Blind Guardian
Tales from the Twilight World


3.5
great

Review

by OllieS USER (19 Reviews)
February 11th, 2009 | 26 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist


Nowadays we all think of Blind Guardian as one of the most crazy, OTT, grandiose bands Power Metal has ever seen, and even if you don't you really can't ignore releases such as Nightfall In Middle-Earth or A Night At The Opera. Before BG started to stretch the boundaries of Metal however, they were a relatively straight-forward Speed Metal band - basically a mixture of 80's style Thrash and Power Metal. This is well exemplified on the two albums before this, but here, Tales From The Twilight World is the album where BG started to become complex: the song structures started getting unconventional, the backing vocals got numerous, and the guitars layered - this is why Tales... is frequently named the transitional album; BG going from a basic Speed Metal band to the insane Power Metal machine they would become.

As this is very much the transitional album for BG, it obviously isn't as strong as the albums where they'd fully found and developed their Power Metal sound (Imaginations..., Nightfall..., etc). The sound here is like that of the two previous albums promptly injected with huge Uriah Heep style backing vocals and some epic Helloween style song structures. While the songwriting on here generally scores, it fails at points simply because Andre and Hansi weren't such experienced songwriters at the time (especially with integrating the new Power Metal sound, which was luckily fixed on the amazing Somewhere Far Beyond), which is understandable, although does hinder the record overall.

In terms of classic BG, there's definitely some to be found here. Opener 'Traveller In Time' is a wicked six minute BG Power Metal assault which due to its unconventional structure and amazing choruses doesn't feel six minutes long at all. 'Lost In The Twilight Hall' features a haunting atmosphere and a fantastic vocal duel (Kai Hansen with Hansi), while closer 'The Last Candle' is the perfect epic ending for such an album, having a chorus and outro that will be stuck in your head long after the record has ended. Tracks 'Goodbye My Friend' and 'Welcome To Dying' are very solid, and this album features the band's first ever ballad, 'Lord Of The Rings', which is a nice break from the Metal atmosphere of the rest of the album.

As good as the aforementioned songs are though, they aren't without their flaws. The main problem here is many of the songs try too hard to keep the listener's interest, but considering their length and structure, some parts end up dragging. This isn't the case with songs such as 'The Script For My Requiem' on later releases, but it's certainly prevalent on tracks such as 'Traveller In Time' (the solo section doesn't seem to click), 'Lost In The Twilight Hall' (unnecessary guitar solo after vocal duel, some riffs dragged out) and 'The Last Candle' (feels like it has one too many choruses) on this album. Some tracks simply aren't that ambitious, such as 'Goodbye My Friend' 'Welcome To Dying', which is good and bad I suppose. Some songs simply don't end after their final chorus, and while it works on 'The Last Candle', it makes 'Welcome To Dying' (while the outro solo isn't necessarily bad) drag on. Finally, although it's an extreme rarity for BG, some parts of songs sound samey, such as the second verse of 'Welcome To Dying' being hard to distinguish from parts in 'Lost In The Twilight Hall'.

In terms of band performance it's good as expected. Thomen's drumming is fast and repetitive yet oddly satisfying (although not as creative as what he'd do on later albums), Andre's leads precise and melodic, Marcus' rhythm guitar patterns simplistic and fast and Hansi's voice powerful and slightly rough. Hansi does show off some more melodic singing on 'Lord Of The Rings', which is very strong and fitting for the song. One small flaw instrumentally is the backing vocals. Marcus and Andre harmonise with Hansi on every chorus, while a plethora of people (exclusive backing vocalists, people from other bands, producers) contribute the rest of them. Lots of them sound slightly too high pitched and relatively tuneless, but they get the job done well enough overall.

This is a very interesting album if you're a BG fan and want to see how their sound came about, and it contains 3 classic BG tracks, but if you're new to the band I'd recommend releases such as Somewhere Far Beyond or Imaginations From The Other Side simply due to the higher quality material within. Still, Tales From The Twilight World is definitely an enjoyable listen for Power Metal fans.



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user ratings (303)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Sincal96 (4)
Blind Guardian's first true great album......

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Blind Guardian’s third release is THE classic Speed Metal album; taking the strengths of Battalion...


Comments:Add a Comment 
OllieS
February 11th 2009


2031 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I find it hard to review BG 'cos there's always so much to say...hope this came out well.

Zippermouth
February 11th 2009


1305 Comments


This band needs a new album. Now.

DoctorNurse
February 11th 2009


475 Comments


Nice review, pos'd

Altmer
February 11th 2009


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is my least favourite BG album

jingledeath
February 11th 2009


7104 Comments


cool review

Yazz_Flute
February 11th 2009


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I started a review for this over a year ago but never finished it...

Great album and review btw. I agree wholeheartedly about the three classic tracks.

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

SWORD
September 5th 2011


111 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is a great ass album.

lak89
March 15th 2012


183 Comments


Listening to this right now, this shit slays just like the first two albums, definitely agree with their early stuff being underrated.

Graveyard
April 15th 2012


5730 Comments


this is the only blind guardian album i've listened to

anyone want to recommend where i go next?

Digging: Sugary Sweet Machines - Controlled Breathing

Yazz_Flute
April 15th 2012


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What a strange one to pick...

My personal favorite is A Night at the Opera, it's very bombastic though. The logical progression from here would be Somewhere Far Beyond or Imaginations From the Other Side...I prefer the latter.

Can't really go wrong with any of their albums though. I'd suggest Somewhere Far Beyond/Imaginations for their thrashier sound and ANATO/Nightfall in Middle Earth for their more bombastic sound.

Graveyard
April 15th 2012


5730 Comments


"What a strange one to pick..."

Well it got good criticism, so yea. I think I might start with IFTOS, seems interesting

Acanthus
August 19th 2012


9542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Giving this a listen now.

Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

Acanthus
August 19th 2012


9542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So I enjoy this quite a bit, "Altair 4" especially.

Acanthus
August 25th 2012


9542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this is another band that'll be hard for me to rank from best to worst, though it's definitely
not clear cut yet (need to give Nightfall and Night at the Opera more listens).

lak89
November 26th 2012


183 Comments


Fast forward many months later and this has become my favorite BG album, and I felt each song was a standout.

warlordfun
August 13th 2013


389 Comments


i dunno but i feel like this is their best one. i mean, you will find here some monster riffs. Tales From The Twilight World is really underrated and misunderstood. This is my favourite BG album. Pure speed/thrash oriented power metal madness man..

manosg
June 12th 2014


6075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lost In The Twilight Hall is incredible.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

FiveLeavesLeft
June 12th 2014


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules. I love how thrashy it is for Blind Guardian standards, along with Battalions of Fear of course

Eunuch
June 12th 2014


1245 Comments


along with follow the blind which is almost a thrash album lol

FiveLeavesLeft
June 12th 2014


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's why I like their new album At the Edge of Time. A lot of the songs make a return to the band's speed metal roots, while still maintaining the grandiosity of later albums. Good mix



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