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Nightwish: Imaginaerum | FESTIVALPHOTO

Nightwish: Imaginaerum



Nuclear Blast/Warner

NIGHTWISH, the band on most peoples lips, are back with Anette Olzon (ex. ALYSON AVENUE) at the mike again. Many grieved Tarja´s departure in 2005, I did not. The operatic style on previous albums is not metal to me. But I guess 8 released studio albums and swell record sales says I´m missing something here. Still in the band are founders Tuomas Holopainen, keyboards, and guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, plus drummer Jukka Nevalainen and bass player Marco Hietala. Well, have they done it again?

In terms of sheer sales I guess they have done well. My basic feeling is that I prefer Anette, but is it truly metal? Opener “Taikataivi” is notably Finnish in style, quite orchestrated and pompous. “Storytime”, the first single, is a well arranged piece, but oh so light. So far so good, but what happens in “Ghost River”? The structure is like the most melodic black metal, the refrain is handled by a choir and the feeling is dissonant. There are more in the vein of “ok at the max”. I really like “I Want My Tears Back”, the violin, the sporty Finnish folk tendencies and the open flirtation with the next Eurovision Song Contest. But all the pompous overblown orchestrations and choirs make Anette superfluous in places and there is more than a hint of the band becoming a Finnish ENYA over time. The duet in “The Crow, the Owl and the Dove” also tickles my senses as a metal version of BLACKMORE´S NIGHT. And finally as the guitar sound sharpens in “Last Ride of the Day” the pompously metallic version of the band enters, providing fine hard rock the modern Finnish way. But apart from those highlights? Well, I´d like to see this band in 2020, I wonder if they have not joined with Tarja again, playing a Tolkien mock version of themselves on the Finnish pub circuit…

Track List
Ghost River
Slow, Love, Slow
I Want My Tears Back
Turn Loose The Mermaids
Rest Calm
The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
Last Ride Of The Day
Song Of Myself

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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