Blind Guardian
Follow the Blind


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
February 9th, 2007 | 14 replies | 2,552 views


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Blind Guardian is a band that today is known for their grand, subtle, symphonically tinged compositions combined with speed and power metal riffs and quick solo flurries. But Blind Guardian weren't always this delicate. Back in the day, their music had a lot more rough edges to it. And the prime example of their furious speed metal days is an album called Follow The Blind, their sophomore release.

And this disc begins like BG tend to. Following a short little ditty intro called Inquisition, the band roars into high gear with the furious Banish From Sanctuary. Quick, speedy riffs are traded along the road for melodic, technical solos, all accompanied by Hansi's trademark vocals and choruses. He didn't layer the vocals as much on here, but BG already showed their knack for writing a good song or two on this disc. Damned For All Time continues in the same vein, another high-intensity barrage of power metal delivered at inhuman speeds. It's a wonder Thomen Stauch hasn't yet died of asphyxiation.

Follow The Blind, the title track, is the token "epic", clocking in at a little over seven minutes. While I am a big fan of most BG epics, this one just doesn't cut it for me. Maybe it's the production, maybe it's the raw and unrefined sound, but Follow The Blind just cannot hold a candle to classics such as ...And Then There Was Silence. It is a little unfair to compare it to such a song, but Follow The Blind is just symbolic for this record: unrefined, unpolished, raw, speedy, everything that BG's early days stood for. But of course, this band still had the best days before them.

Of course there are also some live classics on here. Valhalla is one of my favourite songs, with an epic chorus and guest vocals by Kai Hansen(Yes, formerly of Helloween and now a member of Gamma Ray.) The riffs are immense, the drums are a bit repetitive but the double-bass rhythms are executed with great precision, and the beat is never off. What a joy it must be to jam with Thomen. The only problem with Valhalla is that Kai's vocals are a bit thin as opposed to Hansi's resounding voice. I simply find Mr Kursch to be the better singer,

Hall of the King is a typical paint-by-numbers BG track, as is Fast To Madness. They're both excellent tracks, but they simply don't have the compelling power of a classic like aforementioned Valhalla, or Damned For All Time. Beyond the Ice is a decent instrumental, but BG really needs Hansi to pull things off for them. Although BG aren't bad musically, I just have the feeling that the immense choruses and trademark screams are just the thing that sets BG above any of their colleagues and contemporaries.

The last two bonus tracks are cover songs, Don't Break The Circle is a Demon cover, while well-executed it is possibly the worst song on the disc. Barbara Ann is a Regents cover (NOT A BEACH BOYS COVER), and quite possibly the single most hilarious thing the band has ever done. Blind Guardian know how to seriously approach their music, and also keep laid back whenever they need to. It's a very funny ending to a great album.

Overall this may not be Guardian's best disc, but for nostalgia lovers, or fans of a more raw sound, with slightly inferior production, this is an excellent buy. It's also recommended to Blind Guardian fans and collectors. It's not the disc that exemplifies Blind Guardian's sound, for that I would still recommend listening to Nightfall or Imaginations, but damn, this is a good record. It may sound a little different, but the band had the best years ahead of them, and they already here showed they had a knack for their music, and the promise they held for the future. With such impressive first albums, it would be no wonder that this band would go on to claim the title for the most influential and best power metal band to ever roam the earth. And they highly deserved it, too.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Eakflanderyof
February 9th 2007



2143 Comments


Good review. I have yet to check out this album. I own Nightfall In Middle Earth, Somewhere Far Beyond, and A Twist in the Myth. I plan to get all their albums eventually.

I also agree that Hansi is a far superior singer to Kai Hansen.

Nobody does power metal as well as BG.

Confessed2005
February 9th 2007



3314 Comments


I have heard a couple of tracks from this album such as Valhalla. Power metal usually isn't my thing - but it sounded alright.

Apparently their latest album is meant to be their most accomplished work.

ValiumMan
February 9th 2007



493 Comments


7 minutes is your standard of "epic"? Isn't an "epic" supposed to be 20 minutes plus?

Altmer
February 9th 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah, usually 10 minute plus... but in these days the albums werent that long yet. Hence I put epic in inverted commas.

Eakflanderyof
February 9th 2007



2143 Comments


To Confessed: Noooo, A Twist in the Myth is definitely not their most accomplished work. It's far more accessible than any other BG album, but their best, most accomplished works are Nightfall in Middle Earth, Imaginations from the Other Side, and Somewhere Far Beyond.

If you're going to look into BG, I would suggest those albums.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2007



16071 Comments


Lol @ epic discussion and the fact an epic song is supposed to have any specific length.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Eakflanderyof
February 9th 2007



2143 Comments


Yea, all BG songs are epic, no matter the length.

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 9th 2007



3709 Comments


I also agree that Hansi is a far superior singer to Kai Hansen.
Pffft. :mad:

I think I'd like this. I prefer Battalions of Fear to most of their newer stuff.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2007



17912 Comments


That is the wickedest album cover ever.

WARPATH_88
February 9th 2007



514 Comments


Yea it is pretty aweosme. I need listen to more Blind Guardian.

Eakflanderyof
February 9th 2007



2143 Comments


This is definitely one of their best covers. It's one of those covers that's not that cool unless you look more into it and see what the picture is depicting.

Hansi said his favorite cover is Imaginations from the Other Side.

WARPATH_88
February 9th 2007



514 Comments


It seems like power metal bands have the best album covers. To me at least.

Intransit
February 9th 2007



2797 Comments


A Twist in the Myth has the best coverart, hands down.

Eakflanderyof
February 9th 2007



2143 Comments


A Twist in the Myth's cover is cool, but I'm not sure it's the best. Fly had a pretty cool cover too. This Message Edited On 02.09.07



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