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Blind Guardian - At The Edge Of Time CD (album) cover

AT THE EDGE OF TIME

Blind Guardian

Progressive Metal


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3 stars When I heard Blind Guardian was making a new album, I was pretty excited...mainlt cause those guys rule the European metal roost.

And I saw the cover art...and was like WOW!

Then I got the album, opened it up, saw the artwork inside, and was OH MY GOD

Then today I heard the album and was like...meh!

Ok, I'm not going to be too overcritical, but Blind Guardian usually makes me feel happy downstairs...(yes...innuendo is allowed). This album just made me go, "yea, that was ok."

I don't know why, I really should love it, but I came to a conclusion, "BLIND GUARDIAN SOUND BETTER WITH FAST SONGS!"

Now I know their is some orchestral epics opening and closing the albums, and their ok, but the best songs are the one that make me want to bash the skull of a caveman.

I like this new direction, a more prog sound, but as a Blind Guardian fan...it doesn't compare to their earlier albums.

1. Sacred Worlds - Epic intro. Very dramatic and over the top. 9/10

2. Tanelorn (Into The Void) - Most epic vocals in a chorus ever. Obvious Queen influence. Incredibly kick ass. 10/10

3. Road Of No Release - Pretty interesting arrangement. Quite dramatic. 8/10

4. Ride Into Obsession - Pretty epic chorus with some cool twists and turns. 9/10

5. Curse My Name - Sounds like upbeat Enya. Interesting arrangement. 9/10

6. Valkyries - Doesn't sound anything like Blind Guardian. Some nice twists and turns with a cool chorus. 8/10

7. Control The Divine - Best song on the album. Amazing chorus with some great lyrics. 10/10

8. War Of The Thrones - Pretty odd for Blind Guardian. Nice arrangement. 8/10

9. A Voice In The Dark - Pretty kick ass. Perfect choice for a single. 9/10

10. Wheel Of Time - Epic at times with some great orchestration, but it's quite poor to be honest. 7/10

CONCLUSION: By far their best, and I haven't heard all their albums, but it could be their worst...Sorry Germany :(

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Send comments to arcane-beautiful (BETA) | Report this review (#355741)
Posted Friday, December 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars I read many very positive reviews about this new album of Blind Guardian and that's why I gave it a try. I think that the last record "A Twist In The Myth" had its strong moments but the last really convincing and intense album was "Imaginations from the other side", the only album of that which I really like and which has a really diversified song writing. Personally, I think that most of the band's albums are way too overloaded with hectical orchestra passages and that their speed metal doesn't give enough place to each instrument with a few exceptions.

This new album has the same problem. It is completely overloaded. Each time you might appreciate an intelligent orchestration, some folk elements or the touch of a little ballad, the band accelerates, plays its usual speed metal and pushes you out of your positive feelings. After the first four tracks I had to stop the album because I had a terrible headache and felt sick.

Sure thing, the musicians are very talented from an objective point of view, but they don't give enough place to the orchestrations and instruments to create magic moments. They are never looking for the power out of the tranquility and when they do it, they create average acoustic ballads. There is nothing innovating or intense about this album.

Those who liked "Nightfall In Middle-Earth" and similar stuff will appreciate this album. But everyone who wants to give this band another chance and did never really feel amazed about their style may bury their expectations that this band will ever change its style and try something fresh or new.

Originally published on www.metal-archives.com on October 6th of the year 2010.

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Send comments to kluseba (BETA) | Report this review (#381392)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "At The Edge Of Time" is the 9th full-length studio album by German power metal act Blind Guardian. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in July 2010. The album is the first album release by Blind Guardian since "A Twist in the Myth (2006)".

"Sacred Worlds" opens the album in symphonic style and almost recalls the orchestral grandur and semi-progressive nature of the music on "A Night at the Opera (2002)" (and actually closes the album in a similar symphonic style with "Wheel of Time"), but the band have more things up their sleeve. "At The Edge Of Time" is actually quite the varied album with both epic symphonic tracks, faster paced speed/power metal tracks and folky tracks. In other words all the best from the Blind Guardian songwriting formula. Compared to "A Twist in the Myth (2006)", "At The Edge Of Time" features less hard rock elements and a more metal oriented sound. Blind Guardian occassionally visit their more raw early- to mid-90s speed/power metal style albeit in a more polished, less raw, and more epic and symphonic sounding format and it´s nice to hear that they haven´t forgotten how to play harder edged music yet.

