|Posted on April 27, 2014 at 12:40 AM|
Written by Dave Smiles
With this album Nightwish mastermind Tuomas Holopainen takes the opportunity to turn his lifelong love of the classic story of Scrooge into a soundtrack, having always heard music whenever reading the book. While the music within this album is not metal, it does share the same passion and joy of life that is familiar within the genre. Holopanien’s talents as a songwriter keep getting better with age and experience. There is the unmistakable vibe within these Classical, Folk and Celtic inspired songs is reminiscent of Nightwish. Through the use of mostly instrumental songs, Holopainen takes us on a journey of highs and lows; of dramatic challenges and euphoric joys.
While there are similarities within the song writing, structures and melodies, this isn’t just a matter of taking the distorted guitars away and being left with what could be some of Nightwish’s softer material. This is more a case of Holopanien’s musical voice moving into a different direction.
There are a couple of guest musicians that will be familiar to Nightwish fans. - Pip Williams and Troy Donockley. Another guest that will be known to metal fans is Tony Kakko from Sontata Artica. The track, A Lifetime of Adventure, features Finnish singer Johanna Kurkela, who’s been a guest on a couple Sontata Artica albums.
The opening tracks, Glasgow 1877 and Into the West take us through various moods and sections and are very orchestral in structure. Tuomas has an ability to bring dramatic passages out of nowhere without being jarring to the listener, creating excitement and anticipation.
Dreamtime, opens with a didgeridoo playing over hypnotic percussion before a soft piano melody creates an atmosphere of awe, drawing the listener towards what is to be a momentary calm before taking us further along to greater highs.
There are some exceptionally dramatic moments within the album. Cold Heart of the Klondike for instance, is as dramatic as anything on Imaginaerum.
If you’re reading this article you’re probably a Nightwish fan and are curious about what this album is all about. After all, it’s the only album released by Nuclear Blast to feature a duck on the cover. Hopefully you won’t dismiss this without a listen, because what remains true within all great music is the openness with which the musicians let you into their soul.
If the day came when Nightwish couldn’t continue Tuomas would certainly have a career composing for films or writing symphonies. He is a modern day composer with the ability to rekindle the childhood innocence within us all.
Life draws influence from many places shaping us into who we are. It’s impossible to forever remain the same in our journeys through life and music.
Categories: Album Reviews