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TALES FROM THE TWILIGHT WORLD

Blind Guardian

Progressive Metal


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1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Tales From the Twilight World is teh first inclination that BG was moving into unique territoy. While they are still power metal through ad through, Kursch begins to add elements that would come to set the band apart from their guitar-wanking contemporaries. Hansi begins to layer his vocals, though not nearly as much as on Nightfall or A Night at the Opera (as if the Queen influence wasn't obvious enough). Although the band speeds along in power metal fashion, there is a lot more musicality here than on many of their contemporaries' albums.

"Traveler in Time" opens the album with Gregorian chanting and a dirge-like riff before exploding inot power metal ferocity. It's one of my favorite BG tunes. "Lord of the Rings" tries to condense Tolkien's epic masterpiece inot 3 minutes. Bad move, Hansi. Still, the arrangements are nice and it's one of my favorite tracks off this album."Welcome to Dying" and "Lost in the Twilight Hall" are the other highlights of the album, with the latter being another classic.

Tales is the start of something better for Blind Guardian. From here they would add medieval sounds and much more vocal layering. Metal fans can't go wrong with this, but proggies might want to go straight to Nightfall in Middle Earth.

Grade: C

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Send comments to 1800iareyay (BETA) | Report this review (#127870)
Posted Sunday, July 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Tales from the Twilight World' - Blind Guardian (81/100)

This will undoubtedly seem like a left-field association for most people, but I can't help but feel there are more similarities between Blind Guardian's Tales from the Twilight World and Death's Spiritual Healing than first impressions would appear to indicate-- certainly to the point where I will often recall one while listening to the other. Both albums were released in 1990, ten months apart from one another, both constitute the third full-length in their respective bands' discographies, and while we're on the topic, it's arguable that both albums are unduly overlooked in the context of later, better-sculpted masterpieces. What really enforced this psychic association however is the common role the albums share in each band's artistic development. Where Spiritual Healing merged Death's primitive origins with a freshly progressive and technical outlook, so the same could be said for Blind Guardian. Tales from the Twilight World represents a unique blend of the band's gritty speed metal with the lavishly arranged prog-power hybrid we know them for. It was Blind Guardian's first truly 'great' album, and though it may sound primitive in the context of what the band have done since, the fusion of eras still makes it a fairly unique statement in their career.

Admittedly, I didn't always feel so warmly towards Tales from the Twilight World, and it wasn't until a more recent revisitation of the album that I realized what I had been missing. In fact, the primitive speed metal grit that turned me off initially about the album is exactly what I like most about it now; particularly from A Night at the Opera onward, Blind Guardian have become increasingly refined in their presentation. Considering the technical demands of their music, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there's a certain amorphous energy in raw-produced music that Blind Guardian had lost by the time they transitioned completely on their fourth record, Somewhere Far Beyond. On Tales from the Twilight World, Blind Guardian were in the midst of that transition. The album's style has more in common with the progressive trends of later albums. Acoustic arrangements are featured heavily (see: "Lord of the Rings") and some of the albums best tracks highlight increasingly sophisticated songwriting. While "Lost in the Twilight Hall" and "The Last Candle" are both fueled with the same ravenous speed as the material on Blind Guardian's first two albums, the songwriting is more ambitious in its scope. Even at this relatively early stage, the band had already adopted the 'more is more' approach to their execution; the now-signature vocal arrangements were as complex and lavishly overblown as anything heard in power metal in the day. Of course, any claims to complexity that Tales might claim are dwarfed by the bombastic insanity of A Night at the Opera. Even if Blind Guardian would ascend to ever-more ridiculous heights with their orchestration, the ambition here was considerable, and the retroactive context doesn't serve to hurt that impression.

Although it's safe to call this the first 'modern' Blind Guardian album, the sound and feel of Tales from the Twilight World shares far more in common with Battalions of Fear and Follow the Blind than any well-laboured masterpieces that came afterward. Even if songs like the classic "Lord of the Rings" show them operating with an unprecedented level of musical sophistication, their recording still sounds a significant step away from the standards of the 'big names'-- in hindsight, this limitation is a large part of what gives the album its unique charm. Blind Guardian have never been a slow band by any means, but the growing sophistication would eventually come at the cost of some of their aggression. Fans of the band sometimes forget just how fierce Blind Guardian really were at the start, and though they would have lost part of that energy by the next album, there were no signs of slowing down here; "Traveler in Time" and "Welcome to Dying" sound just as ear-splittingly energetic as anything they did on the first two albums, with the added benefit of improved arrangements. Hansi Kursch had hinted at his now-signature choral overdubs earlier on, but it's only here where the big vocal impressions came full force-- even then, there's still an audible presence of the visceral 'gang shout' in these choruses. Considering that the vast majority of power metal favours a glossy representation, it is powerful to hear those bombastic aspirations performed with a proud coat of grime.

