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Blind Guardian

Progressive Metal

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Blind Guardian Live album cover
3.68 | 43 ratings | 2 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1:
1. War Of Wrath
2. Into The Storm
3. Welcome To Dying
4. Nightfall
5. The Script For My Requiem
6. Harvest Of Sorrow
7. The Soulforged
8. Valhalla
9. Majesty
10. Mordred's Song
11. Born In A Mourning Hall

CD 2:
1. Under The Ice
2. Bright Eyes
3. Punishment Divine
4. The Bard's Song (In The Forest)
5.Imaginations From The Other Side
6. Lost In A Twilight Zone
7. A Past And Future Secret
8. Time Stand Still (At The Iron Hill)
9. Journey Through The Dark
10. Lord Of The Rings
11. Mirror Mirror

Line-up / Musicians

- Hansi Kursch / vocals
- Ardré Olbrich / lead guitars and backing vocals
- Marcus Siepen / rhythm guitars and backing vocals
- Thomen Stauch / drums

Guest Musicians:
- Oliver Holzwarth / bass and backing vocals
- Michael schuren / keyboards and backing vocals
- Alex Holzwarth / drums

Releases information

2003 Virgin Music 5849602

Thanks to Mandrakeroot for the addition
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BLIND GUARDIAN Live ratings distribution

(43 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Live' - Blind Guardian (70/100)

At this point in their career, Blind Guardian followed the 'more is more' mindset; their studiocraft was increasingly lavish, and no potential layer in the arrangement was left unrealized. It's unsurprising that their approach to live albums would take a similar form. Live came out on the heels of A Night at the Opera; above and away the most insane album they've ever done, and still probably power metal's most complex achievement. When Blind Guardian eschewed the symphonic bombast for a more song- based focus on A Twist on the Myth, they did so with the expressed intention that they wanted to write songs that would better suit their live shows. What perverse pleasure is it, then, to hear them perform songs live that potentially took months a piece to record in the studio?

Blind Guardian came out with three more full-lengths in the decade since Tokyo Tales. As if to match their studio work in terms of sheer pomposity, Live is well over two hours long, touching upon every album, and virtually every classic a fan could hope to hear performed. Again contrary to Tokyo Tales; Live was recorded in spurts across a major world-spanning tour. They've returned to Tokyo with this one, but they've also rolled through Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy and Russia. I foreshadowed in my review of Tokyo Tales that live albums were usually released as a monument to a band's career- spanning achievements. Hearing them playing before they 'made it big' on Tokyo Tales was part of that album's charm. Though Live is arguably the more definitive live album, it proves my original point. Every part of this release is as if to ride home the fact that, yes, Blind Guardian are indeed incredible. And successful too!

The setlist here is enough to make any power metal fan wet at in the loins. There are choice selections from every album; from the speed-fuelled Battalions of Fear to the more recent-day symphonic prog metal of Nightfall in Middle-Earth and A Night at the Opera. I have said before that a live albums success depends on how well a band knows their audience, and in this regard, Blind Guardian have the clear sense to pick songs that fans will come frothing for. "Into the Storm" and "Nightfall" off Nightfall in Middle- Earth are exciting to hear brought to life; most notably, a lot of the songs from Imaginations from the Other Side bear a live interpretation extremely well. "Mordred's Song" and "Bright Eyes" sound as wonderful live as they did on the original album, and the crowd cheers accordingly.

While songs from the first four albums are well-picked, it's almost entirely material that was covered already on Tokyo Tales-- and with greater grit and fire, in my opinion! The only exception to this is the mandatory live rendition of "The Bard's Song", a classic that was conspicuously overlooked on their first live album, but has since become both the most anticipated and mind-numbingly overplayed song in their catalogue. As any fan of the band might expect, the crowd goes [%*!#]ing wild when they tear out their fiddly acoustics and turn the arena into a damp, plague-ridden tavern. The crowd chants hazily along, and occasionally chants on their own when Hansi takes a break.

I don't think any album Blind Guardian had made up to this point other than Follow the Blind was excellent, and even then, that album is represented favourably here with one of its two highlights, "Valhalla". As it happens, all of the songs here range from being great to downright incredible. If there is any bone to pick with the setlist, I might call to attention the way they represent A Night at the Opera. I'll take the unpopular view of saying it is Blind Guardian's strongest album, but even then, of the tracks they chose, only "The Soulforged" is perfectly chosen for a live album. This isn't to say that "Under the Ice" and "Punishment Divine" don't work here, nor that A night at the Opera didn't have other potentially fantastic live songs. I mean, instead of "Under the Ice", why not "Battlefield", or even "Precious Jerusalem"? Even that grimy few in BG's fanbase that can't see the album for the masterpiece that it is shouldn't have found any gripe in hearing those songs played live. I suppose it's a minor gripe overall, but considering we already had stronger live versions of many of the earlier songs on a live album already, the more recent stuff feels quite a bit more important to the album's success.

I'll go ahead and say it: the music here is fantastic. I love Blind Guardian and think they're one of the few metal bands to have genuinely altered the course of my listening digest in a significant way. With that in mind it's surprising I only checked out Live until recently. Unlike Tokyo Tales however, I'm not sure these performances enrich my appreciation of the music all that much. It is wonderfully performed and professionally mixed, but I don't get that feeling of 'really being there', the way I felt on their first live album. A large part of this, I think, is due to the fact that the recordings are drawn from a wide range of shows and crowds. There's never really a chance to get into the pulse of an audience, to experience the band with them. The album's engineer has nonetheless made it feel like a technically seamless product, but patchwork is evident in the lack of an emotional flow. It's even more difficult to feel properly immersed in their live magic when Hansi will be greeting San Sebastien in Spanish, and later hailing his compatriots in Stuttgart or Dusseldorf in his native tongue. Their performances are as fantastic as I would expect from one of metal's finest exports, but Live strikes me a bit like a live rendition of a greatest hits collection, rather than the virtual reality, immersive experience I can find in the best live albums.

Latest members reviews

2 stars This is one of too many live recordings today that could use a few overdubs (it is an arena they are playing in, not best acoustically suited for loud music, combined with energy and performance required can result if a few notes be missed or not played insync). Who cares if it isn't exactly ... (read more)

Report this review (#221442) | Posted by SMSM | Tuesday, June 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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