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Blind Guardian - Nightfall In Middle-Earth CD (album) cover


Blind Guardian


Progressive Metal

4.07 | 268 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I admit that I am a Tolkien enthusiast of the highest nerdly calibur, which was a big part of why I tried this album out, and which is also why I decided to give it three stars. Honestly, I don't think that the music here is much to be wowed by; there are more bands doing more interesting things than we hear here, but what fun to hear songs about the Morgoth and Feanor!

The first thing Blind Guardian has going for it, is a genuine energy to their performance and songwriting. Into the Storm starts the album with an fiery explosion of metal, complete with screaming hot vocals and constant guitar shredding. This is pretty consistant throughout, thankfully with enough tempo variations and catchy choruses to keep things interesting. Of course, Blind Guardian's schtik is their inclusion of what can only be described as folk/madrigal music into their power-metal songwriting. You'll hear folksy breaks (performed acoustically and as metal) throughout. These come across as... well silly, but if you're listening to an album about the First Age Middle Earth you won't be bothered by a little silliness. As a whole the album is great power-metal fun that nicely dramatizes key moments of the Silmarillion-- with a few gaping holes in the narrative.

My complaints are two-fold. First, Kürsch's vocals has two settings: a gravely scream he uses for the loud parts, and a dancing croon for the madrigal. The listener can practically here him flipping the switch during the transitions. Secondly, is the painful length of this album-- around 76 minutes, which has wild swings in quality, especially in the latter half which seems unfocused and lacks the energy of the first set of songs. This combined with the constant scream of Kürsch makes it difficult to sit though the album's entirety.

So, in my opinion, definintely NOT a masterpiece, but still a great bit of fun power-metal for the occasional tongue-in-cheek litsen. Personally, I would have chosen different parts of the Silmarillion's narrative to write about-- but what do I know, I am just a Tolkien nerd whose read it a dozen times.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |


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