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BLIND GUARDIAN

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Blind Guardian picture
Blind Guardian biography
BLIND GUARDIAN were founded in the mid 1980s in Krefeld, Germany as an "ordinary" speed/power metal band. Beginning with their third album, "Tales from the Twilight World", they expanded their musical vocabulary and would eventually create their very own style which is still rooted in speed/power metal, but is also very orchestral and epic, with rich arrangements of guitar lines and vocals and an ever-present medieval/folky presence. Lyrically the band - or rather singer Hansi Kürsch who writes most songs and lyrics - always had a faible for fantasy stories ... "Imaginations from the Other Side" for example is - among other things - picking up elements from the King Arthur myth (Merlin, Mordred etc), and their 1998 grand opus "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" is even a concept album based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "Silmarillion". Having said all this it has to be noted that their style is not really similar to that of the genre's "top dogs" - DREAM THEATER, PAIN OF SALVATION or TOOL for example sound nothing like BLIND GUARDIAN. Maybe it's because the usual obvious "prog traits" like frequent time signature changes or exceedingly complex structure are rarely used by BLIND GUARDIAN ... this may make them a little bit difficult to accept by prog "hardliners", but it also makes them a very refreshing diversion for the more adventurous prog fans out there.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
The band was cleared for addition by the prog metal team. When discussing their prog status it's important to know that they had a prog phase which mainly consists of the albums Imaginations from the Other Side, Nightfall in Middle-Earth and A Night at the Opera.



Discography:
Battalions of Fear (1988)
Follow the Blind (1989)
Tales from the Twilight World (1990)
Somewhere Far Beyond (1992)
Tokyo Tales (1993)
Imaginations from the Other Side (1995)
The Forgotten Tales (1996)
Nightfall in Middle-Earth (1998)
A Night at the Opera (2002)
Live (2003)
A Twist in the Myth (2003)

BLIND GUARDIAN Videos (YouTube and more)


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Nightfall In Middle Earth (Remixed & Remastered)Nightfall In Middle Earth (Remixed & Remastered)
Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast 2019
$12.19
$11.50 (used)
Imaginations from the Other SideImaginations from the Other Side
Nuclear Blast America 2017
$11.25
$7.29 (used)
Nightfall in Middle EarthNightfall in Middle Earth
Nuclear Blast America 2017
$13.46
$6.30 (used)
Live Beyond The SpheresLive Beyond The Spheres
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS 2017
$13.74
$13.74 (used)
LiveLive
Nuclear Blast 2019
$13.03
$13.03 (used)
Beyond the Red MirrorBeyond the Red Mirror
Nuclear Blast America 2015
$12.50
$12.26 (used)
Live (3-lp, gatefold, yellow viny, Remastered 2012)Live (3-lp, gatefold, yellow viny, Remastered 2012)
Nuclear Blast 2019
$47.05
$34.85 (used)
Nightfall In Middle Earth (Remixed & Remastered) [VINYL]Nightfall In Middle Earth (Remixed & Remastered) [VINYL]
Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast 2018
$25.70
$29.45 (used)
Somewhere Far Beyond (Remixed 2012 / Remastered 2018)Somewhere Far Beyond (Remixed 2012 / Remastered 2018)
Nuclear Blast 2018
$12.66
$58.14 (used)
Imaginations From The Other Side 2 CD (Remixed & Remastered)Imaginations From The Other Side 2 CD (Remixed & Remastered)
Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast 2019
$12.60
$12.27 (used)
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BLIND GUARDIAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BLIND GUARDIAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 103 ratings
Battalions Of Fear
1988
2.76 | 94 ratings
Follow The Blind
1989
3.39 | 106 ratings
Tales From The Twilight World
1990
3.61 | 134 ratings
Somewhere Far Beyond
1992
3.93 | 196 ratings
Imaginations From The Other Side
1995
4.05 | 262 ratings
Nightfall In Middle-Earth
1998
3.97 | 186 ratings
A Night At The Opera
2002
3.11 | 96 ratings
A Twist In The Myth
2006
3.63 | 118 ratings
At The Edge Of Time
2010
3.74 | 46 ratings
Beyond The Red Mirror
2015

BLIND GUARDIAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.64 | 32 ratings
Tokyo Tales
1993
3.64 | 39 ratings
Live
2003
3.33 | 6 ratings
Live Beyond the Spheres
2017

BLIND GUARDIAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.26 | 26 ratings
Imaginations Through The Looking Glass
2004

