Release Date: 2012
Genre: Power Metal
1. Imaginations From The Other Side (07:13)
2. Nightfall (05:37)
3. Ride Into Obsession (04:48)
4. Somewhere Far Beyond (07:35)
5. Majesty (07:31)
6. Traveler In Time (06:03)
7. Follow The Blind (07:13)
8. The Last Candle (06:03)
1. This Will Never End (05:09)
2. Valhalla (05:15)
3. Bright Eyes (05:17)
4. Mirror Mirror (05:11)
5. The Bard’s Song (In The Forest) (03:29)
6. The Bard’s Song (The Hobbit) (03:43)
7. …And Then There Was Silence (14:06)
1. Brian (02:40)
2. Halloween (The Wizard’s Crown) (03:23)
3. Lucifer’s Heritage (04:38)
4. Symphonies Of Doom (04:04)
5. Dead Of The Night (03:30)
Total Length: 01:52:27
This is definitely a bit out of the norm for a best of compilation. For one thing, it’s a bit longer than most, and I even cut out some tracks, but I’ll get to those in a minute. Blind Guardian undertook a fairly large project here, and I only know one other band that did something as large for their best of record, and I kind of like the way Blind Guardian handled it a bit better. With the exception of four tracks listed above, every track on here is remixed from the original sources, and those remaining four were completely re-recorded. It’s pretty great.
Imaginations From The Other Side still sounds great here, though I think I may prefer how the drums sounded on the original. There was a bit more airiness to it. Nightfall seems to have a similar issue, it seems a bit dark compared to the original, but the cool thing about this is that the songs are so great that that is what you focus on and it totally makes up for it. Ride Into Obsession was actually released on an album only a year before this compilation, which is why it is kind of surprising that it was remixed. This time though I do kind of prefer this mix, and the song is great. The cool thing about remixing all the songs and juxtaposing them together is that songs recorded decades apart sound like they go together completely.
Somewhere Far Beyond is when we start delving further back into the catalog, and as such it and the next couple songs have a bit more of a makeover going on than the first few tracks. This one sounds great, and again the remix helps it fit better in this album. Majesty does the same thing with its mix, though I still don’t love the early speed metal BG days. Traveler In Time still sounds great and is a track I enjoy a lot. Follow The Blind sounds noticeably less polished at the beginning, but it’s nice to hear them trying to match the other tracks.
The Last Candle is a track that I’m supremely glad was put on here. I always thought it was kind of an underrated track and that the chorus was amazing. Now, Sacred Worlds technically starts off disc two, but it was unchanged from the album version, so I’m not including it. This Will Never End sounds pretty great and makes me sad that the whole album it is from isn’t getting remixed in the upcoming boxset. Valhalla is the first of those four other tracks I mentioned. It is a complete re-recording, and it is pretty cool that it could be put on one of their newer albums and not sound out of place at all.
Bright Eyes sounds similar to the track that started this album, still an amazing song. Mirror Mirror has the same issue as Nightfall, and it’s very noticeable at the beginning because of the complete change in tone and volume when the bass drops out. Still a great song however. The next three tracks are all re-recorded, starting with The Bard’s Song (In The Forest) which is a nice little track, but I’ve never really preferred it to many of the band’s other ballads. The Bard’s Song (The Hobbit) is a cool track as well, but I don’t know it very well.
…And Then There Was Silence was the highlight of its original album, and is still the highlight here. This version of it honestly feels a bit more epic, and it’s still some of the fastest fourteen minutes to pass by in all the music I’ve heard. The last disc contained more demos than I have, but I already had them on their respective albums. The five songs here are the band’s first demo when they were under a different name. These aren’t remixed or re-recorded, rather they were called “reworked”. From what I can tell, this means they were new transfers from tape, as they seem to be at a different speed than the other versions available. The new mastering also helps them sound better.
Brian has more in common with Iron Maiden than what the band would become, it’s okay. Halloween (The Wizard’s Crown) has a nice chorus at least. Lucifer’s Heritage is a fairly fun instrumental. Symphonies Of Doom has a pretty bad intro, but once it gets going it’s actually sort of fun. Dead Of The Night is decent, I suppose. Overall I really enjoyed this collection, but I think once the big set comes out soon, the novelty of the remixes on here will be gone, and the re-recorded tracks will be the only ones I pay attention to.
Final Rating: 8/10