Blind Guardian Germany

B107 Prog-Adj85
[Beyond Great Musicianship17, Excellent Production17, Excellent Songwriting16, Excellent Composition16 and Great Coverart16]
added by Mike
Links:BCPA
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Review by Time_Signature published
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A Fast Non-Prog Power Metal/Speed Metal

Unlike BG's other efforts this album is not timeless. But that's okay because it displays a lot of elements that I liked about late 80s German speed/power metal like fast staccato guitar and machine gun "oompaloompa" drums. On top of that it's, as is typical of BG, also a very melodic album.

The bonus tracks on the remastered version are wonderfully Iron Maiden-esque, and they are also more progressive than the album proper.

Tracks

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S Valhalla 4:55
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S Majesty (demo) Bonus 7:14
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Review by Mike published
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A Melodic Modern Prog-Adj Power Metal

I like the album, but I would have prefered a move back to the big concept and musical experimentality of Nightfall in Middle-Earth. Instead they chose to perfect the style they introduced on A Night at the Opera - an interesting mix of Power Metal, Folk and Queen-like vocal arrangements.

Tracks

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B Otherland 5:14
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A Fly 5:43
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A Lionheart 4:15
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A The Edge 4:27
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Review by Mike published
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S Melodic Modern Prog-Adj Power Metal

This is one of Blind Guardian's best efforts - if not THE best. It's a perfect blend of their raw Power Metal roots and the medieval, symphonic elements that came to full bloom on Nightfall in Middle-Earth ... another superb album, on which they lost a bit of their raw metal attitude.

Tracks

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A I'm alive 5:31
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Review by Mike published
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S Epic Modern Prog Folk Power Metal

This is one of my most favorite albums of all time ... and it also happens to be one of the most controversial ones in terms of "prog status". Blind Guardian started as a plain speed/power metal band and then slowly developed and refined their style into something very unique ... a blend of medieval/folk, fierce speed/power metal and Queen-like vocal arrangements. The progressiveness lies in the way these elements are combined into a consistent work of art, which they succeeded in doing on some of their albums, most notably Imaginations from the Other Side, Nightfall in Middle Earth and A Night at the Opera. Out of these Nightfall in Middle-Earth is their ultimate achievement as far as I am concerned ... there are people who favor its successor (A Night at the Opera) because it's even more pompous, with slightly better production and more polished songwriting. But then again it doesn't have the sophisticated concept of Nightfall, which is another major asset which sets this album apart from other orchestral metal albums. It is based on Tolkien's Silmarillion ... but rather than re-telling the story of the Silmarillion - which would be rather boring and obvious - they chose to pick key elements of the story for each track and loosely connect them with narrative bits and interludes.

It all works tremendously well, with great dynamics and mood swings - fierce metal is a constantly returning element, but always with great melody and often polyphonic interplay between the melody lines and the guitars, which are another trademark of the Blind Guardian style: Rather than switching between "lead mode" and "rhythm mode" they often play lead-like melodies which are carefully arranged to accompany the vocals ... there are some occasional solos, but they're always concise and focused.

In my humble opinion this album is absolutely essential for any prog metal collection. That doesn't mean that everybody must love it ... if you don't like power metal, fantasy lyrics or medieval/folk elements then by all means avoid the album. But if you happen to like these elements then you may be in for a treat!

Tracks

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A Lammoth 0:28
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S Nightfall 5:34
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A Captured 0:26
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S Thorn 6:19
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S The Eldar 3:39
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