BLIND GUARDIAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.64 | 50 ratings
The Forgotten Tales
1996
3.80 | 15 ratings
Memories of a Time to Come
2012

BLIND GUARDIAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 4 ratings
Symphonies of Doom
1985
3.50 | 4 ratings
Battalions of Fear
1986
4.00 | 14 ratings
A Past and Future Secret
1995
4.00 | 1 ratings
Blind Guardian Plays Beach Boys
1996
3.41 | 13 ratings
Mr. Sandman
1996
4.50 | 2 ratings
Guardians Of The Rings
1998
4.13 | 15 ratings
Mirror Mirror
1998
3.47 | 19 ratings
And Then There Was Silence
2001
4.08 | 12 ratings
The Bard's Song (In the Forest)
2003
2.91 | 11 ratings
Fly
2006
2.83 | 14 ratings
Another Stranger Me
2007
3.09 | 13 ratings
A Voice In The Dark
2010
3.67 | 3 ratings
Twilight Of The Gods
2014

BLIND GUARDIAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Somewhere Far Beyond by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.61 | 134 ratings

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Somewhere Far Beyond
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars Blind Guardian's fourth studio album, 'Somewhere Far Beyond', was released in 1992, and follows on from the bands previous three albums, in which this is mostly generic power/speed metal, but with outside influences creeping in. Prior to this the band had dabbled with folk and Gaelic influences, and here the band incorporates subtle medieval and pop influences.

Overall however, this is still very much a power metal album, and much like the bands prior efforts, I struggle to really pick out many highlights. The production has been improved, making the music heavier and giving it more clarity and depth, but the writing overall is still pretty lacking, with most songs having uninspired guitar riffs and bland melodies throughout.

Now, I know this is sacrilegious, but hear me out! I swear, I do love Blind Guardian! But this is a simple matter of taste. I love the bands later material, the epic, orchestral and progressive stuff. So perhaps this is what these earlier albums are missing? Because all I'm hearing here is one speed riff after another.

If I had to pick out any highlights, opening track 'Time What is Time?' is decent enough, and 'Theatre of Pain' introduces some of the more orchestral elements that the band would really excel at, but ultimately, probably the most memorable track from this album is a cover of Queen's 'Spread Your Wings', which, while Blind Guardian do a great job of this, truly making it sound like one of their own songs, it also speaks volumes about the quality of their own material, at this point, anyway.

To any fans that are furious at my blasphemy, I swear, I love this band, I really do! But it would just seem that these earlier, straight-up power metal albums just aren't for me. Bring on the concept albums and orchestras!

 Another Stranger Me by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
2.83 | 14 ratings

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Another Stranger Me
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars 'Another Stranger Me' is the second single from Blind Guardian's 2006 album 'A Twist in the Myth', and is the only track from that record to receive a promo video. It is also the bands most radio-friendly work, and as a result, is probably their most hated song too.

Personally, I think it's a killer! There's nothing wrong with trying to appeal to a bigger audience, and all the ingredients of a great Blind Guardian track are here. There's plenty of tasteful guitar harmonies and lead breaks, Hansi Kursch's powerful vocals, epic keyboards and some intense drumming. It's all here! But heaven forbid a power metal band trying to get a bit of radio airplay! Can't have that now, can we?

Along with the title track, there's two EP exclusives; the haunting 'All the King's Horses' and a cover of Ozzie Nelsons, or Wayne Kings (do the research and come to your own conclusion), 'Dream a Little Dream of Me'. Blind Guardian seem to have a knack for giving these oldies songs their own makeover, but with that said, this song is pretty dire and uninteresting, completely missing the magic the band showed on their versions of 'Mr. Sandman' and 'Surfin' USA'.

Also included are two demos of 'Lionheart' and 'The Edge', both are featured on 'A Twist in the Myth', and like so many countless singles and EP's that come with demo versions, they're decent for collectors, but otherwise best to stick with the finished product, and in this regard, said product is actually a fantastic and highly underrated album.

Overall, as is always the case, this is one for hardcore fans. 'Another Stranger Me' is a solid track, but that alone won't save this EP from getting anything more than two stars.

 A Twist In The Myth by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.11 | 96 ratings

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A Twist In The Myth
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars After the ridiculously ambitious albums 'Nightfall in Middle Earth' and 'A Night at the Opera', I think it's fair to say that Blind Guardian deserved a bit of a break, and so here we have 'A Twist in the Myth', a release that saw the band break away from the ten-minute songs brimming with multiple vocal harmonies and orchestrations, to instead, focus on more easily accessible compositions, that still maintain the bands signature sound.

