Blind Guardian
At the Edge of Time


3.5
great

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
July 30th, 2010 | 106 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A fantastic blend of the old and the new, At The Edge Of Time proves to be the best Blind Guardian in years, despite some missing pieces and slight missteps.

Whether you really like them or not, it’s difficult to deny that Blind Guardian are one of power metal’s flagship bands. They’ve single-handedly defined how to make a fantasy-based power metal album for people who really don’t enjoy power metal in the first place with Nightfall In Middle-Earth, and since then have wandered around trying to find their way back to a place they’ve already been. It’s been a slow regression, sure, but a regression nonetheless into a place where everything has seemed uninspired and rather clumsy compared to the sheer fluidity of their more renowned works. At The Edge Of Time proves to be a slight turn for the better, showing inklings of confidence and willingness to experiment- part of what made them who they are today.

In between the wallows of a handful of filler tracks and cliché, disjointed attempts at melancholic ballads, Blind Guardian have made a vast amount of headway in recapturing their signature sound of brilliant lead riffs and choruses that make you rise up and sing along, elements which are absolutely crucial in making a power metal album avoid stagnation. The pace changes between crawling acoustics and emotional vocals to thrashing riffs and grandiose symphonics backing layered choruses that just ooze pretension, yet still remain enjoyable. That- the ability to keep all overblown concepts at bay- is perhaps the most crucial element keeping At The Edge Of Time as enjoyable as it is. The wailing guitar solos that are drenched in Blind Guardian’s very particular guitar tone are as good as ever, showing a focused balance between structured songwriting that has a goal in mind for the entire album as a whole, and enjoyable guitar licks and drum fills that are there just for the moment itself.

The grandeur and sheer epic qualities of songs like “Sacred Worlds” and “Wheel Of Time” contrast the mid-paced and down-tempo “Curse My Name” and “War Of The Thrones”, and while the change is welcome and helps the album move along without becoming repetitive, these ballads seem like cheap attempts at emotion. The success and popularity of fantasy ballads like “The Bard’s Song- In The Forest” have spawned a slew of similar tracks on their subsequent albums, and At The Edge Of Time is no exception. That, coupled with several filler tracks that litter the album, really take away from the quality of the final package which otherwise is the best album Blind Guardian have released in years. The outstanding vocals by Hansi Kürsch have remained as powerful and effective as ever, and the guitar riffs and atmosphere are top-notch.

It’s interesting, though, how At The Edge Of Time still falls short of what Blind Guardian were trying to achieve. The feeling of being taken somewhere else entirely, and the illusion that everything going on actually has meaning in the grand scheme of things, is eerily absent from this album. That may be the reason why, despite rock-solid songwriting and musicianship, At The Edge Of Time will remain as another stepping stone towards the album Blind Guardian have been trying to write ever since Nightfall In Middle Earth was released; a power metal album that really means something to people who have never cared about power metal before. It’s all just wishful thinking, though, because At The Edge Of Time is still the best power metal release in quite a while, and is an album that definitely does not deserve to go unnoticed.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2010


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Surprisingly solid album. It's nothing revolutionary or completely amazing, but it's still some kick-ass power metal.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Yazz_Flute
July 30th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Crysis I just friended you on fb, just a heads up.

Can you link me by any chance?

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2010


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you changed your name







you son of a bitch

Yazz_Flute
July 30th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also the review was a good read, i'll pos.

Yeah all the long time members missed the list I made announcing that haha, it was pretty recent.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2010


31375 Comments


Nice review dude, pos'd

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

TheSpirit
July 30th 2010


17931 Comments


pos

dr2den
July 30th 2010


1342 Comments


one day i will check this out

dr2den
July 30th 2010


1342 Comments


i love you

dr2den
July 30th 2010


1342 Comments


he wont speak about it but there was a problem in his genitals being too small and mine being too much for him

Yazz_Flute
July 30th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm only one song through but Sacred world is better than anything off of Twist.

dr2den
July 30th 2010


1342 Comments


i was hoping it would be better then that album

Yazz_Flute
July 30th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really enjoyed Twist, I think I would actually take it over Somewhere Far Beyond. It just didn't have any one song that stood out as a classic.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2010


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's easily better than A Twist In The Myth. Sacred Worlds is such a great song, probably the best on the album.

Parallels
July 30th 2010


6643 Comments


hrmmmm this intregues me. my gf also loves this band

Zizzer
July 30th 2010


915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm pretty ready for this.

Bitchfork
July 30th 2010


7584 Comments


"integeues"

Yazz_Flute
July 30th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So I'm really loving this right now. The general consensus seems to be that half of the album is noticeably weaker but the only songs I would really say that to are the two ballads (Curse My Name is a few minutes too long and War of the Thrones is unspectacular) but the other songs I'm all enjoying. Control the Divine is actually one of my favorites, and it's gotten no mention yet.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2010


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I do readily agree that the ballads here are completely underwhelming (hell, Skalds And Shadows off their last album was amazing and the rest of the album was boring), but I also agree that close to half of the songs here are weaker, but not weak enough to consider them filler. The handful of decent songs is leveled out by another handful of awesome songs.

Yazz_Flute
July 31st 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No way man Otherland is awesome.

I see what you're saying though, the best songs clearly seem to be Sacred Worlds and Wheel of Time, though I really like Ride Into Obsession, A Voice in the Dark, and Control the Divine.

Shattered_Future
July 31st 2010


1541 Comments


The minute I put this on, I turned 16 again. It was like that time long ago when I got kicks out of listening to super epic music and feeling like a badass. Sacred Worlds is definitely one of the best songs they've done.

Album goes downhill from there, sadly, though the second track is a decent speed metal cut.



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