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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 KŘrsch 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)

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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)

3.17 | 106 ratings
Battalions Of Fear
1988
2.78 | 97 ratings
Follow The Blind
1989
3.41 | 113 ratings
Tales From The Twilight World
1990
3.67 | 144 ratings
Somewhere Far Beyond
1992
3.93 | 205 ratings
Imaginations From The Other Side
1995
4.07 | 273 ratings
Nightfall In Middle-Earth
1998
3.93 | 193 ratings
A Night At The Opera
2002
3.11 | 100 ratings
A Twist In The Myth
2006
3.63 | 121 ratings
At The Edge Of Time
2010
3.78 | 49 ratings
Beyond The Red Mirror
2015

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

3.46 | 33 ratings
Tokyo Tales
1993
3.65 | 40 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)

3.65 | 49 ratings
The Forgotten Tales
1996
3.87 | 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 | 15 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
4.19 | 16 ratings
Mirror Mirror
1998
3.51 | 20 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
3.15 | 14 ratings
A Voice In The Dark
2010
3.67 | 3 ratings
Twilight Of The Gods
2014

BLIND GUARDIAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nightfall In Middle-Earth by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.07 | 273 ratings

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Nightfall In Middle-Earth
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The power-metal genre has produced a few albums that could be of particular interest to progressive rock/metal listeners. 'Nightfall in Middle-Earth' is a good example. Blind Guardian, hailing from the Germany, has expanded on the groundwork laid by Helloween and continued to develop their style until this fantasy progressive folk- metal album was recorded in 1998 - based on the Silmarillion by Tolkien. Though the power-metal chops are obviously still there, the music is enriched with folklore melodies, gothic vocal chants, original twin-guitar chops (every song has multiple sections) and some strong song-writing formats. Notably, the use of the pre-chorus in the songs is extremely effective. The fantasy-world feel keeps the songs tied together and the intermissions, with both spoken word and acoustic folk interludes, add to that 'concept' feel. What makes this album a winner though, is the fact that it offers an uninterrupted flow of simply brilliant, catchy songs running up to 'The Elder'. Melodies, atmospheres, rhythm changes, the sheer energy of the vocal performances and those memorable refrains; the band surely is on fire here. I really couldn't pick a favorite.

This album was originally plagued by an awful mixing job. Flat, loud and simply to dense to listen to. In late 2018 the band released a vinyl re-release that was remixed and remastered. This vinyl record sounds a whole lot better! Even the recording of this vinyl to digital sounds way better than the original cd. Another problem I had with this album was the relative weakness of the last few tracks. This problem was also solved by the vinyl, since you can just skip the fourth side of the 2LP. This brings the album down to what it always should have been; that brilliant string of songs and interludes that last for 52 minutes - which is more than enough for me.

By restoring this album the band created - 20 years after its original recording - a really enjoyable masterpiece in a very tricky genre (fantasy inspired power-metal). In 1999 the first Demons & Wizards album was released, a collaboration of Blind Guardian and Iced Earth, which is also a warmly recommended record for listeners of this genre.

 Tokyo Tales by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Live, 1993
3.46 | 33 ratings

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Tokyo Tales
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

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 repetitive for my liking.

Recorded whilst touring for 1992's 'Somewhere Far Beyond', it was at this point that the band would begin to incorporate a wider range of influences in their music and focus on concept albums, more ambitious arrangements and lavish orchestrations. However, while 'Tokyo Tales' covers pretty much all the best songs those early albums have to offer, it's still a bit too samey for my tastes.

With songs like 'Banish from Sanctuary', 'Majesty', 'Welcome to Dying' and 'Lost in the Twilight Hall', the set list is pretty good. The sound is great, and is pretty similar to the studio albums, and the audience is truly alive and loving every minute of it. But ultimately this comes down to taste. I'd rather listen to the studio counterparts of these tracks, and even then, I think I'd prefer to listen to 'Nightfall in Middle Earth' or 'A Twist in the Myth' than anything from those early albums.

