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Blind Guardian

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Blind Guardian Tokyo Tales album cover
3.49 | 39 ratings | 5 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Inquisition (0:49)
2. Banish From Sanctuary (6:03)
3. Journey Through the Dark (5:12)
4. Traveler in Time (6:42)
5. The Quest for Tanelorn (6:02)
6. Goodbye My Friend (6:27)
7. Time What Is Time (6:41)
8. Majesty (7:45)
9. Valhalla (6:06)
10. Welcome to Dying (5:56)
11. Lost in the Twilight Hall (7:25)
12. Barbara Ann (2:56)

Total Time: 68:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Hansi Kürsch / vocals, bass
- André Olbrich / guitars, vocals
- "Magnus" Armin Siepen / guitars, vocals
- Thomen "The Omen" Stauch / drums

Releases information

1993 Virgin Schallplatten GmbH 0 77778 77562 1

Thanks to MikeEnRegalia for the addition
and to Rune2000 for the last updates
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BLIND GUARDIAN Tokyo Tales ratings distribution

(39 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

BLIND GUARDIAN Tokyo Tales reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars If this is the first CD you are going to buy from Blind Guardian, forget it! I am very sure that you won't enjoy this live CD at all. First for all, the music of Blind Guardian is not something as melodic as you might have ever heard from Royal Hunt or as powerful as Helloween of Gamma Ray. Blind Guardian has built their own unique music characteristics in the vein of power metal fame. The unique characteristic lies in the way Hansi Kursch sing and most of their compositions are song or melody orientated, i.e. the vocal as melody brings the music forward and all rhythm section and guitar melody follow the vocal line. The way Kurch sings is something that we need to put special note. He sings with his inner energy and scream through his inner throat, singing medium to high register notes. It sounds like someone who is angry but combined nicely with the music.

However, if this is happen to be your first CD from the band, here is some tricks: Do not try to understand the music because I am sure you might not like it at first spin because most of the songs are not that catchy. What I can suggest is to get involved in the crowd's live vibes which I think are really uplifting. In fact, the crowd is much more crazy than those in vintage Deep Purple "Made In Japan" live album. In fact, I am quite surprised knowing that there must be a lot of die hard fans of Blind Guardian who watched this concert. Please also remember that this was 1993 before Dream Theater became the icon of progressive metal and Blind Guardian had acquired so much appreciation from their Japan fans-base. This is interesting really.

The crowd involvement in the show is very obvious and in fact you can hear they follow the band's singing and it makes it wonderful to enjoy this CD. For some of you, the music is probably quite fast but, bear with me, you will get used to it. If you are not yet familiar, just observe how crazy the crowd it is to sing together with Hansi Kursch. You can hear the crowd singing in almost every song the band plays, especially "Time What Is Time" and also the band's favorite live track "Valhalla". In fact, before the band plays this song, the crowd already scream "Valhalla! Valhalla! .". This is a major attraction enjoying this CD because the crowd singing is so dynamic and so lively that make me enjoying this album.

Overall, this is a very good live album by Blind Guardian with wonderful live vibes knowing the band was actually not that well known but I do not know how come the Japanese is very familiar with this band. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Tokyo Tales' - Blind Guardian (84/100)

Really; could a more perfect setlist have been picked out for Tokyo Tales? While more is obviously involved in the making of a truly great live album, it's as good a start as any.

It's important to keep in mind that, at the time of recording their first live album over two performances at Tokyo's NHK Hall, Blind Guardian were little over four years since their debut, and just a few months following their fourth LP Somewhere Far Beyond. Even with some of their best work still a few years away, these guys had amassed an impressive host of material. Their gradual shift from speed to power metal had resulted in a string of incredible work; even the relatively weak Follow the Blind had a couple of amazing songs to offer; both of which are showcased on Tokyo Tales.

It is in spite of-- or, I should say, because of their up-and-coming youth on Tokyo Tales that makes this live album so good. You tend to see live albums in the rock and metal spheres released as a self-congratulating testament to some established band's past achievements. More often than not, live albums are approached as a safe commercial bet when a band is past their glory days. It's not as common for a band to release them in the midst of their creative peak, and rarer still for a band to release one when they're still on their way up. While there's a certain enjoyment is seeing an experienced band playing songs they have spent half their lives perfecting, there is greater satisfaction in hearing a band performing long before the comfort of success. Of course, hearing Tokyo Tales, you wouldn't get the impression they were still dismissed by some as Helloween's little brother in the West. Leave it to Japan to embrace quality and talent when they first hear it. Contrary to the usually reserved concert etiquette Japan are known for, you can hear the crowd chanting away to virtually every chorus and verse of their set.