Even if the album doesn't always feel as coherent as Somewhere Far Beyond or Nightfall in Middle-Earth, there is a concentration of excellent songs here that is impossible to ignore. Only a handful of songs on the first two albums compare to the bite of "Traveler in Time", "Welcome to Dying" and "Goodbye My Friend". Simultaneously, their boundaries were expanded with relatively forward-thinking tracks like "Lord of the Rings" and "Lost in the Twilight Hall". For what it's worth, I'm glad I gave this album another chance. It's the work of a band in transition to be sure, but in navigating the evolution from speed to power metal, they created the first in a string of masterpieces that only ended sixteen years later with A Twist in the Myth. Even then, there are some days when I'd argue they're still going as strong.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#207585)
Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Third album of BG from 1990 is an improvement over the previous two , but not in big cantity, some changes are made, specially at the vocal parts and here and there at instrumental passages. Now the band explore more the speed metal teritory including on some pieces a more elaborate sound and manner of composing, even some acustic parts and mellow vocal parts. Also this album is a tipycal german teutonic metal album, BG has it's own sound and is a influence for many younger bands, specially on this field but also on prog metal. The album entitled Tales from twilight world has some killer guitar riffs and stunning solos ex are opening track Traveller in time and my fav piece from here Welcome to dying, made by the same guitarista as on previous albums. The vocal parts is again based on rough moments but now is more eleborate and Hansi Kürsch is more confident in his singing posibilities. The drumer Thomen The Omen Stauch did a great job, yet not fantastic because the drum chops are concentrate almost only on speedy aproach, but is ok. All the pieces are good, some of them are quite diffrent from the rest like: Altair 4 or Weird dreams, who are more elaborate , but keeping that speed aproach, again killer riffs and solos. So, this third album is another example of how must sound a speed metal album, we can't talk yet about a prog metal album, this status BG offers only from Nightfall in middle arth on. A good album all the way who desearves for sure, at least from my side 3 stars. I prefer the first one more, but this one is close. Forget to mention , Kai Hansen, the mentor and the discoverer of Bling Guardian is invited to do some vocal parts and guitar on the piece Lost in the twilight hall, again good.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#209028)
Posted Saturday, March 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Three albums into their career and Blind Guardian are still slowly finding their own niche in the Power Metal genre. Although their music still retains the ultra-fast pickings of their Power Metal roots, the band have started to take their songwriting into more progressive directions. The use of acoustic guitars, more intricate vocal harmonies and Tolkien-inspired lyrical themes are all used effectively to help the band stand out from other bands of the genre.

Although some of the songs sound pretty filler, there are also some Blind Guardian classics here. Such as 'Lord of the Rings', 'Welcome to Dying', 'Lost in a Twilight Hall' and my personal favorite, 'Tommyknockers'.

Much like their previous albums, this is far from the perfect record, but any fan of the band will be missing out if they don't own it.

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Send comments to Valarius (BETA) | Report this review (#308203)
Posted Thursday, November 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Tales from the Twilight World" is the 3rd full-length studio album by German power/speed metal act Blind Guardian. The album was released through No Remorse Records in October 1990. "Tales from the Twilight World" was Recorded in March - May 1990 in Karo Studios with producer Kalle Trapp, who had also produced the bandīs first two studio albums.

The music on the album is power/speed metal done the teutonic way, which means that the music is epic and melodic in addition to being fast-played and raw. Thereīs been an evolution of sound since the more direct speed metal found on the two predecessors and up until then "Tales from the Twilight World" was by far Blind Guardianīs most epic sounding release. Compared to subsequent releases by the band this album is a rather stripped down affair though.