Blind Guardian's trademark take on power and progressive metal is in full effect here, not being diminished by the more stripped-down and laid back approach. There's still plenty of guitar harmonies and epic vocal performances, and the evident folk influences gives this record a more upbeat and energetic feel than previous releases. It's a good starting point for those who are deterred by serious, Tolkien-inspired concept albums.

There's a couple of filler songs that prevent this from getting five stars, but otherwise it's an all-round solid effort. Songs like 'Another Stranger Me', 'Fly', 'Turn the Page', 'This Will Never End' and 'Straight Through the Mirror' are all great tracks that can easily go next to any of the bands bigger pieces without seeming out of place. However, ambitious, over-the-top epics is where Blind Guardian really flourish, and as it is, while 'A Twist in the Myth' is a great album, it'll never be their best.

 Tales From The Twilight World by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.39 | 106 ratings

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Tales From The Twilight World
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars Three albums into their career and Blind Guardian have still yet to find that certain something that would make them unique amongst all the other power metal bands. Although there are certain hints of it creeping in, it isn't enough to make 'Tales from the Twilight World' truly stand out.

The use of acoustic guitars, more intricate vocal melodies and Tolkien-inspired lyrical themes are all signs of where the band are going musically, but sadly it fails to distinguish anything of this album from its predecessors. Songs such as 'Lord of the Rings', 'Welcome to Dying' and 'Tommyknockers' are some of the more memorable moments, but they're lost amidst an album of mediocre speed metal tracks ('Lord of the Rings' is damn catchy, though).

Much like their previous albums, 'Tales from the Twilight World' may be held in higher regard by enthusiasts of the genre, and whilst I absolutely love Blind Guardian's later material, to me, this is just another generic power metal affair.

 Battalions Of Fear by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.20 | 103 ratings

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Battalions Of Fear
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars The first time I heard of Blind Guardian was in 2002, when I'd bought Iced Earth's 'Dark Genesis' collection and they were mentioned a number of times in the biography section. It wasn't too long after that I was in a music shop, coincidently in the bands home country of Germany, where I saw a double pack of 'Battalions of Fear' and it's follow- up album 'Follow the Blind' pretty cheap. Didn't even have to think about what to do.

By this point, I was no longer the young, metal whippersnapper that I was when I'd first heard of Blind Guardian. I had a good sense of what I was into, and, to be blunt, I found this album to be pretty boring and dull.

Fast-forward a couple more years, and MySpace is suddenly booming and it's easier than ever to discover bands. THAT'S when I really got into Blind Guardian! I can't remember which song I heard, but it was big! It was epic! It was bombastic! It was full of metal riffs and glorious orchestrations... it was incredible! How did I not get into this band the first time around?!

I swiftly snapped up most of the groups back-catalogue, then set to work familiarizing myself with their discography...

And that leads me right back to square one; this album is still pretty bland.

There's just nothing really exciting going on here... y'know what I mean? 'Majesty' is an okay song, but most of the tracks are pretty basic power/speed metal. The production leaves the music feeling empty of life, and a lot of the melodies, both musical and lyrical, are just boring and uninteresting.

It's not a terrible album, but if you're looking for some generic and bland 80's power metal, there's much better stuff out there.

 Follow The Blind by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.76 | 94 ratings

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Follow The Blind
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars 'Follow the Blind', the follow-up to 1988's debut 'Battalions of Fear', more-or-less follows in the footprints left by its predecessor in being nothing more than a generic, run-of-the-mill late 80's power/speed metal album.

While there are some very subtle orchestral elements dotted around here and there, a sign of where Blind Guardian would go with future releases, it's still a long way off from what would go on to become the bands defining sound. The songwriting never strays far from the speed metal clichés, and Hansi Kursch's vocals, normally a pleasure to listen to, have yet to reach their full maturity here.

The true gem of this record is no doubt 'Banished from Sanctuary', a song which remains a staple of any live set to this day. Otherwise, most of the songs sound pretty similar and it's hard to really pick out any specific highlights. The production sounds exactly how you would expect it to, giving the music a raw, harshness that it needs, and a guest appearance from Kai Hansen (of Helloween/Gamma Ray fame), is a welcome addition, though only further distinguishes this album as nothing more than a standard power metal affair.

