Imaginations Through The Looking Glass (Century Media)
by Martin Popoff
Finally, a Blind Guardian DVD has arrived, and the band has pulled out all the stops, if not for loading up a DVD, at least for presentation of a live show. Disc one of the two-disc set features the band with their own massive stage and lighting display, built for the two-day Blind Guardian Open Air, which attracted 7,000 people. Modestly past break-even for such an extravagant spectacle, one that featured arena rock multi-level staging, huge torches, intro fireworks, top-of-the-line lights, huge banners, and perfect camera work. 20 tracks are offered, Hansi screaming effortlessly and hugely (“Valhalla!” He’s got a damn good voice, y’know?), offering his amusing, dramatic facial expressions throughout (my fave, the raised eyebrow). A handful more tracks are offered on disc two, which is mostly a making-of and a long interview segment in German, subtitled in English. The crowd goes nuts like Nuremberg, and the sound is superlative. As is the packaging: A gatefold with oversleeve, plus a four-page booklet to help follow along. Bottom line: This gets you up, o’er the top, and into the band and the spectacle of the band playing something that, for now, is bigger than the norm. Quite simply, the enthusiasm is infectious, and you root for the guys, hoping stages like that become commonplace for them around the world.