Blind Guardian - Imaginations From The Other Side review
|Album:||Imaginations From The Other Side|
|Release date:||April 1995|
01. Imaginations From The Other Side
02. I'm Alive
03. A Past And Future Secret
04. The Script For My Requiem
05. Mordred's Song
06. Born In A Mourning Hall
07. Bright Eyes
08. Another Holy War
09. And The Story Ends
10. The Wizard [Uriah Heep cover] [Japanese bonus]
11. The Script For My Requiem [demo] [Japanese bonus]
12. I'm A Alive [demo] [Japanese bonus]
13. Imaginations From The Other Side [demo] [Japanese bonus]
14. A Past And Future Secret [demo] [Japanese bonus]
15. A Past And Future Secret [demo] [2007 re-release bonus]
16. Imaginations From The Other Side [demo] [2007 re-release bonus]
17. The Script For My Requiem [demo] [2007 re-release bonus]
+ Bright Eyes [video] [2007 re-release bonus]
+ Born In A Morning Hall [video] [2007 re-release bonus]
What makes a good Power Metal album? Catchy guitar riffs, good symphonic elements, mighty power chords? If your answer to this is YES, then you are gonna have a great time with this album, that's for sure. Legendary Blind Guardian obviously didn't want to risk anything, so they took the stuff mentioned before and polished it to near-perfection. Yep, near-perfection. Personally, I don't like Power Metal too much, but I'll be a good little reviewer, and do this completely objectively.
It seems that this album was made to some sort of a strict structure : go hard on the guitars and drums for a while, put a great guitar solo here-and-there, and then to finish, do a memorable power chord. This goes for almost all songs. Of course, this may seem dull, but believe me, it's really not so. The structure may be the same for most of the songs, but the structure's ingredients are more than different enough to capture and keep your attention for the entire album. And make you enjoy it, of course.
I feel the need to briefly describe every element of the structure. The drumming is decent, nothing spectacular, though. Hansi's vocals are in a form of half-screams except in power chords where he sings clearly, and does it very well, I must say. The power chords themselves are not as repetitive as they can be with some bands and they fit the rest of the music excellently. Now, the guitars. Solos are frequent on this album, and rightly so : they are very melodic and beautiful. Riffs are catchy and some of them are pretty crushing, almost like Thrash. Actually, I'm very pleasantly surprised by the song's speed and harshness. Before this album, the only experience with Power Metal I had was Nightwish, Kamelot and Sonata Arctica. This is way more brutal than any of them.
Unfortunately, all that work they did to perfect the "structure" made this album very.... classic. What I mean is that you won't hear even a hint of something new and innovative (if you don't count greater brutality than usual). This is your most typical Power Metal, only perfected. If it weren't for that brutality, I would give the album 3 for Originality. But, if that's not a problem for you, and you like Power Metal, then by all means go with this album. You won't make a mistake, guarantee.
|This is it, Blind Guardian's best effort and the very definition of Power metal. Imaginations From The Other Side has everything the genre needs: heavy drums, perfect guitar play and both beautifully calm and powerful vocals culminating in choruses that you'll recognize even ages after you last heard them.
If we take a look at the history of the band and their previous releases, we can see that this album is the product of a decade of improving. What Battalions Of Fear had started with speed and Somewhere Far Beyond added with more emotional elements, Imaginations perfected. Well, almost at least. The lyrical themes are not quite inspired enough to reach the perfect score and "I'm Alive" feels just a little weaker than the rest of the album, mostly because it lacks its recognizable sound that all the other seven tracks have without a doubt. However, I'm complaining on the highest level here. The lyrics are still far from the typical European cheerful and cheesy style and there are many people out there who love "I'm Alive," I just don't happen to be one of them.
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