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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Verging on perfection.
As a long time Nightwish fan, I've long been of the opinion that their second and third albums (Oceanborn and Wishmaster), were their finest work. While I enjoyed all of their subsequent releases, none have ever compared to these two fantastic albums. Until now, that is!
This ambitious and incredible album has, in my opinion, outdone all of their previous works. Its...
Published on 5 Dec. 2011 by R. W. Dursley

versus
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overly ambitious and ultimately unsatisfying
Frankly if you've enjoyed any previous Nightwish album I can't see how you wouldn't be disappointed with this turgid mess. The orchestration is so over the top in many places that you'd struggle to discern any guitars at all, other than some obligatory chugging by Emppu every few songs when Tuomas remembers that he's there.

In terms of songs, "I Want My Tears...
Published on 1 Jan. 2012 by Michael Hartland


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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers!, 9 Dec. 2011
By 
N. A. Davies (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Imaginaerum (Audio CD)
After the satisying epic that is Dark Passion play you could have forgiven Nightwish playing it a bit safe and rehashing old ideas into new form, and creating another solid but predictable follow up, but this, although retaining some of the Nightwish hallmarks the band have taken a chance of many numbers.

Here we have the band experimenting with jazz numbers, a bizare, bonkers theatrical almost West End piece (think of Phantom of the Opera on Acid and you're kind of there), a solid piece of Tribal drumming, a 6 minute spoken poem and a title track at the end, entirely orchestral picking up the main refrains and motifs of the previous songs.

First listen I must admit to staring at the speakers in bewilderment as the band, orchestra and choir gallop through some of the most bizarre things they have even done, I even laughed out loud at the most weird passages of Scartale, the West End piece. I checked I had the right CD in during Arabesque where the choir is literally drowned out by competing orchestra and some awesome Tribal Drums. My only complaint is this song doesnt go on LONG enough, it would have great for it to extend a little longer! I wasnt looking forward to the spoken poem bit I had heard about in Song of Myself, but it is handled beautifully, a myriad of voices and some soothing choir underpinned by a fantastic yearning guitar solo. The rest of the album is just as varied, I want my Tears Back starts off as a standard Nightwish song before launching headlong into an Irish style jig. It just sounds so odd, yet so right plum in the middle of a song that would normally have a heavy guitar solo. And that sums up the album really, everything that shouldn't work, just does, and everything you expect to be there, the standard Nightwish stock in trade songs, Last Ride of the Day, (the start of) Song of Myself, Story Time and Ghost River is there in all the usual Nightwish grandeur.

The artwork is also fantastic, but is superfluous, the colour, the real picture is painted through the music, that at times is maybe better than anything else they have done? Music is of course very personal thing, so its up to you to decide.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!!! One of the best albums of 2011, 23 Dec. 2011
By 
Ath K. Nikolopoulos (Kos, Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Imaginaerum (Audio CD)
Now this is how an artist / composer overcomes the difficulties and evolves himself and the band from a gothic band (with operatic vocals) to a whole new existense... Nightwish have long said goodbye to Tarja's incredible operatic singing and with the new singer, they got a chance to evolve their sound as well...

And while one could hear the differencies (comparing to past albums) on "Dark Passion Play", noone could be prepared for this next one...

A Nightwish album with a jazzy ballad? A Nightwish album with a country-influenced song? A Nightwish album with an Arabic interlude right after a Carnival epic? A Nightwish album that is not even a regular album, as it is the soundtrack of a MOVIE that Nightwish shot for this album (to be release in 2012)? The music part of a greater concept they have crafted for their fans?

Now that is what we call shooting for the stars!

It takes a few listens to get into, especially since the "Nightwish" songs are spread in between all these other weird creations...

But if you give it more than a couple of listens you will be amazed, overwelmed by the creative genius of Tuomas Holopainen. The Nightwish spirit is here, the Symphonic parts have become a vital part of the songs, as have the choires and the singing of Marco Hietala (really, this man could easily be a lead singer to any band with huge success, what an impressive voice!).

And even though jazz, country, folk and carnival influences blend with Soundtrack arrangements, this one is really Nightwish to the core.

The most ambitious project of Nightwish so far, thankfully is backed with great music. This band has come a long way from the "Wishmaster" or "Century Child" days. And, while their fans were afraid that losing such a gift singer (as Tarja was) would bring a damage to the band hard to repair, it all comes to this:

When a talent of this caliber is left alone to create the miracles that wonder through his mind, the STUNNING end result is inevitable!

This is an album destined to make huge success and define the bands future for sure. Full of great songs, great melodies, great arrangements and such diversity, it will easily be one that will be mentioned in the future as a dicisive turn point.

To those who love melodic rock and metal, to those who want to hear rich, beautiful, diverse music, to those who know Nightwish from previous albums, this one is a buy-or-die album.

Don't hesitate for a moment, this is a shining diamond in the discography of a phenomenal band, an album that came to stay for ever in our musical experiences...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pure Masterpiece, 8 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Imaginaerum (Audio CD)
There's not much I can add to what has already been said about this fantastic album. Each song beautifully sculptured from the genius mind of Tuomas Holopainen.

Nightwish have gone from strength to strength and for years I wondered how they could improve on the Dark Passion Play, but they have done it. The orchestra and the children's choir play their parts in each song so well to add to the metal and singing of Annette. Best examples of this would be found in Rest Calm and the orchestrated album titled song Imaginaerum. The album plays to be the soundtrack to the film which is released in 2012 directed by...yes the genius Tuomas Holopainen.

