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4.31 | 91 ratings | 8 reviews
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Album · 1995


1. Imaginations From the Other Side (7:18)
2. I'm Alive (5:31)
3. A Past and Future Secret (3:47)
4. The Script for My Requiem (6:08)
5. Mordred's Song (5:28)
6. Born in a Mourning Hall (5:14)
7. Bright Eyes (5:15)
8. Another Holy War (4:31)
9. And the Story Ends (5:59)

Total Time: 49:15


- Hansi Kürsch / Vocals, Bass
- André Olbrich / Guitars
- Marcus Siepen / Guitars
- Thomas Stauch / Drums

About this release

Release date: April 5th, 1995
Label: Virgin Records

Japanese release by Victor Entertainment (VICP-5519) includes two bonus tracks:
10. The Wizard (03:17)
11. The Script For My Requiem [Extended Demo Version] (07:01)

Second Japanese (limited) version of the album, with a slightly altered tracklist regarding the bonus tracks:
10. I'm Alive (Demo Version) (05:20)
11. Imaginations From the Other Side (Demo) (07:13)
12. A Past and Future Secret (Demo) (03:37)
13. The Script for My Requiem (Demo) (07:01)

The 2007 remaster bonus tracks:
10. A Past and Future Secret (Demo Version) (03:37)
11. Imaginations from the Other Side (Demo Version) (07:13)
12. The Script for My Requiem (Demo Version) (07:01)
13. Bright Eyes (Video)
14. Born in a Mourning Hall (Video)

Thanks to UMUR, adg211288, diamondblack for the updates


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On their 5th album, Blind Guardian released what I consider to be their best work up to that point. I’m one of the few who preferred their aggressive Thrash/Speed days on their first two albums to the more polished and melodic albums that followed (though this is mostly because they always had useless interludes bloating them). Well, Imaginations still has one of those in the way of acoustic ballad “A Past and Future Secret,” but the rest of the material is just about as perfect as Power Metal gets.

Blind Guardian stated themselves that the new producer for this album took them to new levels, and it shows here. The choruses are insane, the vocal performance in general just sends shivers down your spine in a perfect mix of gruff yell-singing and epic, multilayered cleans. The guitar melodies sound a bit darker than before, which is always welcome, but of course they remain just as catchy. The rhythm section is just superb, so much speed and aggression on display here, definitely matching their Thrash days in that department.

The album isn’t a true concept album, but themes of lost innocence run rampant throughout the album. Letting go of better imaginary worlds, living under a suppressive political system, and learning to cope with inner demons and even childhood trauma are all alluded to in ways that still sound fantastical. I absolutely have to mention the track “Bright Eyes” as the best thing they have done yet, and by god it will be hard for them to surpass it. The chorus in the song is one of the most immense I’ve ever heard, and the riffs are passionate and dark. It’s quite a moody song for the band, and supposedly about a child struggling with abuse from his parents. It’s as powerful thematically as it is musically, an instant standout from the moment I heard it and only growing stronger the more I listened to it.
Imaginations From The Otherside is the seminal and genre-defining fifth full-length studio album from the legendary German Power Metal band, Blind Guardian. It was released in 1995, and produced by the famous Danish producer Flemming Rasmussen (Rainbow, Metallica, Morbid Angel, Ensiferum) and it caught the band in an unstoppable run of classic album after classic album, with high public will at the time and historical importance nowadays.

The album sees the band in a bit more of a progressive mood; with less difference between the fast, the slow and the acoustic songs in favour of complex tunes that merge all three. It’s a far cry from the Thrashy roots of Battalions Of Fear but still unmistakably Blind Guardian sounding at the same time. The band do a good job at writing more complex and sophisticated songs without making them feel pompous or disjointed… everything flows logically and you don’t really feel as if you’ve sat there listening to the same song for six or seven minutes. It whizzes by as you think about Peter Pan and Narnia etc. enjoying some of the genre's less-cheesy vocal melodies and some hard hitting Metallic music.

