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[Music Review] - Blind Guardian - A Twist In The Myth


Wind

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-[Music Review]- Blind Guardian – A Twist In The Myth (Promo)

One of my favorite bands of all time, they have never seemed to disappoint me and each release I have found amazing and loved dearest to my heart. I consider them to easily be the best Power Metal band ever. No other band is able to combine different genres so well in forming a genuine feeling of epic music, placing you right in the middle of a fantasy world. Hansi Kursch being one of the greatest metal singers of all time leads the band and never ceases to perform amazingly. - The new album has been long awaited by fans, although a bit of nervous curiosity filled a lot of fans heads when long time drummer Thomas “Thomen” Stauch quit the band due to artistic differences in the style of music Blind Guardian chose to head in after “Imaginations From The Other Side”. After searching, the band settled in with new drummer Frederik Ehmke, whom from first listening to the “Fly” single released months ago, shows impressive technical drumming with speed and precision, although I still found myself wondering if he would be able to fill the huge shoes left by Thomas during the entire CD. With all of these thoughts swirling around my mind, I found the pressure and wait was unbearable and I must hear this CD. Thus, I began to spin “A Twist In The Myth”. Please note, this review is written song by song as I first listened to the album. Each track is a one spin, first thought and feeling and hopefully gives and honest outlook on a fan first hearing a long awaited album. -

Track 1: “This Will Never End” - Starting out with pounding, heavy guitar riffs and a galloping double bass, Hansi's high pitched wail cuts into the mix, excellent start. The guitar melodies reminds of Imaginations From Another Side, and lyrics paint an image just as all the other albums did, a slight middle-eastern style melody busts into the mix and then the epic chorus begins, “This will never end” is chanted by a seemingly choir of a band, its majestic, drifting and catchy. - After the second chorus we are delighted with an interestingly awesome guitar solo with the unique Blind Guardian guitar tone they have been known to produce on the more recent records. Haste fully it cuts back into vocals, and the song seems to continuously move around in progressive style, showing an even more progressive nature to the band than shown on “A Night At The Opera” while remaining more tight, and focused on writing, a classic opener by the band reminiscent of “Imaginations From The Other Side”

Track 2: “Otherland” - After a unique 5 second opening, vocal tracked singing begins “They ruled the land, they hold our dreams in their hands”. The song slow downs, and immediately takes on a somber “Night-fall in middle earth” feel. The song picks up and down changing from heavy, to softer, to even heavier. The chorus, carrying a heavy feel of “A Night At The Opera”, epic and layered and as always catchy. Varying guitar melodies flow through the entire song, and are extremely interesting, catchy and well written. The second chorus drifts in and I must admit I am hooked, and in love with this song. Immediately after the second chorus, the galloping double bass becomes even more present as another awesome solo begins, dual guitar tracks, one of a flowing melody and one of an intense solo. This continues on as they battle around with melodies until the vocals come back in as the song takes an even more demanding fashion before slowing back down again. The song picks up and becomes more intense until it displays the heavy yet dreamy prechorus again then drifts back into the chorus. Hansi's scream leads into a catchy and slightly mournful outro “You've crossed the line, you've reached the end.” Awesome display of mixing a new more progressive style of Blind Guardian with familiar styles seen in older albums.

Track 3: “Turn The Page” - Instantly the song immerses you in a heavy and extremely medieval sound. The song speeds up and has impressive and unique drumming, a mixture of traditional and medieval style flares with speeding power metal drumming. The chorus seems to drift in without interruption “Come turn the wheel, come turn the page” a short little guitar melody presents itself, as the song takes a dynamic change, and then speeds up and gets heavier again. This song seems very unique when comparing to past Blind Guardian songs, this is an excellent example of the “new” Blind Guardian style they had talked about when discussing the first details of the album. Guitar solos start and have that medieval style feel as earlier in the song. A joyous chanting begins “na na na na na na” in fashion of “And then their was silence”. The chorus cuts it off, and right back into the excellent and exciting guitar melodies. At this point of listening, I can't really expect them to ever run out of awesome ideas and amazingly catchy instrumentation.

