Blind Guardian - Imaginations From The Other Side

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: 7963-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:18:00

Imaginations From The Other Side is Blind Guardian's fifth album, having been released in 1995. There are no wild departures from the classic Blind Guardian sound, though the album is a litter dryer than past or subsequent efforts. Well, actually it's just that vocalist Hansi Kürsch's seems dryer. It is, however, an overall more mature release than the previous albums, Somewhere Far Beyond and Tales From The Twilight World.

The chorus to the title track, which doesn't so much kick things off as just get them started, has been running through my head on endless repeat (though this morning, I found it was "Prescious Jerusalem" from A Night At The Opera that had taken over the loop). It starts the album off in a very low key - for Blind Guardian - kind of way..."sludgy" is the term that comes to mind. In it, we find someone who has either realized he's adult now, having to put away "childish" things, or is so depressed he finds no joy in the things he used to. Those "things" are well known fairytales - Peter Pan, Wizard Of Oz, Arthurian Legend (which recurrs throughout the album), J. R. R. Tolkien (of course), and Alice In Wonderland. Given either reason -- age or depression ... or both -- the "death knell" feel of the opening is off set only by the bright guitar solos from André Olbrich.

The balladic, medieval piece is "A Past And Future Secret," which sees vocalist Kürsch in the guise of Merlin, forseeing the end of King Arthur. "The Script For My Requiem" is one of the highlights of this album -- and in exploring the Bling Guardian website, Kürsh comments upon this song in response to fan questions, saying that the Crusades provided the setting to this track. As one might expect from something written for a Mass, there is a full, rich chorus, giving this track and epic feel. Back to Arthurian legend with "Mordred's Song," which picks up where "A Past And Future Secret" leaves off with a medieval feel, though not so balladic. It is an interesting contrast, too, since Arthur was felled by Mordred's hand, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Merlin. "Born In A Mourning Hall" reminds me so much of what typified this fantasy metal genre -- that is, if one were looking for example to use in describing this part of the genre -- brutal verses (screamed vocals, pummeling percussion, quick guitar leads and booming bass); lyrical, heroic choruses then this would serve just as well as any track. There points during "Bright Eyes" where I thought that if Marillion had made more music like "Grendel," this is where they would have gone -- though I'm saying they should have. But there are certain phrases here that I could see Fish singing, in a case of Kürsch sounding like Fish rather than that Fish would sound like Kürsch. Given the complex changes and textures of most of the album, the only track that doesn't instantly appeal, but for a single lyric, is "I'm Alive." It is a dense, brutal pummeling, that but for the "pre-chorus," leaves no breathing room. There's nothing particularly wrong with this track, but I don't like it quite as much as the other tracks.

Again we are treated to solid, grounded performances. I am impressed by Olbrich's playing, it's diverse without being overly ornate. And, as I feel drummers should, Thomen Stauch fully uses his kit. With these two elements as the main driving force, rhythm guitarist Marcus Siepen and Kürsch on bass fill in the remaining space terrifically, which gives a great deal of breadth to their sound. In fact, the only thing that might put some off this band is Kürsch's gruff vocal style. But I say it more often than not fits in with the material. A so-called "clean vocalist" wouldn't give the music the gritty edge that it has.

Imaginations From The Other Side (7:18) / I'm Alive (5:29) / A Past And Future Secret (3:47) / The Script For My Requiem (6:08) / Mordred's Song (5:27) / Born In A Mourning Hall (5:12) / Bright Eyes (5:15) / Another Holy War (4:31) / And The Story Ends (5:59)

Hansi Kürsch - vocals, bass
André Olbrich - guitar
Marcus Siepen - rhythm guitar
Thomen Stauch - drums and percussion

Battalions Of Fear (1988)
Follow The Blind (1989)
Tales From The Twilight World (1990/1999)
Somewhere Far Beyond (1992/2000)
Tokyo Tales (live) (1992)
Imaginations From The Other Side (1995/1999)
The Forgotten Tales (1996)
Nightfall In Middle-Earth (1998)
A Night At The Opera (2002)
Live (2003)
A Twist In The Myth (2006)
At The Edge Of Time (2010)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: June 2nd 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow

Artist website:
Hits: 987
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]