BLIND GUARDIAN — Imaginations From the Other Side (review)

BLIND GUARDIAN — Imaginations From the Other Side album cover Album · 1995 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
SilentScream213
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.
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