"At The Edge Of Time" is a well produced affair even though I could have wished for at less dry and sterile drum production. The musicianship are impeccable as usual and the songwriting clever and intriguing. Personally I was slightly disappointed by "A Twist in the Myth (2006)" and I welcome the return to a more metal oriented sound on "At The Edge Of Time". I guess there are little here that will surprise anyone but it´s still a greatly enjoyable and high quality release deserving a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#611311)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'At the Edge of Time' - Blind Guardian (74/100)

Regardless of the places they've ventured since, I believe Blind Guardian's career-defining arc ended with A Twist in the Myth. The disappointing Follow the Blind notwithstanding, each subsequent album sought to outdo the previous installment in progressive ambitions. This arc, as steady as it was, culminated in near-overwhelming proportions with their seventh LP A Night at the Opera, an over-the- top musical feast with every element in their sound amplified to its conceivable limit. Although fans were even further polarized by Blind Guardian's decision to break the arc for a relatively accessible, song-based collection with A Twist in the Myth, I think it stood as a natural part of that evolution. They had a proper rising action with their first five albums, a climax with Nightfall in Middle-Earth and A Night at the Opera, and with A Twist in the Myth, they had their natural denouement.

But where does that leave Blind Guardian's more recent output; specifically their eighth album At the Edge of Time? There's some optimistic part of me that would like to see this as a brand new chapter in the band's development; they're arguably more confident in themselves in this decade than they ever have before. As I continue to listen to the album however, I get the impression that At the Edge of Time ushered in the truly post-classic era in their career. It is not as ambitious nor as challenging as A Night at the Opera, nor is it as stylistically risky as A Twist in the Myth. Rather, this is Blind Guardian taking a long look at their past achievements, and distilling their most characteristic elements to make a veritable fan-pleaser of an album. All the things you know and love (or hate) about the band are on At the Edge of Time; and though it doesn't sound like they pushed themselves here the way they have on albums past, I'd be lying if I denied the fact these ingredients have resulted in an immensely solid album nonetheless.

In a broad sense, At the Edge of Time represents the ultimate stagnation of Blind Guardian's sound. Everything-- the larger-than-life choruses, the fantasy-themed lyrics, the bombastic orchestrations, the mandatory minstrel ballads, the Queen-tinged guitar leads, the symphonic epics and the speed-fueled power metal assaults-- have been heard on albums past. Following A Night at the Opera and its natural rebuttal in A Twist in the Myth, I don't believe there were further heights they could take the music. As it happens, At the Edge of Time only appears to advance their art in terms of sheer budget; the production is sharper than it ever was before, and they finally have a live orchestra to match their symphonic ambitions. The music itself however, for all intents, is built from entirely familiar ingredients. At the Edge of Time was not an exciting development in their career; it began the purely fan-pleasing phase of their career that their most recent album Beyond the Red Mirror has only seen fit to continue.

And yet I love the album.

I've enjoyed it as much as any power metal album to come out this decade. Is this shamelessly hypocritical fanboyism at its worst? Possibly; but I think there is more to it. I really believe that only a band with a style as individual and distinct as Blind Guardian could risk stagnating on their pre-existing laurels and still create exhilarating art. Even without the impression of adventurous spirit that made Somewhere Far Beyond and others such classics, At the Edge of Time is filled with memorable songwriting, brought to life with much of the same attention to detail that has kept me coming back to their back catalogue. For one, "Tanelorn (Into the Void)" stands among the very best of the fast songs they've done; the chorus is one of the most exciting vocal arrangements I've ever heard from Hansi, and the song's arguably even better than "The Quest for Tanelorn" off Somewhere Far Beyond almost two decades before it. By this point in their career, Blind Guardian know how to milk the best out of their style.

"Valkyries" is another favourite of mine off the album; as energetic and epic as a power ballad has any right of being. As much as I could predict the presence of their mandatory plunge into acoustic minstrelsy, "Curse My Name" is a particularly good acoustic tune from them; comparisons with "A Past and Future Secret" off Imaginations from the Other Side wouldn't go unfounded. "Sacred Worlds" and "Wheel of Time" evoke the band's more orchestrated, epic side. It's on these tracks that the album's most notable innovation- a live orchestra- are highlighted. Although Blind Guardian take a similarly bombastic "Hollywood score" to their orchestrations like Rhapsody of Fire and Nightwish, it's surprisingly refreshing to hear the band finally working alongside a full-blown accompaniment.

Though I may cite "Ride into Obsession" and "Control the Divine" as less memorable songs, they're perfectly capable tracks in their own right. At the Edge of Time benefits from the fact that it has no truly weak links to it. By this stage of their career, Blind Guardian are clearly aware of what does and doesn't work in their formula. Although I would have imagined the 'same-old' approach to their albumcraft would have resulted in a less inspired performance, Blind Guardian sound as passionate in their execution as ever here. The album benefits from one of Hansi Kürsch's greatest vocal performances. Particularly on "Tanelorn (Into the Void)" and "Curse My Name", he amply demonstrates that his voice has lost none of its power with age, and we should continue to expect the best from him.

My obvious cynicism aside; Blind Guardian show some major confidence in themselves with At the Edge of Time. They have a perfect grasp of their style, and know exactly where they want to go in their music. For good and bad alike, Blind Guardian have reached full maturity.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#1418623)
Posted Friday, May 22, 2015 | Review Permalink

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