Published on April 5th, 2020 | by Justin G.
25th Anniversary Spotlight – Blind Guardian: Imaginations From The Other Side
It’s hard to believe it has been a quarter of a century since the greatest power metal album of all time was released. I’m talking of course about Imaginations From The Other Side, the 1995 release from Blind Guardian.
Full disclosure: I was not aware of Blind Guardian (or even the concept of power metal) in 1995. I got into the band when Nightfall In Middle Earth came out, and went after their back catalog immediately. There may be more important power metal albums out there, and I know Nightfall in Middle Earth is widely considered the best Blind Guardian album, but Imaginations just perfectly captures everything great about the European power metal sound in general and Blind Guardian in particular. No other power metal album had made that kind of impact on me at the time , and I doubt any ever will.
Coming on the heels of the excellent Somewhere Far Beyond, Imaginations From the Other Side shows Blind Guardian perfecting their power metal style. It’s like every album they released previously was building up to this moment. All of the quintessential Blind Guardian trademarks are in place: the fantasy-themed lyrics, epic song arrangements that somehow never overpowered the straightforward melodies, blistering guitar riffs, and of course frontman Hansi Kursch’s unique and intensely powerful “master storyteller meets screaming demon” vocal delivery.
Songs like “I’m Alive,” “The Script for My Requiem,” “Born in a Mourning Hall,” “Bright Eyes” and especially the epic title track hit me like a heart attack, while ballad “A Past and Future Secret” left me amazed at the band’s versatility. There is not a weak moment on the entire album. Every song, and indeed the entire album, is power metal perfection. Once I discovered it, Imaginations From The Other Side became – and remained – my absolute favorite Blind Guardian album.
The 25 years since it’s release have only magnified the impact of Imaginations From the Other Side. These songs have become staples of every great Blind Guardian performance, and indeed they recently performed the album in its entirety. This is nothing short of a must-have power metal album. We’re talking god-tier, measure by which every other power metal album is judged, carve it into Power Metal Mount Rushmore here.
Side note: This was the first Blind Guardian album since their debut not to feature a Kai Hansen guest appearance, but Pretty Maids vocalist Ronnie Atkins was on board providing background vocals.
Reissue Notes: Imaginations From the Other Side has been reissued several times over the years. I’m partial to the 2007 CD reissue since the remastering sounds amazing and the three bonus demo tracks – “A Past And Future Secret,” “Imaginations From The Other Side” and “The Script For My Requiem” – are really interesting. There are also newer LP pressings that showcase that iconic artwork quite nicely.
Summary: Happy 25th Anniversary to the greatest power metal album of all time.