The standard of musicianship is immense, not just in terms of flashy virtuosity but also in more subtle ways and in terms of the actual performance captured here… this sounds like a masterpiece. You know when you get an album for the first time and just think “this sounds important” …this is such an album. Understandably it is now considered a classic of the genre and is justly recommended routinely to anyone interested in the band or this type of music in general and I would easily feel comfortable throwing out another voice in the crowd telling you to get your hands on a copy.

Album highlights for me are the opener, which is also the album’s Title Track, and the more melodic single ‘Bright Eyes’ as well as the brief ballad ‘A Past And Future Secret’ which I feel is the strongest moment on the record. Its all of a pretty similarly high standard though, and arguably best listened to as a single continuous journey rather than as separate tracks.

As strong and enjoyable as the album is, there’s not really that much to say about it other than it is essential listening for fans, its is a good first album for new fans, and that I highly recommend it. It doesn’t have any guest stars, special talking point or singular narrative concept. Its Blind Guardian doing what they do best, to perfection…which is a pretty damn strong recommendation in and of itself really!
Blind Guardian’s fifth album, Imaginations From the Other Side, has the Germans picking up pretty much where the prior Somewhere Far Beyond left off and that, in all honesty, is the best thing Blind Guardian could have done after the power metal masterpiece that was Somewhere Far Beyond. When a band has something that good going for them I really don’t see why they’d want to change it, and that’s exactly what happens here, following pretty much the same sort of structure as before which is a bunch of power metal anthems of the kind they’d made us listeners accustomed to by this stage, topped off by Hansi Kürsch’s amazing voice, but also slowing back to show their soft side with a folk ballad, A Past and Future Secret.

Imaginations From the Other Side is one of those albums where a band doesn’t really break any new ground but are so good at what they do that they are able to follow one masterpiece with another. Perhaps it's even because of following a similar pattern that the album ends up this good. It’s very much a tough call which is the better album between this and Somewhere Far Beyond (Tales From the Twilight World can get a look in too) but between them they are, for me, some of power metal’s most defining moments, and I think this one just about takes it. Blind Guardian started to change a bit after this one, and while it is ultimately good that they’ve kept a fresh take on their power metal with their following albums, they’re yet to match the same level of consistency they showed between 1990 – 1995.
Blind Guardian's Imaginations From the Other Side is a forceful power metal album of the sort we've all come to expect from Blind Guardian... and that, in a way, is part of the reason why I feel it's a rather middling release from them. The performances are decent enough, but they and the songwriting are all more or less exactly along the lines we expect from power metal these days. The end product is clearly a highly polished one - but it's polished to the point of sounding sterile and artificial to my ears, an exercise in setting out a blueprint for Dragonforce and a horde of other super-fast power metal bands in the coming years as opposed to a creation of something genuine and sincere.
his was my first Blind Guardian album, and I'm really I started with their best...well at least I think so...

This album is just a perfect metal album, with no filler, consistency throughout, and just kick ass songs.

This album does at times get a bit of contraversy, due to Hansi's vocals and the slight turn in a different musical direction...but I believe its for the better.

Hansi's vocals are quite growly and screamy at times, and I think it does it to a great musical effect, making the descants orgasmic and adds to an amazing atmosphere. The music is alot more "proggy" in a sense, and the songs are more epic and diverese (thank God they kept the speed throughout, not putting any blame on their new album...well maybe a little)

This will always be my favourite Blind Guardian album...until I find a better one...haha

1. Imaginations From The Other Side - One of the greatest metal songs ever made in my opinion. Just so epic and amazing, with lyrics realting to fantast stuff. Great musicianship throughout. 10/10

2. I'm Alive - Quite an eerie chorus, but kick ass nontheless. 10/10

3. A Past & Future Secret - They always have a song like this, and it isn't bad...but do they really need it. 8/10

4. The Script For My Requiem - Amazing chorus, with some epic moments. The lyrics I think are about the crusades. 10/10

5. Mordred's Song - One of the most underlooked Blind Guardain songs in my opinion. What a chorus and what an atmosphere throughout. 10/10

