Review Summary: A highly representative live testament of Blind Guardian's speed/thrash days in front of an ecstatic audience.
Blind Guardian is one of those cases of bands that evolved their sound with each release. Beginning in the late ‘80s with strong speed/thrash influences, they shifted towards more symphonic territories with 1995’s Imaginations From The Other Side
. Nevertheless before reaching to that turning point, the band released the magical Somewhere Far Beyond
with anthems such as the incredible title track and “The Bard's Song (In the Forest)” among others.
comes from the tour in support of Somewhere Far Beyond
and as expected comprises solely of Blind Guardian’s speed/thrash material. Moreover, as the title suggests, it was recorded during two shows in the Land of the Rising Sun in December 1992. Japan being a stronghold of melodic metal, was probably the optimal destination for a Blind Guardian live back in the beginning of the ‘90s. The crowd is very much into the music as we can hear them clapping and singing the lyrics along with Hansi Kursch which results in a very energetic performance from the band. Listening to the choruses from "The Quest for Tanelorn" or “Time what is Time” are great experiences on their own but in this live environment they’re spine tingling. Going back to the setlist, it consists of one song from Battalions of Fear
, four from Follow the Blind
, a whopping five from Tales from the Twilight World
and just three tracks are from the then newly released Somewhere Far Beyond
The listener can enjoy anthems such as “Journey through the Dark”, “Traveler in Time” and “Goodbye My Friend” that are not included in the band’s other live album, Live
. In addition, the performance of the members is outstanding with Kursch being in top form even though he handled bass duties too at the time, the drumming is precise while the guitar duo’s chemistry is high.
On the other hand Tokyo Tales
is missing the absolute peak of every Blind Guardian live set “The Bard's Song (In the Forest)” and “Somewhere Far Beyond” which is one of the best tracks in the band’s catalogue. “Lord of the Rings” has a somewhat similar feeling to “The Bard's Song (In the Forest)” but it’s not the same. In addition, Hansi Kursch could and should have interacted more with the audience.
In a nutshell, if you’re a fan of Blind Guardian’s first period, you’re in for a treat. Tokyo Tales
is very representative of the band’s speed/thrash days and can also serve as a compilation to those who aren’t so familiar with that side of the German power metallers. Nevertheless, those of you who enjoy their more symphonic sound will probably find a lot of elements that you’ll enjoy as the music might be more aggressive than albums such as “A Night at the Opera” but is still very melodic.