In the autumn of 2008, Nightwish keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen introduced a movie idea to both his band members and Stobe Harju, director of “The Islander” music video. The concept was met with positive feedback and Stobe ran with the idea to create a film entitled Imaginaerum. Nighwish also decided their seventh studio album would have the same concept allowing for the two mediums to work side by side.
The story as told by Stobe Harju: “Imaginaerum tells the story of an elderly composer, Tom, who suffers from severe dementia. As he has had the disease for years and has regressed into childhood, he remembers practically nothing from his adult life. His music, friends, all his past including the memory of his daughter are a blur in his fragile mind. All he has left is the imagination of a ten-year-old boy. As he drifts away into coma, it seems impossible to get back what he has lost. Tom travels through his imaginary world seeking answers and finding memories, while his daughter, Gem, tries to recover the bond she had once shared with her father in the real world. As they have become more and more distant from each other over the years, and as there’s even greater obstacles separating them now – Tom’s coma and his imminent death – Gem’s project feels doomed to failure. However, through Tom’s darkest secrets, Gem discovers the path she must follow in order to find her father again.”
With Imaginaerum Nightwish have created a highly interesting record – they forayed out of their usual symphonic metal spectrum and dabbled with folk and power metal influences. Even though they were constrained to specific moods for each track due to the records’ theme, they were still thinking outside of the box. That said, the record doesn’t feel as natural as it could as it’s forced to emulate what would be best suited for the film. Each song does sound different however, taking the listener on a journey through intense metal and folky ballads.
Imaginaerum is an album that has sparked my interest in this film; I will be sure to watch it when it comes out. I would love to see the visual version of the same story that Nightwish has herein told.
03. Ghost River
04. Slow, Love, Slow
05. I Want My Tears Back
08. Turn Loose The Mermaids
09. Rest Calm
10. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
11. Last Ride Of The Day
12. Song Of Myself
1. From A Dusty Bookshelf
2. All That Great Heart Lying Still
3. Piano Black
Run Time: 1:14:50
Release Date: November 30, 2011
Check out the song: “Storytime”