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Nightwish: Imaginaerum

Ok, so…I typically don’t post two first impression articles in the same day, let alone within a few hours from each other, but here it goes. I had no internet at home for about a month and a half. I guess somewhere in that timespan a press release about the upcoming Nightwish album was released. Sadly I barely made a dent in the inbox, so it’s probably still there somewhere. But as I’m staring blankly at Facebook, I see a new post appear. It’s a goodnight post with a link to the song “Storytime” by Nightwish with a caption explaining it’s the new single off their upcoming album Imaginaerum. I was very excited. After the potential the band exhibited on Dark Passion Play with their new vocalist, I couldn’t wait to dive into this single and wonder what magical worlds and powerful musical landscapes await me early November, 2011. But, instead, it all came crashing down around me, and at the top of my voice I proclaimed the three words anyone who is a dedicated fan of the group will say upon hearing this single: “What the…?!”

Now, I appologize for the obscenity. I’m trying to run as clean a site as I possibly can here, but… Seriously? This is what I have to look forward to? If “Storytime” is the lead single and meant to show off the best of the album (if you typically follow this logic) then fans everywhere are going to be horribly let down. This is easily the most generic thing I’ve heard in my life from this group. The music feels absolutely uninspiring with the most stereotypical female vocal performance ever. The only positive elements really are the orchestral keyboards that appear and the bridges that feel richer and heavier. Even the corus isn’t that impressive. The music video shot makes sense given the lyrics and how it reflects the creative process behind video for a fantasy-based story birthed out of fairy tales, but overall even the video itself wasn’t too impressive.

I won’t sit here and say “Storytime” is one of the worst songs I’ve heard, or that it’s even generally bad. It’s just more like a typical song. It didn’t make me not want to hear Imaginaerum, but at the same time it didn’t make me want to hear it more either. Maybe the song will work in with the full album if there’s a concept behind it that I didn’t get to find out about yet because of links to videos or information in press releases lingering around in my inbox yet, but those are just hopeful thoughts in the back of my mind. If this is the best that the band has to offer off Imaginaerum, then all I can say is I am very worried about both the album, and the band’s future direction.

If you feel I am being a little harsh, you can check the video out for yourself. It’s been uploaded to Youtube through Nuclear Blast Records. This way you can judge for yourself since I get the feeling it’s going to get a lot of mixed reviews and opinions.