6. Born In A Mouring Hall - Pretty interesting arrangment. Quite odd at times, but it makes up for it. 9/10

7. Bright Eyes - Cool vocal arrangment and a nice chorus. 10/10

8. Another Holy War - Their most kick ass song, in my opinion. 10/10

9. And The Story Ends - What an outro to an album. Very epic indeed, with a quite beautifull chorus. 10/10

CONCLUSION: Their best. Listen to it, and learn...
Imaginations From The Other Side is Blind Guardian’s fifth album and the last to date that contains any substantial traces of their speed metal origins. It is also the last (again, to date) that Hansi Kürsch played the bass himself. Many fans consider this Blind Guardian’s last decent album (and yeah, it comes before Nightfall in Middle-Earth), and although I say otherwise, all the following albums are pretty solid, I would personally consider this Blind Guardian's best album, the last in a trio that I think makes up the best of Blind Guardian, the others being Tales From the Twilight World and Somewhere Far Beyond.

Like the band’s previous album, Somewhere Far Beyond, Imaginations From The Other Side does not entirely fit into any one style of metal. There have been hints of progressive and power metal since Tales From the Twilight World, which began to really show on Somewhere Far Beyond. Here those styles have been allowed to take a front row seat, with the opening title track showcasing both these genres. At just over seven minutes it’s the longest song on the album. Hansi’s vocals vary a lot and the song has a strong melodic feeling in its rhythm. Though fast and heavy, it’s not speed metal at all. Despite its length it keeps me interested throughout with plenty of interesting sections. There’s lots of lyrical references in the song, including Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Rings, Corum and The Chronicles of Narnia. This song is the first part of a three song story arc, with the next being Bright Eyes is very much focusing on power metal, though it includes some of the album’s harsher vocals in a couple of places. The ending of the song slows it down but is in no way anti-climatic. The final part of the album’s final track And the Story Ends (and being the last track indeed it does). Some almost creepy, if energetic leads begin the song, which like Bright Eyes is much more of a power metal affair, with some folksy acoustic guitar in the background in some places. At one point these acoustics are more akin to flamenco music. There’s a line in the song “At the Edge of Time”, which just happens to be the name of their (at the time of writing), latest album.

I’m Alive harks back to their speed metal roots in places, but throws some impressive acoustics and slower sections into the mix as well, which come as something as a surprise judging by the song’s main speed metal direction, hinting at the genre hopping style that some progressive metal bands tend to do. I’m Alive is an extremely epic song because of these shifts in speed, but when topped off by a very fine performance from Hansi it becomes a highlight of the album. It’s the sort of song that is that good you barely notice its five and a half minutes go by and want to hit repeat. A similar speed metal type song, though on a lesser scale, is The Script For My Requiem. There’s a particular epic moment in this where Hansi screams ‘Crucify’ twice, before lowering his tone again for the rest of the verse and when the chorus next hits it’s like an epic lead in to the guitar solos, which as usual are excellent. Born in a Mourning Hall follows this example in a no less epic fashion, though it includes a chorus which is delivered in an almost chant like style and some progressively inclined moments are naturally present.

A Past and Future Secret, the album’s third track is a complete shift from I’m Alive. It is a ballad, akin to The Bard’s Song: In the Forest from the previous album, and is very much a folksy piece of music. I can imagine Hansi singing this in a medieval tavern with his accompanying musicians while the patrons drink their ale. It is songs like this that prove just how genius Blind Guardian are, it is beautifully written and showcases their versatility after I’m Alive and Imaginations From The Other Side.

Similar to what I’ve Alive did, Mordred’s Song includes a mix of acoustic and electric guitar, while throwing a twist akin to A Past and Future Secret on it in that the song has a slight folk feel in the way the acoustics are played and the vocals delivered. The lyrics fit with this style as well. Generally though the metal element of the song may be considered power metal. Hansi draws out the final vocal line into an outro of acoustics and lead melody. Great stuff.

So that leaves us with Another Holy War with the only song not yet mentioned. This one’s about the last days of Jesus Christ and features what may be my favourite Hansi performance of the album, though with him on such fine form here, it’s really difficult to pick. The style here is crossed between speed and power metal.

