Arguably the best power metal band in the world, Blind Guardian continues to release some of the best music you can buy. They release albums that are perfect in almost every aspect and never seem to let me down. With the release of the band's live album in 2003, I wasn't sure if the near perfect quality would continue, but after the first two songs, I was quickly rest assured that it was still there. The double disc album consists of 22 purely amazing songs and clocks in at nearly 2 hours and 15 minutes of what I would consider the band's greatest hits.
The album was recorded during the span of the Blind Guardian World Tour in 2002/2003, in many cities such as Tokyo, Venice, Barcelona, Madrid, and Moscow.
The first two songs come courtesy of the band's 1998 release "Night Fall in Middle-Earth" ("War of Wrath" and "Into the Storm" ). After those first two tracks some of my favorites on the disc begin to play. "Welcome to Dying", "Nightfall", and "The Script for my Requiem" are played with razor sharp precision and give the notion that the band has the audience wrapped around their finger. Specifically with "Nightfall"; a magical mood is cast upon the listener. It's truly something to behold. While there is some good meat in the middle of the album, it's the last 4 songs that make you appreciate and love Blind Guardian that much more. With "Majesty" the band revisits their first release. That's fairly evident because instead of a power metal feel (which the band is now notorious for) there's more of a heavy metal and in some portions, speed metal feel to it. Winding up the first disc is "Born in a Mourning Hall" which is a fan favorite. While it's a decent track, I prefer some of the other songs more like: "Nightfall", "Welcome to Dying", "Majesty", and "Harvest of Sorrow".
While the first disc was great, the second is phenomenal! Pretty much each and every song on it is a hit (or should be). Ripping right into it is "Under the Ice". After "Under the Ice" has gotten you in the mood, "Bright Eyes" comes in and is just a timeless track. In some aspects doesn't sound like a BG tune, but it's great nonetheless. One of the biggest hits is a track "The Bard's Song (In the Forest)". This song has a classical guitar sound to it and when I listen to it, I kind of just close my eyes and relax, but when you listen to it closely, it's actually a pretty sad song. The near 10 minute version of "Imaginations from the other Side" is Blind Guardian at their best. I'd have to say it's the best song on the second disc. The bad thing about this second disc is that the last 5 songs are so great; you don't want it to end. The last two really do it for me though. "Lord of the Rings" and "Mirror Mirror" (which is probably one of the 'biggest' songs on this album) totally blew me away. I adore "Lord of the Rings". The music is kind of gentle and creepy and the lyrics are so good it seems like they took a passage out of 'The Hobbit'.
**Originally seen at www.blackangelpromotions.com**