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Review: Nightwish - Imaginaerum

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 74:50
Tracks: 13
Genre: Symphonic Metal


Review online: January 19, 2012
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.7/5 (73.91%) (46 Votes)

There was a time when I would have called Nightwish the best band in the damned world, back around when Century Child came out. But that was fucking nine years ago, and a lot has changed since then. Their last album Dark Passion Play was way overblown and overproduced, but it still had some fine songs on it, like "The Islander", "Amaranth" and "Seven Days to the Wolves". This album is pretty much more of the same overdone crap but with far, far fewer good parts.

It's hard to pinpoint an entire song that does not have some cringe-worthy element in it somewhere. The first track is the required, boring intro track that everyone skips. The real opener is the widely-released single "Storytime", which is one of the best songs on here with an actual catchy chorus and some snappy writing. Then we get a slurry of garbage like the horrible "Ghost River" and the tedious lounge slouch of "Slow, Love, Slow" before "I Want My Tears Back" gets things going with some reel-based melodies and Marco lending his awesome in full force.

"Scaretale" is a hideous, overblown track with a lot of pointless orchestral wanking and the worst performance of Annette's career. I hate it, you will hate it. It's awful. "Arabesque" is a nice but utterly pointless instrumental - what the fuck is the point of it being here?

You may wonder why I'm going kind of track-by-track, and that's because one of the worst things about this album is that it has no cohesion at all, and just sounds like a jumble of parts thrown together in a pile clanging and bouncing off one another. As the album goes on it falls further apart, losing whatever momentum it had with a bunch of long, slow, uninteresting songs like "Turn Loose the Mermaids", "Rest Calm", and "The Crow, The Owl, and The Dove" - another absolutely abominable song. "Song of Myself" is the absolute pit of suck, with yet another epic-length song of Tuomas fellating himself over how amazing he is. Dear gods, the ego that reeks from this.

The performances are ok, with Marco reined in and Annette sounding blank and unexciting (probably due to the autotune, as I know from experience that she can't sing live.) The guitars are pro-tools mashed, and the production is as overdone and pumped-up as you would expect. Tuomas has almost managed to entirely reduce the band to a backup act for his own ego masturbation, with just a few bits of interest and humanity peeking through here and there. Holy shit this album is just an egregious mess.

More about Nightwish...
Review: Élan (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Century Child (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Dark Passion Play (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Dark Passion Play Tour (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Endless Forms Most Beautiful (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Endless Forms Most Beautiful Tour (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: November 2000 shows in Montreal, Canada (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: November 2000 shows in Montreal, Canada (reviewed by Pierre B├ęgin)
Review: Oceanborn (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Once (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Once (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Wishmaster (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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