It is worth noting that this is the first Blind Guardian album since Battalions of Fear which does not feature Kai Hansen either on vocals or guitar. It is also, to date, the last.

On the 2007 remastered version there are demo versions of three of the songs. They are, in order of appearance; A Past and Future Secret, Imaginations From The Other Side and The Script For My Requiem. Interesting listening for the die-hard fan but this time around that’s all the bonus content is.

Overall it is yet another exceptional album and is definitely my personal favourite Blind Guardian album, yet I must confess that this was one of the few Blind Guardian albums that took a bit of time for it to grow on me. It was several months before it overtook Somewhere Far Beyond as my favourite Blind Guardian album, and were I writing this review then I may have only given it an 8/10, and even later, I did toy with only giving in a 9/10 when I got around to do my review, but I'm glad I waited, because now all that growing is done, I realise that there is only one score than I can fairly give it.

(Review originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)
Time Signature
It's alive...

Genre: prog-related speed/power metal

Blind Guardian had already been heading in a more progressive direction with every previous release, and this album is perfectly balanced in terms of the energy of the German speed-thrash metal and the melody and epicness of power metal, and acoustic and medieval and symphonic elements (the latter undoubtedly inspired by Queen).

As with "Somewhere Far Beyond", I do not really see any weaknesses on this album, and I think that the above-mentioned symphonic and medieval elements contribute perfectly to the musical direction that the band take on this album, because the energy is still there, and it works well with the dynamics of the relatively complex compositions.

Power metal fans and progressive metal would probably like this albu, and I can imagine that more open-minded fans of progressive music in general would appreciate it too.

Members reviews

1967/ 1976
A strange combination of true European power metal, Symphonic intentions and technique for "Imaginations From The Other Side". Listening to "Imaginations From The Other Side" (the song) we might think that in front of a Prog Metal song. Unfortunately not. Or rather it has all the elements because it is. Yet it is only a true European Power Metal with symphonic elements and various changes in tempo and atmosphere. All, however, without having anything to do with prog metal. Extremely aggressive and melodic "Imaginations From The Other Side" is a perfect start song for a great album. "I'm Alive" is more Speedy and Thrashy but present the same ingredients of "Imaginations...": various atmospheres, rhythms, chorus, aggression and melody. Incredible is the acoustic bridge and Thrash refrain. "A Past And Future Secret" is an incredible acoustic Folk ballad, with very interesting Renaissance atmosphere. "The Script For Me Requiem" is a mix between "Imaginations..." and "I'm Alive" but with more poetry. "Mordered's Song" is, for me, a strange possible evolution of Rainbow's song with Dio. !00% Blind Guardian, "Mordred's Song" is another song that a not expert listener could be inserted prog Metal. Indeed, it is only a crystalline European Power Metal. Also because it is missing the symphonic element that is replaced with Thrash Metal and Folk elements. True Power Metal is also "Born In A Mourning Hall", typical example of Teutonic Power Metal but with Folk parts (as Grave Digger in 90's but with more evidence). Great refrain a la Rainbow. "Bright Eyes" is the typical composition for lightening and disengagement and nothing more. Of course even here we must note that the technique is still at levels impossible to quantify!!! "Another Holy War" is similar to "I'm Alive" but with more simil symphonic atmospheres. The bridge so it sounds like a military march, for me! "And The Story Ends" is a pure Teutonic Power Metal with Folk elements (typical of Blind Guardian) and with fake symphonic elements, because cause of athmospheres for chorus and guitar sounds (tons of wha-wha).

In good substance this album is a great example of true Teutonic Power Metal. Present vague ideas why it is an album for Prog Metallers. I would say, however, that if a Prog Metallers hear this album you will not find that beautiful and convincing. In Power Metal fields "Imaginations..." sound very fresh and innovative, powerful and dynamic. As a mountain torrent!

Since in my discography this is one of my preferred albums it seems that I should sing the praises left and right... Instead do it and I did not pull back! Because "Imaginations..." is a true 24 charat Power Metal Masterpiece!

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