alright first review so here we go
First of Blind Guardian is a Power Metal band that hails from the small German town of Krefeld. Many people call Blind Guardian the best power Metal band this side of Middle Earth, and I would have to agree. With a high powered gothic/fantasy tinged speed metal fusion they simple blow your mind with extreme technically, high flying vocals, great production, and a drummer that just doesn’t quit.
Hansi Kürsch (vocals/bass) - In my mind the best vocalist sense Bruce Dickinson. He can sing anything between a low devilish growl and high pitched opera soprano. If I may seem like I’m praising him to much it is because he deserves every bit of praise he gets. The only downer is you cant hear his bass.
André Olbrich/Marcus Siepen (guitar) – Two more great musicians, with sweeping riffs and speed that not many can touch André Olbrich and Marcus Siepen are perfect at complimenting each others strength and hiding each others weaknesses (which there aren’t many of)
Thomen Stauch (drums) – Perfect drummer for this band. He brings the speed and power necessary for a power metal band. Sadly though he left Blind Guardian in 2005.
A Night at the Opera is Blind Guardian’s most recent studio album. Some people consider it there best, but I find that there is just so much that it can be overwhelming for people who are new to power metal. ANATO starts of with "Precious Jerusalm" wich begins with kind of a jazzy feeling with drums pounding until Hansi comes in singing/whispering a few words and then singing a few lines of chorus before the drums switch to a new pattern that slowly builds in intensity. This going on with the guitars jugging away also building with the drums until Thomen hits you with a tom role right into a chorus of what can only be called angelic singing by Hansi. They hit another verse and in the next chorus the go into a great solo that is reminiscent of old school maiden by Olbrich followed Siepen. The solo goes on until Thomen does another double bass/tom role for a few seconds when the guitars cut out and hansi comes back in with drums complimenting his vocals. Around 4:50 there is a very dark but still fast break down that last for about 10 seconds but you want it for so much longer. They hit you with another chorus of Hansi singing and company doing what they do until it cuts off a few seconds later.
"Battlefield" starts off with a Celtic feel that goes through the entire song. It is very upbeat and one of my personal favorite. This song tends to show of the skill of the drummer and vocalist more then the two guitarist which is a shame because I don’t know how I can go on without my solo, although there is a short thirty second one in the middle. Even though it is lacking that certain something that makes "Precious Jerusalem" great and this only good it is still an ace in the hole. Next up is "Under the Ice". It starts of with a sorta creepy intro that makes you feel baron and alone. The drums soon save you from the nothingness the intro makes you feel. "Under the Ice" is a much darker song then the previous two. It has much more balance then "Battlefield" and a lot less happy then "Precious Jerusalem". I’ll be honest it took a few listens for me to get into but I now find it to be one of my personal favorite songs. It ends abruptly and is a very awkward transition into…
"Sadly Sing Destiny" which starts out with a very 80’s metal kinda cheesy intro that seems out of place in a Blind Guardian album. Lucky it doesn’t last long until we are back to Blind Guardians bread and butter of which is slow building choruses that explode into angelic singing by Hansi and fast drumming sprinkled with complimentary dueling guitars. Sadly though this song suffers from the same dieses that "Battlefield" suffers from which is that thing that holds it back, cant be the solo because its pretty long in this song and pretty good in this song, its just that certain something but still above average song just a few minor things that keep it from being a classic song.
"The Maiden and the Minstrel Knight" is and epic in all aspects of the word. It starts slow with a bouncing orchestra/harp sound. The orchestra stays as Hansi sings beautiful lyrics about a feast that is about to happen for wedding between a Maiden and a knight. Unfortunately I’m not much for lyrics so I couldn’t tell you much of the story they’re trying to tell. "The Maiden and the Minstrel Knight" is a slow jamming song that’s chorus depresses me every time I hear it. At the end of the song and everything fades out there is I don’t know if it’s a secret track or just something I downloaded on accident but if someone could tell me that would be great.
After such a great song as the last one we have "Wait for an Answer". I tell you right now I don’t like this song much but maybe you do and there is nothing wrong with that it is just that it has super cheesy lyrics and sounds like something I would hear in church. Defiantly the low point of the album.
Next up is "The Soulforged" it is a bit better then "Wait for an Answer", but not by much. It is dark like "Under the Ice" until the chorus which is very upbeat and happy. The solo in this song is accompanied by a very nice triplet gallop by the bass drum. Probably one of the better solo’s in the album but hey that’s just me. Cheesy chorus and we are done with the song.
Lets see a couple fillers in a row that must mean things are gona have get better right…correct. It certainly does get better "The Age of False Innocence" starts of with some soft piano playing followed by soft guitars. Hansi carries us through the into until he crescendos into “I’m not afraid any more.” Boom the drums and guitar comes in propelling you into some exquisitely dark and haunting musicianship. This song is hard to explain why it is so good you’ll just have to hear it for yourself I guess. "Punishment Divine"’s intro reminds me of the old Metroid games for the NES. It has a very futuristic feel to it. Probably the heaviest song on ANATO as far as Blind Guardian goes. With drums a pounding and Hansi’s voice mesmerizing you in every verse, and a couple of great solos this song is right up there with all the other BG classics.
Alright stand back kiddies I’m going to need plenty of room for the next song. "And Then There Was Silence…" what can I say about this song. There are so many different parts and perfect transition from part to part that it seems to flow so effortlessly. Ending up around 12 minutes it is the longest song on the album, and in my opinion BG best song of all time. To describe this song bit by bit is near impossible. So I’ll try and cover it as a whole it starts of quiet and slow until it builds into classic BG until they hit the 3 minute mark where the go back down only to crescendo back up. At around 5 minutes the feel of the song is that that you are marching into battle and you are ready for what lays ahead. Now here is the low part of the song at around 7 and a half minutes all instrument cut out except bells and Hansi singing a 3 part harmony very cheesy and kinda weird. Luckily it doesn’t last long when all the instruments come in. now when I say all the instruments I don’t mean all the instruments in the band im talking about maybe every instrument known to mankind. This Goolash of instruments crescendos until we get back to BG doing there thing. 10-12 minuet marks I find to be the most enjoyable it kind of reminds me of an Irish drinking song, until we get back to the dark. At the 12 minuete mark they finally start to wind down but even that takes another 2 minuets. It eventually fades and fades until there is silence.
-Probably their best album
-And Then There Was Silence
-might be too much for those new to power metal
-Wait for an answer
final grade 4.5/5
first review so please give me some Tips or consturctive comeents for future reviews