I believe to experience this album at it's full potential get the 2 disc set with the instrumental cd. It really makes you appreciate the fantastic music that is on offer. Nowadays music is produced by computers such as the sound effects and the lyrics written by paid lyricists. Nightwish don't need any of this, they have the talent, and they have their own style.

5 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Imaginaerum (Audio CD)
Great album
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lose yourself in the music, 27 April 2014
This review is from: Imaginaerum (Audio CD)
Another cracker of an album & as usual
Tuomas & Co are'nt afraid to try something
new. Troy Doneckley on the pipes-brilliant.
I liked "Dark Passion Play" which was the
first album with Anette on vocals but this
is far better. Another album thats more
than just music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow!!!, 1 April 2014
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This review is from: Imaginaerum (Audio CD)
As i have only got into Nightwish in the Anette Olsen era, i cannot compere this to albums with Tarja as lead singer. This album, as did the last, had it all :- power, delicasy and beautiful melodies. As for Anette's vocals, the songs on here suit here perfectly, especially Slow Love Slow, which is an outstanding jazz,blues,soul track.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginaerum, 25 Feb. 2014
By 
Mr. A. J. Scholey (Wakefield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Imaginaerum (Audio CD)
This double CD pack, one with words and the other with orchestral score (with download option as well) has been listened to over and over. The beautiful lyrics are often poignant, with haunting melodies, powerful music with a bit of joy and fun thrown in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 6 Feb. 2014
By 
D. Campbell (Swansea, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Imaginaerum (Audio CD)
I wasn't expecting to love this album, but I really do. I just can't put it away. At present it must be my most currently listened to album I own, so much better than dark passion play.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Weird and wonderful, 19 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Imaginaerum (MP3 Download)
With the exception of track 12 I feel this is a fantastic album. Each track stands well on its own, and they gain from being listened to in order. It is sometimes strange, often surreal and mixes styles together beautifully. The repetitive nature of the genre combined with unusually strong melodies does tend to get stuck in your head, but it's worth that annoyance and I still listen to it when I want to ignore the world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't work quite as well as it wants to, 7 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Imaginaerum (Audio CD)
This review is a little bit late to the party, but as a result I have had plenty of time to listen to the songs and let them settle in my mind. This is a large album with grand ideas and deserves a certain amount of attention before forming any kind of opinion.

Although it doesn't quite tell a story, this is a concept album based around the theme of the importance of stories. In a way it is a logical extension of Century Child's themes of the value of innocence, and explores this territory more fully. It is clear that this means a lot to Tuomas, and the band have clearly worked hard to create a masterpiece by complimenting the album with a film and a soundtrack. It's a typically grandiose aim for Nightwish, but they have the talent to pull it off. The question is, did they?

For me, the answer is only 'sort of'. This isn't necessarily a problem, after all Sergeant Pepper's only 'sort of' works as a concept album but is still an unquestionable classic. But it is enough to prevent me being as enthusiastic as some of the others reviewers. The musical arrangement are peerless and compliment the songs perfectly, but for me the lyrics and at times the selection of songs included prevent it from hitting the mark.

The first song has the clever idea of winding up a music box to start the story and is a cute song, but I feel that the first song on the album is too early to have lyrics in Finnish, especially when it is introducing the concept on which the rest of the album will rest. I don't have a problem with Nightwish singing in Finnish, but given that the next song explains the concept in English I find myself skipping track one which only really has value because of its wind-up intro. Not a big problem, but songs that you skip weaken an album.

Slow, Love, Slow seems to be a curious addition. It is actually my favourite song on the album, but I am a fan of blues and love the collaborations between Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart which it's sultry vocals and jazzy arrangements are so reminiscent of. It doesn't seem to fit either the concept or the feel of the album aside from providing a nice contrast in pace to the rollercoaster thrill of Ghost River.

I Want My Tears Back has a Euro-pop feel to it, despite the Celtic instrumentation (which is excellent). Lyrically it fits in well with Turn Loose The Mermaids, which describes the return of the protagonist's tears, but for me it feels slightly out of place. Scaretale starts off perfectly with discordant strings and a nursery rhyme, building the anticipation of fantastic, terrifying story. Unfortunately, all it delivers is a mismatched montage of images, evoking a weird dream more than anything else. It would be a scary dream, featuring witches, snakes and a spooky circus, but none of it quite hangs together and it feels like a missed opportunity for a truly great song.

The last track (and the title track) is another that I skip, although it is well done for what it is. It could be described as the Imaginarium Suite, and is a medley of songs from the album. It would be a nice outro, but the profound 'Song of Me' does that job so well that Imaginarium feels totally superfluous.

At its best, this album feels like a trip to a theme park, the interwoven vocals of Marco and Annette soaring over beautiful fairy tale images, plunging down into visions from a nightmare and pulling you inexorably along on the ride, leaving the words to carousel in your mind for hours after. Existing fans will love it, but since it is so grandiose and ambitious it is unlikely to convert many new fans that were previously put off by Nightwish's style. A good album and well worth checking out for existing fans, but for me not quite the masterpiece it wants to be.
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Imaginaerum
Imaginaerum by Nightwish
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