Track 4: “Fly” - This was the chosen single by the band and released a little while back, I will spare the information of how the song sounds since most fans of the band have heard this little gem. Immediately I noticed a difference in the production of the drum track, the song sounds a little different. Heavier and more crisp, an extremely delightful surprise making me enjoy this extremely dynamic song even more. New styles of percussion for the band and quick, sharp changing dynamics make this song extremely unique. The chorus is extremely catchy and is sure to become stuck in anyone who hears its head. The song is impressive in how dynamic it is, the song seems to constantly change and twirl around with new ideas and feelings. Keyboard sounds wash behind the background of the song adding excellent atmosphere and effect. Blind Guardian have been making albums since the 80's and most bands around for the same amount of time release tired, rehashed style music which lacks compared to older material. This song proves Blind Guardian is still to this day growing as a band, as musicians, and as writers. It just plain fucking rocks.

Track 5: “Carry The Blessed Home” - Acoustic guitar with a wonderful orchestral sound behind it floats up and down like fireflies in the night, Hansi's voice is majestic and powerful. The song picks up to a heavy sound, with a guitar melody floating in the background. The song slows back down, it's rather beautiful and has a sweet honest feeling to it. Quickly the song picks back up, this time with a very Renaissance feel melody dabbling along the back of the song. This would be an example of a Blind Guardian ballad, its slow, sweet and remains is moving slowness even during the heavy parts. Honest emotion is evident during the entire song, Hansi seems to have a flow of honesty in his voice he rarely has achieved in songs. He stands ground as one of the best metal vocalists of all time as he changes his tone from wonderful, to powerful and soulful at rapid pace. A perfectly placed song in the albums track list, displaying many reasons why I love the band so much.

Track 6: “Another Stranger Me” - Pure rock out opening with a washing keyboard background. The song continues to rock out until it slows down to atmospheric plucking of guitar as Hansi whispers in agony. Quickly we are thrusted forth back into heaviness. The chorus is majestic, heavy and as a trade-mark has an amazing guitar melody. The song becomes stripped down to heavy distorted chords and metal drumming, a very classic metal feel is evident while listening to this song. It speeds up and is layered back with more sounds and epic singing. The solo in this song has a slight blues style guitar solo feel to it, until it shakes that off and begins shredding down the scale. Immediately slowing down and kicking right back into it again. “I didn't know, I couldn't hear the answer. My mind is blank I should have known”. Its honest power, gripping, catchy and exactly what I want in a song. It seems so far through the CD Blind Guardian knew exactly how to make a perfect collection of of catchy and inventive pieces of music. The chorus concludes and the song fades off rapidly with a slight phaser effect.

Track 7: “Straight Through The Mirror” - Right before the song kicked in, I found the title of the song to be reminiscent of something off of “Tales From The Twilight World”. The guitar rips through with pounding heaviness, as the guitar melody dances around in wonderful style paving the way for the emotional agony displayed by Hansi's voice. He wails and screams, amazing and immersive as expected. The Chorus kicks in and is very reminiscent heavily of a “Tales” or “Somewhere Far Beyond” style chorus, except with “A Night At The Opera” style guitar melodies. The mixture is amazing and an extreme nostalgic feeling of old and newer is displayed as it is also dabbled along with the newer feeling of music displayed on this album. “Rise From The Ashes Again” - cuts right back into the amazing chorus. The middle of the song displays fast double-bass action and tight drumming through an extremely interesting solo, constantly changing speeds with that amazing and vibrant signature guitar tone. Hansi screams, holding worlds with emotion and agony. The song speeds up and is sung in a sped up and slightly happier way until the excellent chorus kicks back in. The outro of the song is thundering drums with catchy guitar until it drifts off in a quick fading noise changing from right ear to left. - Earth Shattering track.

Track 8: “Lionheart” - BOOM. The song starts off with a feeling of war, pounding drums and extremely heavy riffing. The drumming has a slight tribal feel and is well decorating the rest of the song. With haste, the song cuts into vocals with constant backing vocals. This track already is amazing and a perfect example of something that could have been on “A Night At The Opera” but even better in style. Haunting chanting flows around during the vocal part. The Chorus kicks in and is just plain awesome, its done in an exact fashion I'd expect from “Imaginations From The Other Side”. The vocal layers are more immersive than Blind Guardian has ever used before. I'm becoming captured by them, drifting from Hansi's vocals to the backing layered tracks. The solo kicks in and I can't say enough about how each song shows such constructed, well written, and well performed guitar solos. Much more credit is needed towards the virtuosity and amazing writing of the guitar tracks. The song continues to gallop along and back into the booming war pounding drums. Hansi declares he “Can't get out” as the song comes to a close with an awesome drum part and electrifying guitars.

