Album Review – Nightwish “Imaginaerum” 2012

  There isn’t much on Imaginaerum that we haven’t already heard on Dark Passion Play, and Dark Passion Play was itself an extensive upgrade of Once, so expect few surprises. You can probably guess where I’m going with this review, just like you can anticipate with great certainty where Nightwish is headed on this album from note one onward.

I don’t wish to denigrate the level of craft involved; this is complex material delivered with intelligence.  Imaginaerum spends much of its running time at the intersection where symphonic bombast meets cinematic embellishment, AKA the corner of Elfman and Burton. This is not unexpected from Nightwish, although it certainly pulls down the heaviness quotient. More bothersome is the mix, which, while clear and balanced, manages to bring an air of mechanical sterility to the usual warmth of a full live orchestra.

I have a feeling that Imaginaerum and its predecessor will become something of a Puppets vs. Lightning debate amongst hardcore Nightwish fans. I consider it a remake, perhaps with the addition of a check mark next to “Sink, kitchen (1)” upon inventory. 6.5 out of 10

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2 Responses to “Album Review – Nightwish “Imaginaerum” 2012”

  1. Darn it I was considering reviewing this for my own shiny new blog (pwlambert.wordpress.com). I agree that it’s very similar to its predecessor, but saying Puppets vs Lightning implies that this and DPP are Nightwish’s best works, which is certainly not the case. I’d say it’s more like Load vs Reload, in that the stylistic shift from DPP is taken even further on Imaginaerum, though these two stand as stronger records than Load and Reload do.

  2. I think you and I might differ widely on our favourite Nightwish. You’re likely into older material, very technical, very proggy, very Elvish. I prefer Once, where the band flirts with its inner Rammstein.

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