"Imaginaerum" (Roadrunner Records; 2011)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Nightwish have given us a concept album about a composer who, on his deathbed, begins to reminisce about his youth. In awesome Finnish fashion, Nightwish create a beautiful/haunting story that takes you through the old composer's life, chapter by chapter.

This is the seventh album by Nightwish and they have topped the charts with "Imaginaerum" because of their musicianship. Their combination of symphonic metal and chugging guitars creates a lure that you just can't stop listening to and to make this disc even sweeter they composed instrumental tracks for each one of the songs. So you can have the music to dive into, mind first. I highly recommend getting the 2 CD Digipack Edition.

Since the story moves in and out of the composer's life the flow builds and crescendos and then begins again anew. Anette Olzon has a beautiful voice and tells the story with passion and grace, Marco (bass) often sings with Anette so that they create a vocal conversation. The guitar moves the songs along with fast fashion and the drums gallop right along. You can hear some excellent percussion on this disc and additional instruments such a trumpet, violin and sorna fill in all areas of this incredible musical journey.

The best news is that this disc was made into a movie of the same name: "Imaginaerum," the movie, should be released sometime soon.

The Imagineers: Anette Olzon - vocals, Tuomas Holopainen - keyboards, piano, Emppu Vuorinen - guitars, Marco Hietala - bass, vocals (tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 ), Jukka Nevalainen - drums, percussion.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2022 14:38:32 -0500 .