ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Nightwish - Imaginaerum

Although symphonic metal band Nightwish has put out a number of stellar albums, their seventh full-length "Imaginaerum" is one of their best works yet. Every single song from this record has something delightfully different to offer; they can be happy (Storytime), they can be emotional (The Crow, the Owl, the Dove), they can be spooky (Scaretale), and so on. Despite these varying moods and strong distinction between the tracks, the vigor and musicianship is what glues the album together. The singing duo of Annette and Marco can shape-shift from soft to aggressive, creating a good sense of dynamic, while the heavy guitars and drums provide a great framework for the album's energy. On top of that, the abundance of orchestral elements is planned out very nicely without being underused or overdone, and tidbits such as the operatic choirs also add to the dramatic feel of the album. There is no song in particular to recommend, because they are all spectacular for their own reasons. "Imaginaerum" is a grand musical journey not to be skipped.