Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nightwish: Imaginaerum 2CD+DVD Digipack

I finally received my 2 CD+DVD digipack from Nightwish yesterday, pre-ordered before released on 4-13-2012 and at 1st worried the PAL format would not work on DVDs in US. However my concerns were unfounded, everything is working perfectly. These come packaged in a beautiful boxed container

The DVD is the Making of Imaginaerum album and movie, roughly an hour 20 minutes long, with more behind the scenes & band member info than actual Making Of info unfortunately, though a bonanza for fans new & old, being able to see into the camaraderie and work ethics of such a group is always fascinating to me. However, I'd hoped for more than a peek into the coming movie of the same name. In fact, the only visual included is the music video for the single Storytime which is the introduction to Imaginaerum. The albums were released in Nov. 2011, so this digipack release was for the DVD, and includes both CD's, including an orchestral version I have yet to listen to. 

Last night I viewed the DVD, which is subtitled in English with spoken Norwegian by the band. Interviews of all band members, along with a bit of each one's childhood history & images that would perhaps embarrass most of us, with very frank & revealing facts that can mostly already be found in Wiki, there's about 10 minutes combined of newer revelations, yet no fan will want to miss the DVD. A comedy roast of Marco is intermittently mixed in, their global touring and activities leading up to the release of the album are more focused on than their work, although we do get quite a few shots of Marco in the studio mixing tracks together, adding vocals and drum tracks, as well as the "boys" at a summer camp they had attended as boy scouts and used as their work location for the final polishing of the music for the album. Interesting that they were all wearing coats even in late Aug. & Spet. 2011.

We also get a peek into their label Nuclear Blast Records, which gives me more respect for this label, where most employees are dressed in jeans casual, the band members were more dressed up while still also in denim, than the label reps were. I was surprised to see such a phenomenal band with a relatively newer and smaller label, although this album is also under the Roadrunner label, they were not at all referred to in the DVD.

Any who denigrated Anette's vocals as a replacement for Tarja may have to eat their words when they hear the range of variety, talent & sound in this album. I know Tarja will regret having left this band when she hears the album, sees the movie & realizes she left right before they hit their stride. If anything, the band is doing better without her, and everyone seems much more relaxed & enmeshed than ever before, with their priorities & goals well matched. I look forward to much more to come, as Tuomas said, "What next?"

This album is unlike their previous albums in many ways, and to my ears is more classical operatic with metal aspects, than heavy metal music. As I've only listened to the primary CD so far & not the orchestral, I can't imagine the sound being more symphonic than the primary disc already is! Anette's vocal range is astounding on this album, and the styles the band create travel from the jazzy Slow Love Slow to the more metal Scaretale (which the band members all consider their favorite of the album), Song of Myself is an incredible spoken word piece using over 20 different people as different reader characters, another brilliant idea from Tuomas as is the entire concept. Tuomas is quick to state that he had a wonderful childhood that inspires his music, songwriting & storytelling. 

Anette had several unfortunate incidents that kept her and Marco from recording their vocal tracks together for this album, and Tuomas was tasked with weaving them together in post. While one can not tell from listening that the vocals were recorded separately, I can only wonder how much better they might have sounded had the 2 vocalists been able to record together & feed off each other's energy & ideas?

The album is a journey in and of itself, without a movie or visuals, it takes the listener to surprising places within, and is a listening experience I can't compare to anything in existence. this is not an album to be listened to while engaged in other activities, especially thoughtful ones, because the listener finds oneself distracted often by the lyrics, or the particular high notes & range of Anette's voice, or the growling then sublime vocals of Marco, or the powerful & deeply felt drumming, the background choral singers, so I suggest one sit back and enjoy the ride without distractions getting in the way of the adventure.

Magical, gorgeous, intense, beautiful, sublime, incredible depth, all these and many more, describe this effort and the price for this set was under $30 Euro. A steal of a deal for the experience one will never forget & will take many times over again.

Teaser Trailer:

More Resources:

Buy the Digipack $21.99 Eu:
Imaginaerum Official Website:
Nightwish Website:
Imaginaerum on Wiki
Nightwish on Wiki:
Nuclear Blast Records:

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