Before going into Blind Guardian's live albums, I had been wondering how they took to approximating the lavish vocal arrangements without the help of overdubs. As it turns out, the audience does it for them! Although the roar of a possibly intoxicated audience doesn't leave quite as much room for intricacy as intensive in-studio work, there's a different sense of exhilaration to be felt from a 3800-occupancy hall chanting along to these songs along with Hansi. Whereas the crowd ambiance is usually a grating distraction on most live albums, here it truly benefits the effect of the music. Though it becomes more apparent with each listen that Hansi's stilted banter between songs is dreadfully awkward, hearing the sheer enthusiasm of the crowd is enough to make this downtime worthwhile on the album. I can't begin to imagine how inspiring it must feel for Hansi and company to hear a response along those lines every night they play!

It really deserves second mention that Tokyo Tales boasts such an impeccable setlist. Despite their significant shift of style over the course of four albums, these songs sound like they're meant to fit together in a single set. While I do enjoy the more all-encompassing experience of their Live 2LP released a decade later, I do think a lot of Blind Guardian's peak-era material became too dependent on studio trickery to be done full justice live. Nothing from the first four albums risks this shortcoming; the songs off Battalions of Fear and Follow the Blind were already blistering in their original form; even the relatively tempered Somewhere Far Beyond has the right sort of energy to work wonders live. Although I'm no fan of Follow the Blind, "Banish from Sanctuary" and especially "Valhalla" sound perfect; while I might have liked to hear "Run for the Night" or the title track off Battalions of Fear, the inclusion of the epic "Majesty" was a smart choice. Given that Tales from the Twilight World is my favourite album from the period until Nightfall in Middle-Earth, I'm delighted that so many cuts from that album found their way onto Tokyo Tales. "Lost in the Twilight Hall" was a highlight on the original record, and so it is here. Most of all however, I think their live rendition of "Lord of the Rings" steals the show. Blind Guardian's speed metal material might as well have been written with live performances already i mind, but "Lord of the Rings" was among their first attempts at a more sophisticated sort of arrangement. With the help of keyboardist Marc Zee, they give the song a rekindled brilliance, with one of the best vocal performances Hansi's ever committed to the recorded medium. It is conspicuous that a song as chant-worthy as "The Bard's Song" off Somewhere Far Beyond was excluded from the show, but considering that it's since become the most overplayed song in their repertoire, that might actually be a blessing in disguise.

While Blind Guardian made an exception in writing A Twist in the Myth with live performances in mind, the other albums they've done in the time since Tokyo Tales have been progressively more ornate and bombastic-- some might even say overproduced. Whatever the case, their studio albums have been generally incredible, and in spite of the obvious challenges of bringing a metal symphony to life each night, they've garnered one of the strongest reputations as a live act in metal. Even so; given the chance, I'd probably still have rather seen Blind Guardian play back in the day. They have incredible enthusiasm here on Tokyo Tales, and their audience matches it note for note.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Released in 1993, 'Tokyo Tales' is the first official live album by German power metal legends Blind Guardian. Having been a long-time fan of the band, I've always swayed more towards their later, more progressive and 'epic' albums, whilst finding their earlier, speed metal days a little too rep ... (read more)

Report this review (#2276428) | Posted by martindavey87 | Thursday, October 31, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is like KISS Alive, the best material from their earlier speed/power metal era with added energy (and probably more than a few overdubs) that makes is a unique statement like KISS Alive. Unlike the latest Blind Guardian live recording, this is full of energy that kicks butt, and the ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#221440) | Posted by SMSM | Tuesday, June 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Tokyo Tales is an excellent live recording, showing Blind Guardian at their peak. When this piece was recorded they had just released Somewhere Far Beyond and so the setlist is filled with lots of blazing speed metal tunes (if you're a fan of their latest albums, for example Nightfall, I'm afrai ... (read more)

Report this review (#187526) | Posted by Nhorf | Friday, October 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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