Imaginaerum is Nightwish’s only concept album to date. Ir was the final album to feature Anette Olzon on vocals and Jukka Nevalainen on drums. A movie was also released in conjunction with the album, directed by Stobe Harju, who previously directed the video for “The Islander”. The album and movie tell the story of a composer on his deathbed who is taken to a fantastical realm while he is on his deathbed.
Anette Olzon: vocals
Empuu Vuorinen: guitar
Marko Hietala: bass, vocals
Tuomas Holopainen: keyboards, piano
Jukka Nevalainen: drums, percussion
- “Taikatalvi”: The title of this song means “magic winter”, and it’s the only song not sung in English. It serves as the album’s overture.
- ” Storytime”: This song was inspired by “The Snowman” , which the band had covered on Oceanborn. Tuomas felt this song was a pretty good representation of the album, and imagery from it is in the movie.
- “Ghost River”: Tuomas describes this song as a battle between the devil and Mother Earth.
- “Slow Love Slow”: This has a driving keyboard and orchestral rhythm.
- “I Want My Tears Back”: The pipes on this song are the best feature, as well as Empuu’s riffs.
- ” Scaretale”: This song evokes imagery of Disney’s Haunted Mansion.
- “Arabesque”: This is one of only two instrumentals, feeling like it comes from a ballet.
- “Turn Loose the Mermaids “: This song has some excellent instrumentation as the tempo increases.
- ” Rest Calm”: There’s nothing calm about this. It feels more like a storm-tossed boat.
- “The Crow, the Owl, and the Dove”: Marko’s vocals have an evil sound to them.
- “Last Ride of the Day”: I love the chaotic feel of this song. I don’t really want to pick out favorites since this is a concept album, but I do enjoy this one.
- “Song of Myself”: the longest song on the album, divided into 4 parts, making it similar to “The Poet and the Pendulum” .
- “Imaginaerum”: The closing song is an instrumental coda.
Final Verdict: Of the two albums featuring Olzon, this is the best. I found her vocals matched the music better, and the movie was excellent. While the movie might not be as necessary in order to enjoy it, I loved it. It was like a dark fairy tale, and I was so glad to find it on YouTube for free.