Blind Guardian
At the Edge of Time


4.0
excellent

Review

by Greg Viessman USER (44 Reviews)
July 30th, 2010 | 36 replies | 10,777 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Combining three decades of styles into one album, Blind Guardian releases one of their strongest albums yet.

10 of 10 thought this review was well written

For many people, stepping outside one's comfort zone is quite a difficult task. From social gatherings, to job opportunities, and in this case music, each person has a certain level of content that they like to stay. I am saying this because over the past two years my focus on a musical level has covered just about every genre except hip-hop and country. Entering new genres of music may be hard to some, but over time that person can expand their musical tastes. As a user on Sputnik I am generally criticized/made fun of for loving power metal. While it is cheesy and ridiculously over the top, it has enabled me to create a happy place in my mind that I can go to whenever needed. Unfortunately the genre has been saturated with so many horrendous or mediocre bands and albums that I abandoned it in terms of new releases. Earlier this year Avantasia sparked interest again with The Wicked Symphony. It combined everything that makes power metal great and put it on another level with the bombasticism involved. Blind Guardian has now done the same thing with At the Edge of Time but they have brought back that initial love for the genre that I had for a three year period.

Starting with “Sacred Worlds” Blind Guardian instantly shows off their recent style that was ever so present on A Night At The Opera. Combining Andre Olbrich’s distinctive guitar tone, Hansi’s layered vocals, and an orchestra, the band immediately gives the listener an over the top epic song. The various tempo changes that go on in the song makes this nine minute song never seem boring and always fresh. While it is definitely a strong way to start off a Blind Guardian album, fortunately the song is not the best on the entire disc.

The one problem that the band, and pretty much every other power metal band, has always had is that they stick to a certain style to the point where you can pretty much tell what new songs and albums sound like. Case in point is the ballads. Now I am not saying that they are terrible, far from it, but a typical Blind Guardian “ballad” is the image of a bunch of dudes in a tavern swinging their steins back and forth singing while another guy is playing the flute. “Curse My Name” is the perfect example on here. In fact the theme of the song works extremely well with this style as it is based on John Milton’s The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates which deal with the people’s displeasure of a king. While I may criticize the lack of innovation, this is pretty good song. Sadly that cannot be said about every song. “War of Thrones” is an overall ok song that is just filler. “A Voice in the Dark” and “Valkyries” come really close to being that filler spot but avoid it with a stellar chorus in the former and stellar verses in the latter; this is actually quite strange for some reason.

Enough of the negativity though; this review is a praise over a fine album. “Wheel of Time” is the most interesting song the band has done in a couple of albums. It is basically And There Was Silence II in sheer amount of things going on at once and it quite hard to describe with words. You just have to hear it yourself, but I can tell you that the Middle Eastern tone is just gorgeous. Blind Guardian also decided to do something they have not really done in about twelve years: going back to their roots. Songs like “Tanelorn” and “Ride Into Obsession” are reminiscent of the Somewhere Far Beyond days with that thick melodic crunch of guitars to go with Hansi’s great vocals. “Ride Into Obsession” is the best song not on here but pretty much the best song ever. It could easily be placed on any Blind Guardian album and would be one of the highlights. From the perfect tone of Andre’s guitars, to the tight drums, and the flawless layering of vocals, is just heaven.

At The Edge of Time combines all the elements that Blind Guardian has brought the metal world over the past 24 years. Going back to the roots of the band for a couple of songs was a smart move that gave the album something different. Continuing the epic over the top orchestral onslaught that has been present for a couple albums now is also a good thing because they do it so well, as apparent in “Sacred Worlds” and “Wheel of Time”. I criticize the styles that power metal bands stick to for a long period of time. Fortunately for Blind Guardian, they have changed their style over time and gave us the best of their best, minus the Tolkien of course.



Recent reviews by this author
Amon Amarth Deceiver of the GodsChildren of Bodom Halo of Blood
Lost Horizon A Flame To The Ground BeneathDiablo Swing Orchestra Pandora's Pinata
DragonForce The Power WithinNightwish Imaginaerum
user ratings (366)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
bigdickedguy (4)
A solid shot at making a come back from one of power metal's premiere bands...

Ayashi (4.5)
...

Kyle Ward STAFF (3.5)
A fantastic blend of the old and the new, At The Edge Of Time proves to be the best Blind Guardian i...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Poet
July 30th 2010



5920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Released today in Europe, unfortunately doesn't come out for like three weeks in America.

Zizzer
July 30th 2010



915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Glad to see this got an excellent review. I've liked what I've heard so far.

Also, I counted three typos: Ones should be one's. You're missing a space towards the end of the first paragraph. Also, an orchestra instead of a orchestra in the second paragraph.

pizzamachine
July 30th 2010



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"one of their strongest albums yet"

If it's on par with A Twist in the Myth I expect great things.

Yazz_Flute
July 30th 2010



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is there a leak out there for this?

Digging: Cormorant - Dwellings

NeutralThunder12
July 30th 2010



8742 Comments


good review dude, hate the band though

BigTuna
July 30th 2010



5154 Comments


Poet..........

AndThePendulum!

Digging: Common - Nobody's Smiling

ShadowRemains
July 30th 2010



20249 Comments


inb4 dryden

shindip
July 30th 2010



3536 Comments


Production always kills these for me

BludgeonySteve
July 30th 2010



558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was going to review this but you gave it the same rating so I probably won't.

I'm ambivalent about this album as a whole. Like you said it has a few songs that are spectacular and carry the album, and those are instant classics, but the whole thing is certainly less memorable than ANATO and TIAM. I'm a complete whore for the minstrel songs, but I think that the older speed metal style and the less melodic vocal parts detract from it all.

dr2den
July 30th 2010



1342 Comments


"inb4 dryden"
oh u

Phrike
July 30th 2010



1691 Comments


lol this band

ShadowRemains
July 30th 2010



20249 Comments


lol this band


whatch u talkin 'bout Willis?


Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2010



16263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't like this quite as much as you do (my rating just barely hits a 3.5, still debating on whether my review will be a 3 or 3.5), but it's still the best thing they've done in a while. It was really great at first but sort of slid back to a "good, but not great" kind of territory after about 6 or 7 listens.

Gratz on the feature btw ;)

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Yazz_Flute
July 30th 2010



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I need to hear this now.

Also what the hell is TIAM? Dyslexic for ATITM?

BludgeonySteve
July 30th 2010



558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ja. You'd think I would get one of my favorite albums ever right. I blame Blind Guardian for taking 4 fucking years between albums so I forget the names of the older ones.

ritchbitch666
July 30th 2010



17 Comments


Very good album jsut recently listened. glad to hear they are still sounding good.

dr2den
July 30th 2010



1342 Comments


how ritch are u

CutMan
July 30th 2010



1766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gaaah... It pains me that I likely wont have a chance to listen to this for a few days, but I'm so excited for this.

Digging: Boy Hits Car - All That Led Us Here

TheHamburgerman
July 31st 2010



1283 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is so boring. Quite a letdown considering its from Blind Guardian.

Thanntos
July 31st 2010



315 Comments


I have never been a fan of BG earlier stuff. Was too bland for me, doubt ill check this out.

Digging: Griefloss - Ruiner



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy