfect adequacy with the style. "Scaretale" is also a demonstration, with Anette playing the role of a witch on an orchestration during which Nightwish mixes with the world of Tim Burton and the flights of Hans Zimmer or Danny Elfman. Alternating symphonic and metallic passages, a delirious break worthy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Mr. Jack's strange Christmas, or even the Phantom Manor at Disneyland Park, orchestral passages that seem to come out of the Pirates of the Caribbean, everything is mixed in a suite that doesn't lose its coherence.

The whole album is in line with this title, so rich that it is difficult to describe each track without entering into a boring study that would not pay tribute to a work as exciting as it is abundant. Reinforced by the London Orchestra again conducted by Pip Williams, and by Troy Donockley who still plays Celtic instruments, the Scandinavian quintet takes us on a dizzying journey, the visual part of which we are eager to discover and compare it to the images that music has been able to create in our imagination. After an introduction sung in Finnish by Marco on a music box background, the first part concentrates most of the most metallic tracks, whether it be the first single, "Storytime" with its haunting ritornello, the dark "Ghost River" with the theatrical double vocals of Anette and a particularly threatening Marco, all reinforced by childish choruses, or a "I Want My Tears Back" with Celtic elements and an unstoppable chorus.

Launched by the instrumental break of an "Arabesque" with Middle-Eastern accents, the second part is calmer and more melodic, replacing the power of Heavy-Metal by that of feelings, sometimes folkloric led by the delicacy of the flute ("Turn Loose The Mermaid" and its western break worthy of Ennio Morricone), often melancholic ("Rest Calm"). The calmer atmosphere is nevertheless interrupted by a powerful "Last Ride Of The Day" with its hypnotising melody, before "Song Of Myself" pours out its 13 progressive minutes. Piece of bravery, this track starts with a dark and powerful first part before continuing on 6 quieter minutes during which several people close to the band come to read a few sentences. Combined with the eponymous title that concludes the whole by taking up the different themes of the album like an end credits, this break leads to a slight decrease in intensity that some may find restful.

It's hard to know how the public will react to such an ambitious work as Tuomas has pushed experimentation so far. If some people will regret the setting aside of Emppu's guitar and some metallic elements, those who will be able to let themselves be carried away by the imaginary of this work will feel invaded by the genius and the narrative power of "Imaginaerum". As for those who will remain impervious to this work, they will at least recognize the ambition of a project that will mark the history of Nightwish, if not that of Symphonic Metal in general.


More informations on http://www.nightwish.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Taikatalvi - 2:35
02. Storytime - 5:22
03. Ghost River - 5:28
04. Slow, Love, Slow - 5:50
05. I Want My Tears Back - 5:07
06. Scaretale - 7:32
07. Arabesque - 2:57
08. Turn Loose The Mermaid - 4:20
09. Rest Calm - 7:02
10. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove - 4:10
11. Last Ride Of The Day - 4:32
12. Song Of Myself - 13:37
13. Imaginaerum - 6:18

LINEUP:
Anette Olzon: Chant
Emppu Vuorinen: Guitares
Jukka Nevalainen: Batterie
Marco Hietala: Chant / Basse
Tuomas Holopainen: Claviers
   
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