Finnish symphonic metal group Nightwish held a listening session for their upcoming album Imaginaerum (out January 10) at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki yesterday. All members of the band except for vocalist Anette Olzon were there. One of the journalists present was Tero Tolkki of the Metal From Finland blog, who posted a track-by-track rundown of the record afterward.

Tolkki introduced his piece by saying, "I can say to all you Nightwish fans out there…with Imaginaerum Nightwish will challenge you in a way they’ve never done before. This album is by far not an easy album to approach."

One song in particular that surprised him was "Slow, Love, Slow." He wrote, "This was a treat…unlike nothing I’ve heard from Nightwish before...The best way I can describe this song is like going to one of those bars in the '60s, full of smoke and onstage there is a woman in a spotlight singing. When you hear this song you’ll understand what I mean. I actually spoke to Jukka [Nevalainen, drums] about this particular song and he said that was one of the things they tried to capture on the song…well they did it...I must say, not a song I would expect to hear from Nightwish but I love the fact that they are experimenting."

Of the album's four-part suite "Song of Myself," he says, "This is epic…EPIC. But also a song you need to listen over and over again and I am sure you’ll discover something new each time you hear it. It’s just a combination of so many things…overwhelming really."

Read Tolkki's full write-up of Imaginaerum at this link.