 A Night At The Opera by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.93 | 193 ratings

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A Night At The Opera
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Lore Knowledge

2 stars Encouraged by a very succesful concept album Blind Guardian decided to go even further in the epicness. The result is far from expectations. 14 minute long piece And Then There Was Silence is boring as hell and even harmonized guitars can't help the feeling that they were out of ideas at the time. But the worst thing about this record is the production. Very intense thick sound combining simply everything they're known for at the same time as the track is running is unbearable. Even good moments lose in this battle. Almost 70 minutes of a constant noise that's what it really is. Don't listen to this album on the headphones. But if you can get past the nasty production (which is not easy) you'll hear Blind Guardian. This band, no other. Cos it's still their style.
 Nightfall In Middle-Earth by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.07 | 273 ratings

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Nightfall In Middle-Earth
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Lore Knowledge

5 stars 22 tracks on the record but only half of them are real songs. The rest, just short spoken word pieces nicely put into the concept. The story of eternity I should say however the tale itself is based on Tolkien's Silmarillion. Most of the songs pace around subjects like sorrow, grief and time. As ususal. If not the whole imaginery we could say that Guardians being obsessed with time are really consequent in every detail of it and.... what the hell I'll say that, Time Stands Still (at the Iron Hill), that's what it's all about. If you haven't read Tolkien that's fine, it's really not about it. It's just stuff as usual. Musically it's slightly more advanced than the previous efforts, some bits and pieces sound almost like Queen. But it's better. To me, it's the last truly great and epic album and it's been 20 years plus since. Time flies doesn't stand still. A heavy metal masterpiece. Not just power metal.
 Imaginations From The Other Side by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.93 | 205 ratings

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Imaginations From The Other Side
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Lore Knowledge

4 stars Technically it's not worse than the previous album. It's also probably their easiest one to get into. The harmonized guitar pattern is vastly exploited, however no further exploration is added. Lyrically the title track is their best ever, the music is complicated the same way as it was before, but because it's still pretty fresh guys don't disappoint. Hard to find a single weak song on the record. Born In A Mourning Hall may appear the weakest, I really wonder why they decided to choose it as a promo track (the video was made). Script, Another Holy War, Bright Eyes...all very good cuts. Very good album, definitely not their best one, still top notch. For the fans a must have.
 Somewhere Far Beyond by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.67 | 144 ratings

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Somewhere Far Beyond
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Lore Knowledge

5 stars I got this album back in 1993, a year after it was released. It was my album of the summer of '93, well the whole year actually. It was so alluring from the start, I remember listening to Time What is Time while going on a vacation, the magic was in the air. Good old days of innocence. It's still my favourite Guardian track of all time. I love everything about it. Every single part, the heavy, the gentle one. Other songs are great too and not always in the same vein. For example Black Chamber is a soft short ballad while Theatre of Pain orchestrates in more traditional metal way. Two-part epic Bard's Song (In the Forest and The Hobbit) tell the story of grief and pain. Title track an epic journey into the beyond is also pretty fascinating. And if you think that bagpipes don't fit in metal you definitely put no faith in the beyond. Beyond just metal. A masterpiece.
 Tales From The Twilight World by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.41 | 113 ratings

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Tales From The Twilight World
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Lore Knowledge

4 stars The third Blind Guardian album finally opens the gate. It's not just the album cover, it's most of all the music. The first track is called Traveler in Time and it introduces us to the Guardian's time obsession. Yes, they will do a lot of that in the future. It's so Guardianish, even the harmonized riffs cut clean like there's one and only Krefeld power metal machine. Kai Hansen appears in the songs Lost In The Twilight Hall (singing) and Last Candle (guitar solo) but it doesn't really matter, cos BG finally got to the point they could easily say: we've found our own style. Welcome to Dying, Goodbye My Friends, Tommyknockers...all very good tracks. A power metal classic.
 Follow The Blind by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.78 | 97 ratings

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Follow The Blind
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Lore Knowledge

3 stars 30 years ago Blind Guardian released their second album. More thrashy than the previous one but there's more important thing about this record. Song Banish from Sanctuary is fully shaped in Guardian style. This is where the journey begins. Listen to the chorus, "the darkness in me is filling me with pain". The rest of the album is mostly good or very good. Valhalla is a great song featuring Kai Hansen (ex Helloween, Gamma Ray) on vocals. The whole effort isn't as much Helloweenish as their debut though. They gained more self consciousness yet this is still far from perfection. Obviously a good album, great in some places. Luckily there was more to come.
 Battalions Of Fear by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.17 | 106 ratings

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Battalions Of Fear
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Lore Knowledge

2 stars Back in 1988 Guardians were far from being original. Helloween rip-offs here and there plus typical speed metal patterns. That's what this album is. Not a bad one for sure, still below their later shown skills. Majesty is the finest track on the record, some tunes like Wizard's Crown and Run for the Light expose na´vetÚ to the point you feel like it's almost amateurish, however it's really nothing if you compare it to the title track's lyrics. Even as for the debut album it's nothing very interesting cos as I say, it's really far from being original. Anyway, for fans only just to see what happens. And it will a lot.
 Somewhere Far Beyond by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.67 | 144 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!

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

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