Hansi Kürsch distinct sounding voice and strong vocal delivery have always been some of the greatest assets to Blind Guardianīs sound and thatīs also the case here. Itīs not his best vocal performance though but my assumption is that much has to do with the dry and lifeless sound production. The band must have felt really comfortable with Kalle Trapp, because I doubt itīs his abilities as a sound producer that made them pick him for the job once again. I know many 80s albums sounded like this (empty and reverb laden), but this is a 1990 recording and I expect better. There are several good quality tracks on the album. The best example is probably the strong opener "Traveler in Time", but most tracks are of a good quality even though few reach excellence.

So while "Tales from the Twilight World" is certainly an improvement over the first two albums by the band, itīs not exactly the sound of a mature band either. Blind Guardian are skilled musicians and they were relatively skilled composers this early on too, but the overall quality of the product is lacking (especially as a consequence of the poor sound production). A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is still deserved though.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#379178)
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars THE BIRTH OF POWER METAL

Yes this is true, it seems that these guys where the ones that gave power metal that edge it needed, whenever the speed element became more melodic and "powerfull".

This album is an interesting one, cause it really showed what Blind Guardian where to become.

As an album...yea its just classic metal at its best really, I wouldn't say it's perfect, their are moments where I'm thinking "meh", but to be honest, as a third album, with a band still trying to signify their sound, its pretty damn good.

The album also has a bit of a concept, where the songs seemed to be based on fantasy and other typed of literature, which was pretty cool.

1. Traveler In Time - Fast & frantic as hell. Great lyrics and a catchy chorus. 10/10

2. Welcome To Dying - Vicious speed. Good build up throughout. 8/10

3. Weird Dreams - Pretty interesting instrumental with some discordant parts. 9/10

4. Lord Of The Rings - The folky song. Great chorus & interesting arrangement. 9/10

5. Goodbye My Friend - Great chorus. Cool gang vocals. 8/10

6. Lost In The Twilight - Very interesting moments. Good chorus. Kai's vocals are amazing. Great instrumental work. 9/10

7. Tommyknockers - Weird but great chorus. The arrangement is also amazing. 10/10

8. Altair 4 - Odd little thing showing alot of progression. 8/10

9. The Last Candle - The first real epic Blind Guardian song with a big big chorus. Great closer. 10/10

CONCLUSION: I think this album plays an important part in the history of metal...or maybe I'm just mental.

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Send comments to arcane-beautiful (BETA) | Report this review (#382494)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Tales from the Twilight World ? 1990 (2/5) 8 ? Best Song: I don't care (redux) What have we got here? Gregorian chants and uplifting harmonies? Gee, that sounds good. Wait no, not the kick drumming and speed riffing again! I need something different! Save me, Jesus. I'll start believing in you again if you teach these fools the art of hook and melody and diversity and innovation and resonance and?Yeah, you're right. I'm sorry for asking. I should've known it was out of your league. You think Buddha'd give me a hand? No? That's okay, I'll go ask Ganesh next week. I hear he's doing imrov theater down by the glimmering lake of Nirvana. Tales from the Twilight World is the best album Blind Guardian has released to date. It's really not good. Hey, truth is it's just your mediocre metal album, but you really didn't need me to tell you that. They are improving however, and It'd take a fairly incompetent asshole to review all these metal albums in a row and not like any of them and say the same things about each one. So here it goes: They, like the brusquely violent cave-dwellers before us, have discovered the hook, albeit in a raw and impure form. They experiment with it, strike it with stones, bite it cautiously, ever prodding with the evolving mammalian brain. Truly it is a majesty to see them succeed (the chorus to 'Traveler in Time'). But ever more so is it disheartening to see them fail (everything else). I can say the guitars are being more 'battalion-heavenly' if that's any inclination of how they're just another band of Swede yokels trying to cash in on being D&D inspired and being 'invigorating'. Too bad they aren't at least stealing cool riffs from other bands. I'd rather hear a good song I've heard before, again, rather than sit through a [&*!#]ty song I've never heard. Does that make a lick of sense?

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Send comments to Alitare (BETA) | Report this review (#441407)
Posted Sunday, May 01, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Tales From the Twilight World catches Blind Guardian in the midst of their transformation from a power metal-flavoured hybrid of speed and thrash metal to masters of purebred power metal. With lyrical subjects drawn from a range of genre fiction touchstones, the album is the band's most confident of their first three, and whilst the album may be unabashedly dorky at points (such as at the chorus of Tommyknockers), it's almost impossible not to get into the spirit of things, particularly when the band play such a tight and exciting set. Not for all tastes by any means, but power metal fans will find a lot to love here.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#597223)
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2011 | Review Permalink

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