Track 9: “Skalds and Shadows” - Acoustic wonder once again graces my ears, as a somber and high pitched violin sound floats on by. Hansi carefully sings in a sweet tone. The chorus is nothing short of breathtaking in its style and feel. The song has a perfect blend and feeling of older songs such as “Lord of the Rings”, “The Bards Song” and with the flare of “The Minstrel and the Maiden Knight”. The song continues to progress in its slight beauty with flowing sounds and orchestration sounds, changing and immersing you right into the song. It feels like being in a Tavern filled with bards performing a piece as the knights and tavern men joyously sing along. It paints this picture, of stories of unimaginable journeys and encounters being displayed through song by the bards. Perhaps i am looking a bit too deep and becoming a bit too immersed in the song, but maybe this is the exact feeling the band was striving for while writing the piece. Beautiful song.

Track 10: “The Edge” - Pure metal opening with a crazy keyboard sound all around ear to ear. A war like synth horn paints the image of an epic battle or journey. The song progresses heavier as the singing starts. It has an extremely heavy feel, with a mesmerizing chorus. The keyboard sound continues at key points through-out the song and is nothing like they have used in their songs before. The guitar is a bit more thrash oriented than other songs by the band, with higher pitched shred like riffs demanding attention immediately. Once again the guitar solo does not disappoint one bit, and each portion of the solo is extremely different and equally amazing. Each song has had this style, and its amazing to see the band trying so many different ideas in one solo. The song is drenched with sounds behind the mix that create a seeming constant moving ocean of sound. The outro of the song is heavy yet captivatingly majestic until Hansi rips back with a flare of extreme aggression to end the song. epic, powerful and undeniably well done.

Track 11: “The New Order” - This is it, this is the final track. Before listening I wonder how they can end this amazing epic album, will it be a classic style epic ending the band has been known for? Or perhaps an extremely heavy song to destroy the nerves, possibly neither the thought of how they chose to end of the song made me excited to press play, and so I did. The song opens with a steel sounding but heavy guitar, Hansi beautifully drifts into the song. Then boom, pounding drums and a high pitched scream. I feel we are in for a ride. The song slows back down and the drums keep the song galloping with double bass, the guitar melodies are drenched with catchy and vibrant tone. The chorus is joyous as Hansi proclaims “Praise the new order, now let my spirit go!”. Mentioning of slaying dragons, and epic adventure memories are brought up in the lyrics and you can't help but just think of how awesome it all is. The song has the perfect mixture of slow and heavy at the same time. Making it a slightly epic mid-paced song. It is joyous yet in a way the lyrics seem to touch upon irony in the way that some parts are somberly themed. This song seems like such a nice summary of everything Blind Guardian is known for while keeping all the influences minimal and combining them into a perfect blend. “my souls like water and, like rain it will return”. The ending of the song is sweet and hopeful. Quickly it drifts off and I am left in complete joy of what I just heard.

Thats it, I had such a minor thought the album wouldn't hold up and I am glad that minor notion was slain by Blind Guardian's might. “A Twist In The Myth” marks a new direction for the band while touching perfectly on all the grounds they once graced. After one listen it is hard to pick out exactly which songs are the best, and maybe that is a good thing. Each song seemed amazing, unique and perfectly fit in every way possible. I cannot stress enough how if you are a Blind Guardian fan, you need this album once it is released. I personally cannot wait to purchase the album once it ships in September, and even more impatience for the upcoming tour. Blind Guardian has continued to prove why they are the absolute best band in the genre, constantly evolving and making amazing music.

Final Score: 10/10 – Easily I shall proclaim this a masterpiece.

- Wind

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Too be honest I don;t think it is fair to rate it due to voice overs constant;ly in the worst possible parts and should be judged fairly but I didn;t find the album as great as a perfect score. I would have to listen to it a few more times then the twice over I have and once in a proper release but at the mo I would say 6 out of 10.