Overall, it's not a terrible record, and I love Blind Guardian, it's just that this is a band still trying to find themselves. They'd certainly develop a sound to call their own over the next few albums, but otherwise, 'Follow the Blind' is one I'd recommend solely to the collectors.

 Battalions Of Fear by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.20 | 103 ratings

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Battalions Of Fear
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The progressive power metal behemoths today known as BLIND GUARDIAN formed all the way back in 1984 in Krefeld, Germany under the name Lucifer's Heritage when vocalist and bassist Hansi Kürsch and guitarist Andre Olbrich matched forces with bassist Markus Dörk and drummer Thomas Stauch. BATTALIONS OF FEAR is their first release and is an extremely competent example of how traditional 80s metal was transitioning at the time into different sub genres. There was something going on in Germany in the 80s. BLIND GUARDIAN was on the same trajectory as the other major melodic speed metal band of the day, Helloween. The two bands were intent on keeping the melodic development of their music as the focus of their metal attack while other strains of the genre were deviating in several different directions. BLIND GUARDIAN more than proves themselves as innovators of the future power metal scene by keeping their melodic developments strong and furious on their debut album BATTALIONS OF FEAR.

While the album starts off with a head scratching circus music keyboard riff it quickly blossoms into a full-fledged early power metal extravaganza titled "Majesty" complete with lightning fast riffage and neoclassical Iron Maiden inspired songwriting, but BLIND GUARDIAN were masters of their own destiny from the very start. It is apparent from the very first track of their very first album that these guys were all about quality and despite not exactly delivering a most original sound from the get go, they did exude a very confident delivery of their style that not only displayed their influences but also pointed to an early method of deviation thereof. Yes, the musicianship is more than competently displayed and gives a glimpse into the future but after all is said and done, these tracks are very interesting to listen to.

This has retrospectively been called speed metal but at the time it wasn't actually known as such. In 1988 thrash and progressive metal were just getting off the ground but a few German bands like BLIND GUARDIAN and Helloween were ramping up the melodic attributes of metal music and have since become two of the major forces in that particular strain of metal magic. While i'm much more partial to the progressively symphonic creativity of later BLIND GUARDIAN releases, i have to admit that i have a special weakness for this debut. While it does exude a sense of sameness thru out the album, all of the tracks are quite catchy in a metal sense and deliver a passionate conveyance of metal energy. While not quite deemed power metal at this point, there is more than enough evidence that a new sub genre of metal would soon gain hold as a distinct and powerful strain of the metal world. BATTALION OF FEAR is one of those major innovators in this development and a ridiculously catchy album that demands repeated listens. Me likey!

3.5 rounded UP!

 Nightfall In Middle-Earth by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.05 | 262 ratings

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Nightfall In Middle-Earth
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Epic in Metal-Earth

What an evolution from their thrashy debut "Battalions of Fear"! With "Nightfall In Middle-Earth", BLIND GUARDIAN found at least the magic formula they were searching for. This sixth studio album is the achievement of the symphonic epic/medieval metal style the band has been crafting during the 90's. The compositions are now complex and refined, with magnificent choirs, majestic soli and powerful orchestrations. The theatrical impression has been enhanced too, with multiple different atmospheres and instruments. Some early fans can regret that the initial rage and direct approach present in the band's first compositions were left aside in favor of more polished sonorities and arrangements. Nevertheless, the music is like no other and still remains impacting.

Instead of "Lord on the Rings", from which most Tolkien's fan musicians draw their inspiration from, "Nightfall In Middle-Earth" is based on the complex "Silmarillion" collection. Each track relates an episode from the story of Middle-Earth, during a particular age. The record alternates songs and short spoken passages, sometimes with a discrete instrumentation. For this review, I will only focus on the "true" songs.

The thundering "Into The Storm" is gorgeous and haunting, it nearly touches perfection. Beginning softly, The medieval ballad "Nightfall" possesses an enchanting melody, whereas the dark "The Curse Of Feanor" contains fulminating guitar interventions. "Blood Tears" alternates calm, sad and violent moments, and is followed by the best track of the disc, "Mirror Mirror". A brilliant evolving song, catchy and powerful, with a slight medieval flavour. Mindblowing!

