New York, NY: Fans of dramatic, symphonic, Euro metal have something to look forward to when the cold, dark, dreary winter sets in. Finnish superstars Nightwish will release their new album Imaginaerum on January 10, 2012 via Roadrunner Records and it will serve as a welcome beckon of warmth and light in an otherwise dark season! The album is the band’s first since 2007’s Dark Passion Play, which was then- new singer Anette Olzon’s debut.

The band examined its catalog when sitting down to write what would become Imaginaerum. The songs for the album were written between 2008 and 2010, after the Dark Passion Play tour cycle ended.

At that point, Nightwish knew they wanted to do something different, new and unique, which is exceptional for a band whose career has been defined by words like different, new and unique!

The band consciously wanted to do something so big, crossover, detailed, innovative and, well,  “nuts,” that it would leave the band, and hopefully the people experiencing it, completely awestruck. It would be a situation where fans and/or critics would either love it or hate it, but they’d be left awestruck nonetheless. That’s when the band realized another dimension, namely video, was necessary for the project.

Instead of a concept album, the band set the album to a film.

“The original idea I had was to film 13 short stories related to the songs with a connected storyline, shot by Stobe Harju,” keyboardist/songwriter Tuomas Holopainen said. It was Harju’s idea to turn the 13 stories and visions into more of a connected cinematic piece –essentially, a film. It would have a clear plot, script, dialogue and real actors in an ambitious effort to create something wholly unique.The film was shot in September of this year.

The movie is based on the album and its 13 tracks, honoring the original ideas, but having evolved radically from the initial plan. Holopainen said,” Still, it was important from the very beginning that the album would work as its own individual piece of art, as well. It is a thematic album about life itself, about imagination, love, goodness and beauty, with a touch of darkness and melancholy, which are strongly included in all of those things mentioned.” As if we could expect anything less from Nightwish!

The band will have but a small part in the film. A 2012 premiere date is being eyed.

Imaginaerum: an audiovisual testament of what Nightwish have always been about.

The track listing for Imaginaerum is as follows; note that track 12 is broken down into four parts.

01. Taikatalvi

02. Storytime

03. Ghost River

04. Slow, Love, Slow

05. I Want My Tears Back

06. Scaretale

07. Arabesque

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

Song 1: From A Dusty Bookshelf

Song 2: All That Great Heart Lying Still

Song 3: Piano Black

Song 4: Love

13. Imaginaerum

In other Nightwish news, the band will play a one-off show at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles on Jan. 21 and the band will then set sail on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, which heads for the high seas on Jan. 23 in Miami, Fla.

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