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if this new one isn't up to snuff you guys could always listen to the new savage circus release :laugh:

really though, reviewing something full of voiceovers was pretty uncool (i'd say 'unprofessional', but it's not like we're pros here). i don't know how you're supposed to accurately judge a release that's not 100%

Interesting since the progressional reviewers get the promo (with voice overs) to be reviewed before the album comes out.

I think a 3 second voice over once or twice in a song doesn't detatch from the quality of the actual album.

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Interesting since the progressional reviewers get the promo (with voice overs) to be reviewed before the album comes out.

I think a 3 second voice over once or twice in a song doesn't detatch from the quality of the actual album.

a good deal of metal review sites won't review digital media (i.e. they require reviewers to have a CD) and usually review stuff that they went out and bought or was sent to them from the band

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This cd impressed me and met all my expectations, blind guardian proved to be my favorite power metal band yet again. Their sound is so distinctinct that you can't expect anything less.

So I hope we are all making the trek to either NY or MA to see them?

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Thats the promo that leaks though usually, the ones sent out to the reviewers, and they they have voice overs.

What other purpose would a promo copy with voice overs have when its not sent out to be reviewed ? :P

this is probably the last i'll say on the matter, since if i go further i'll probably look like a dick :cool:

as an artist, you NEVER send out anything short of your best to be judged. the promo that's going around now is probably an appetizer of what's to come; something to whet the tongues of fans and reviewers. if you need proof, google "blind guardian a twist in the myth review" and see what comes up. most people are probable waiting for a pure BG experience, without voiceovers or beeps or gaps or whatever

* this post written under the influence. excuse grammar/spelling errors :tongue:

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yeah cool guys, goto kerrazy torrents or anywhere and read up on the praise.

Just because you guys don't like it doesn't mean everyone who does is bias.

It's a fucking great CD, just as maybe some people out there may not like Ensiferum (Sure they may be crazy) but in my case maybe you both are. :laugh:

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It was a great album, truely going back to the days of "Imaginations" and "Somewhere far beyond".

However, a 10/10 really isn't warrented. That means the album has no flaws which isn't the case. On top of that, the only Blind Guardian album I'd give a 10/10 is Nightfall, because that goes above and beyond. This album, although awesome, is fairly normal standard when it comes to BG. This is expected of them, and for that it loses some points.

But I don't like a ten point grading system either, I perfer a 100 point grading system where 100% is almost unattainable.

I'd give it about an 80% above average and awesome, but not over the top. However, I perfer to reserve ture judgement until the real album comes out.

(For a note on this I'd probably give Nightfall about a 96%, and the only Album I can think of that gets 100% would be "Bridge Across Forever" by Transatlantic. However I am not an album reviewer and everything I saw should be ignored.)

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It was a great album, truely going back to the days of "Imaginations" and "Somewhere far beyond".

However, a 10/10 really isn't warrented. That means the album has no flaws which isn't the case. On top of that, the only Blind Guardian album I'd give a 10/10 is Nightfall, because that goes above and beyond. This album, although awesome, is fairly normal standard when it comes to BG. This is expected of them, and for that it loses some points.

But I don't like a ten point grading system either, I perfer a 100 point grading system where 100% is almost unattainable.

I'd give it about an 80% above average and awesome, but not over the top. However, I perfer to reserve ture judgement until the real album comes out.

(For a note on this I'd probably give Nightfall about a 96%, and the only Album I can think of that gets 100% would be "Bridge Across Forever" by Transatlantic. However I am not an album reviewer and everything I saw should be ignored.)

All the songs sound new and are more progressivea nd a different path, therefore I don't see how this was expected by them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I didn't think Nightfall was beyond amazing when I first heard it. I was thinking "why the fuck everybody is praising the album like a god?", then I listened to it over and over again and then I realized that NIME is really something special. It is the greatest power metal masterpiece of all time.

I have heard two songs from the new album. Since it's far from the level of NIME, I cannot give it a 10/10. I think it's just good.

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I didn't think Nightfall was beyond amazing when I first heard it. I was thinking "why the fuck everybody is praising the album like a god?", then I listened to it over and over again and then I realized that NIME is really something special. It is the greatest power metal masterpiece of all time.

That's exactly how it happened with me. The first BG album I listened to was A Night At The Opera, and I bought Nightfall shortly after hearing that because I thought A Night At The Opera was one of the coolest things I ever heard. It took me several months to finally realize how awesome Nightfall really was.

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