In contrast, "Noldor" is rather sad. Not the most remarkable track, but nonetheless pleasant. The theatrical "Time Stands Still" is also enjoyable, while "Thorn" is somber and melancholic. Then comes the piano ballad "The Eldar". Original, however a bit cheesy and out of place. Back to life with "When Sorrow Sang", an energetic and slightly gothic song that rocks! The ender "A Dark Chapter" has a middle-eastern feel but is a little hard to follow and finally uneven.

So, is "Nightfall In Middle-Earth" the ultimate symphonic / epic metal album? To be honest, it has a few flaws and I'm not a big fan of repeated spoken interludes (half of the track-list!). Nonetheless, the music is on par with the superb cover art: majestic, elaborated, heroic, complex... Some songs are just breathtaking. More theatrical, less direct than the former opuses, this disc may not instantly appeal to early 80's fans, but what the band lost in spontaneity has been gained in refinement. Unique.

"Nightfall In Middle-Earth" is an essential album of the genre, as well as BLIND GUARDIAN's summit. A treasure in the land of symphonic epic metal!

 Follow The Blind by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.76 | 94 ratings

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Follow The Blind
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

2 stars You'd better follow "Battalions of Fear"

Second studio album by the Germans, "Follow the Blind" offers a music similar in style compared to their debut "Battalions of Fear": a melodic speed metal with an epic touch. However, similar in style does not necessarily mean similar in quality, and this is unfortunately the case here. BLIND GUARDIAN delivers a raw thrashy metal, sounding rather flat, with less inspiration, less remarkable guitar soli and less memorable hymns. Hansi Kürsch's singing has not very much improved yet. The promises given by the impetuosity and the youth of the first opus seem a bit deflated.

The only tracks worth listening are the sinister overture "Inquisition", a metal version of Monty Python's "Holy Grail" introduction, and the thundering epic "Valhalla", featuring Kai Hansen. Hearing this powerful song really makes you want to brandish your double axe to battle against your enemies! The cover of THE BEACH BOYS' "Barbara Ann" is quite fun and energetic but completely out of place. The rest is a bit rough and lacks catchy melodies.

One of the weakest albums from the GUARDIAN, better go with the first one. You must listen to "Valhalla" though, otherwise you won't go to Vikings' paradise. After this disc, the band will craft their identity, step by step, by incorporating more sophisticated orchestrations and medieval elements to their music, but this is another (bard) story...

 Battalions Of Fear by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.20 | 103 ratings

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Battalions Of Fear
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Prepare for an epic battle

First studio album of BLIND GUARDIAN, "Battalions of Fear" combines the epicness of 80's IRON MAIDEN with the destruction power of 80's METALLICA. Like their fellow countrymen HELLOWEEN, the music can be described as melodic speed / thrash metal, direct and ferocious. As their debut effort, Hansi K'rsch's singing is a bit rough and the tracks can get a little messy at times, but these small youth flaws are compensated by energy and rage. As you can see with the songs names, Tolkien's mythology is already part of the band's universe, even if the compositions do not possess the refinement of "Nightfall in Middle Earth" yet.

Do not rely on the circus music opening, the powerful "Majesty" is a thundering metal overture, with sharp guitar soli. The best song of the record, and one of BLIND GUARDIAN's classic! The dark "Guardian Of The Blind" also has a devastating riff and a catchy hymn. Very nice. The short instrumental "Trial By The Archon" reminds IRON MAIDEN's "The Ides of March", a little more sophisticated, and introduces the epic and rageous "Wizard's Crown". Wow! Until now, this is nearly perfect. However, the middle of the disc is its weak point. "Run For The Night" enjoyable, but a bit flat, whereas the uneven "The Martyr" has its moments, but is hard to follow and not very coherent.

Fortunately, inspiration comes back with the Maiden-esque title track, a ferocious fast composition with an efficient war hymn. The small melodic thrash instrumental "By The Gates Of Moria" incorporates a few surprises. Not excellent, but not bad either. The other ending instrumental, "Gandalf's Rebirth", is more convincing and coherent, and concludes the record on an enchanting feel.

"Battalions of Fear" is far better than BLIND GUARDIAN's next and other thrash opus, "Follow the Blind" (only "Valhalla" is worth listening in it). Although the music itself is not very original and the band has not crafted their identity yet, the compositions are direct, powerful and epic, without concessions or useless orchestration. What more could you ask for when you're leading your fearless battalions to battle?

An underrated album, one of the best and most aggressive from BLIND GUARDIAN! Very recommended to 80's speed metal, IRON MAIDEN and HELLOWEEN fans!

Thanks to MikeEnRegalia for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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