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Imaginaerum = Tour Edition 2 CD + DVD = (CD)
Seventh album Imaginaerum is the band's second with new singer Anette, and comes with the added twist of an accompanying feature-length film next year. Nightwish who have always been at the forefront of symphonic metal, provide this latest addition to the catalogue with good intentions. Although presented as a stand-alone album, it perhaps pushes the line between creative indulgence and focused musicianship too far.
Imaginaerum sounds like all of Tuomas' influences, efforts and life's work culminated into one fairytale-like fantasy. The attention to detail, the emotion and care that has so obviously gone into this work is almost tangible, Imaginaerum is his most extravagant and imaginative project thus far. More so than before, Nightwish take their brand of symphonic metal even further with hints of jazz and folk influence, and an even stronger desire for theatrics. "Storytime" might not open the album in the most adventurous of ways, but the catchy "Ghost River" is soon the first hit. The rest of the album is pieced together surprisingly well for the variety on offer; no two songs are the same like chapters in a book, as symphonic metal meets a selection of other styles. The band sound liberated, as if Dark Passion Play was the trial run and this is the real thing. Imaginaerum has some great moments, from the up-beat and folky "I Want My Tears Back" to the stomping power metal "Last Ride Of The Day" and even Anette does a great, creepy performance on the fanciful "Scaretale". The album is far from perfect however, with some songs failing to register such as "Rest Calm", but perhaps the biggest flaw is that the whole thing just feels too much like a film soundtrack than an actual music-focused album. All the detail, the effort and work that has gone into polishing this album doesn't salvage the fact that Imaginaerum was created with a film in mind, rather than a solid standalone album. Some songs included here are great, but they, along with the rest of the album feel almost like a by-product of a greater project. The diversity on Imaginaerum is like no other Nightwish album. Although it is masterfully produced and put together, the cost of this diversity is
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