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on 24 May 2017
A great album from Nightwish. The 2nd one featuring Annette Olzon, and much better than Dark Passion Play was. Turn Loose the Mermaids is the most gorgeously haunting track of the album, but there is not a bad track on it. The bonus instrumental disc is sublime. Worth adding to anyone's collection.
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on 28 November 2017
Out of all Nightwish albums this is the one that I had the greatest problem connecting with. Maybe having appreciated the vocal qualities of Tarja and Floor so much, Anette's lack of range did not help. BUT and it is a REALLY BIG BUT, the accompanying CD without the lyrics is without question one of the biggest surprises I have had listening to music. Tuomas's talent as a composer and arranger shines brightly through. You could almost imagine sitting in the Royal Albert Hall listening to a Promenade concert.
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on 27 January 2017
This may not be Nightwish's best ever album because I believe that is ONCE , this follows on from their last album which I believe while not at strong as ONCE or Dark Passion Play is well worth looking into, so.........LOOK INTO IT!
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on 26 May 2017
Love it!
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on 16 April 2017
Top album
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on 6 April 2017
excellent album
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on 9 April 2017
great cd great group .
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Gotta say that this album lived up to expectations after Dark Passion Play, and for me represents what is effectively the 6th brilliant album in a row by Nightwish - if you read my reviews for other albums you will now that that run ends with the latest album, but as I keep saying any band who can produce quality on this level album after album for that long are bound to have a little blip - all the great bands do and Nightwish are no exception but remain exceptional.

Im still digesting this album but it is full of memorable tracks and there is no major blip in song writing quality. The folky angle becomes stronger with each record, which I think is partly to do with the nature of the voice style of the singer of the time - an album to get your teeth into and enjoy, I hope the next album in a few years time at least meets this standard.......Thanks again Nightwish
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on 8 December 2011
Nightwish is my favourite band and had not done an album that I didnt rate very highly. Although I was initially attracted to the band by their use of Tarjas fantastic Operatic voice, the last album, Dark Passion Play, was such a triumph that any doubts about having a Rock/Pop vocalist were removed. So for me, this release was looked forward to with intense anticipation, even though I hadnt really liked the single "Storytime" that much.

Oh boy, did that change when I listened to it.....

It is a hugely overblown concept piece, where the need to get over the concept gets completely in the way of the songs and is constantly rammed home. It is not helped by a cinematic (over)production which makes it seem like every single disparate element of each song was recorded separately without any knowledge of the whole (sadly reading the interviews I think this is exactly how it was made!). It starts with a lovely Finnish ballad, which...finishes before it gets going, thrown away as intro music...

The single, Storytime, is OK, but I find there is something screechy in the vocals, and the chorus is a bit repetitive for me. Ghost River is probably the best track on the album, great verse, good middle 8, chorus is a bit heavy on the vocals and choirs but defintely a grower. "Slow love slow", well, thats just a weird diversion into some sort of jazz territory and sent my CD flying across the room just like the first time I heard "Ten Story Love Song" by the Stone Roses, on second listening its not too bad but not my cup of tea, we are on B side territory here.

They are then back on form with "I want My Tears Back"...that is until the middle turns into an Irish jig instead of a Keyboard/guitar duel , to my mind totally inappropriate for the sad tone of the song up to that point, but maybe I am spoilt by all the Amorphis I have been listening to, as this is the kind of folk metal territory this song inhabits. A good track and may grow on me,

"Scaretale" is however hideous. Featuring some particularly cliched Nightwish guitars at the start, it sounds like a Disney cartoon theme and unlike Tuomas I hate Disney and even if I liked it I would find no place for this on a Rock album, again here there is a lot of talking and weird vocal stylings to force the movie concept over,and a particularly silly sub-pirates of the caribbean section in the middle. Awful. Then, amazingly the next two tracks are both soundtrack filler! Arabesque is just incidental music, Turn Loose the Mermaids has a good song trying to break out but it never comes and seems unfinished, and frankly Leaves Eyes do it much better.

The last four tracks are much better, but none of them really hits home. Rest Calm has a complex and interesting arrangement but the chorus is a bit weak and endlessly repeats for over 2m to finish, the Crow, etc, is a good song also but overdominated by Irish instrumentation, Last Ride of the Day is again good but now I was getting sick of the choral intros that sounded like they were lifted from the session tapes for "once", you know the "oh oh oh" over the chugging guitars and drums , so it all sounded a bit cliched. At least this song had a guitar solo in it, sadly lacking from most of the album! Finally "Song For Myself" at 13m long has the opportunity to be a great song and features some fantastic lyrics, but instead it turns the concept of talking heads which was clever for a minute or so into a completely over the top extravagance rendering the last 5 minutes completely pointless listening unless you like the poetry. Somewhere under there, there is a lovely, lilting theme, but there is nothing for you to sing along too.

So, for me this a classic "misguided,overblown concept album". Lots of bands at their peak have done them, most have regretted it later. I can see that in 10 years time I may be able to see through it all and claim that "slow, love, slow" is an undiscovered Nightwish classic. Right now I shall reflect on all the money this turkey has saved me in flights and hotels as I have no wish to see it performed live...there are hardly any synths or guitars in the mix and way way too much orchestration,so I cant see how they could perform it anyway. Finally, Annettes voice is absent for long periods, and when its there it sounds nasal and well, frankly poor. (and DPP is my favorite Nightwish long player so I am not saying that cos Im a Tarjaholic).

I am not even sure how you would categorise it, the need to be Symphonic and provide a soundtrack to a movie concept has overridden virtually everything. In places its not rock, most of it sure isnt heavy, yet the vocals are anything but operatic, it sounds more like Abba the musical than a Rock album.

Hugely, jaw droppingly, embarrassingly disappointing.

Now can we have a proper album and not a soundtrack please?
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on 25 February 2012
I really enjoy the fact that I can blast Nightwish throughout the house while my children are playing nearby: no dirty nasty lyrics, no swearing. And yet 210% Awesome all the way! Somehow Nightwish manages to create an album that lacks absolutely nothing ~ while avoiding the use of dirty lyrics which just cheapen a song to no end.

Oh, and there is more:

Originally I was put off by this CD because the whole "Dark Carnival" thing struck me as overdone and just plain boring.

BUT I decided to get over my irritation and I actually listened to the CD a few times. WOWZA! This is when I discovered that **once again** Nightwish has nailed it with their amazing voices, fantastic guitars ~ all set against the backdrop of an orchestra and choir, some of the songs inter-woven with superior celtic or Arabian music. My dislike of the "dark carnival" quickly changed to respect for a band that can take a tired theme and re-create it in ways I never anticipated. I began to like the songs, then my like morphed into sheer adoration and I have listened to this album a dozen times already ~ I don't plan to stop any time soon!

The music MOVES and so do the lyrics: Nightwish seems to have mastered the art of rocking you from the inside out, somehow plugging straight in to your emotions and your own inner energy. I always walk away from their music feeling as if I have just returned from experiencing them live in my house!

Also, with this set, CD #2 is just plain magnificent. What a bonus! No words, just the raw music and choir bits. Perfect for those creative times when I want to paint or draw or write and I don't want the lyrics to get in my head.

I am not a big fan of the early Nightwish, pre-orchestra. It strikes me as tinny and cheesy. But I absolutely LOVE this album ("Imaginaerum") and also "Dark Passion Play."

Keep it up, Nightwish! You are amazing!! GIVE US MORE!! :-))
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