BLIND GUARDIAN – Imaginations Through The Looking Glass

BLIND GUARDIAN - Imaginations Through The Looking Glass


Release date: June 14, 2004

User Review
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At last! It’s been some time since I got to write a truly positive, old-school rave review, but now the time has finally come. Blind Guardian, one of my all-time favorite bands, has released their first DVD (they have 2 concert CDs out, though), and although my expectations were higher than singer Hansi Kürsch’s falsetto voice, they were all fulfilled. The gig chosen is from the Blind Guardian Festival in Coburg, Germany 2003, and it’s amazing to see (and listen to!) the thousands and thousands of fans banging, singing, and worshiping their (semi-bald, very well-fed, but still god-like) heroes.

The band has picked a wise selection of songs for the DVD, with all their albums represented (including the crowd-favorites “Banished from Sanctuary”, “Valhalla”, “The Last Candle”, “Mirror Mirror”, and “The Script for My Requiem”). Having played together without any changes in the line-up since they changed names from Lucifer’s Heritage to Blind Guardian in the early 1980s, they have become a very tight unit on stage. Guest bass player Oliver Holzwarth, brother of Rhapsody drummer Alex, has played on the last two studio albums and tours, and he too does a very good job, thumping along with the lot, and Michael Schuren completes the soundscape with his keyboards.

One could wish for more songs from Tales from the Twilight World and Somewhere Far Beyond in the set, but with “Welcome to Dying” and “Lost in the Twilight Hall” among the bonus tracks, my prayers were heard.

The only negative musical tidbits worth mentioning is that Marcus Siepen simplifies the solo in “Last Candle” a bit from Kai Hansen’s original one (he drops the sweep arpeggio and plays a different ending), and that Hansi tends to choose the “safest” way out in-between, otherwise the performances are extraordinary. Thomen Stauch is definitely among the most underestimated Metal drummers out there – his work here is virtuosic in every meaning of the word – and Andre Olbrich executes his famous melodic leads excellently.

The filming is also quite satisfying, although there maybe is a bit too much “zapping” from time to time. Some longer close-ups of the band-members would be appreciated too, Thomen and Andre especially, but overall the camera team did a good job. The picture quality is good; much better than, for example, Manowar’s Hell on Stage DVDs; and the clipping is very well coordinated with the rhythmic patterns of the music, which definitely enhances the visual and sonic experience.

In addition to this concert, this DVD includes a band interview, a very comprehensive and interesting documentary about the making of the Blind Guardian Festival, backstage material, a slide show, and four bonus songs; “Lost in the Twilight Hall”, “Welcome to Dying”, “Into the Storm” and “Majesty”.

There’s really not much more to say than Imaginations Through The Looking Glass is one of the most anticipated and also best releases (DVD/CD) of 2004 – now you go out and buy it, goddamn it!!!


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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