“A Twist In The Myth” by Blind Guardian

Artist: Blind Guardian
Title: “A Twist In The Myth”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 9/5/2006
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 4/5

It goes without saying that Blind Guardian is one of the greatest Power Metal bands of all time and based on albums like “Nightfall In Middle Earth” and “A Night At The Opera” their signature has been forever etched into the foundation of the genre. On many occasions they would be a thundering band that would pummel the listener with a one-two punch of guitar harmonies and double bass drumming while throughout the song the melodic choruses and shrieks cut through like some razor-sharp glass. Vocalist Hansi Kursch would often find inspiration in deep literary themes and this carried over well into his song writing. It was a process that made his lyrics quite memorable and the end result something that is respected by all fans of the form. However, there is not a lot of pummeling or thunder on “A Twist In The Myth” and this might incur some wrath from that level of supporters. Instead, there is a greater level of musical experimentation done in the realms of symphonic displays, wider melodic demonstration and some different feels that will take you to a new level of enjoyment of the bands music. Power Metal as a format sometimes risks the chance of being the same old, same old – and this comes into play because of the amount of groups that popped up over the past few years. I feel this is a smart move on behalf of Blind Guardian as they choose to open the door leading to new realms a little farther for it allows them to be both continually relevant as well as an interesting, potent force of Power Metal music. The bands choice to change the way music is delivered on this album does not sacrifice the melody or the meaning by any stretch and along with Andre Olbrich (guitar), Marcus Siepen (rhythm), and Frederik Hemke (drums) there is certainly a lot to enjoy. Oliver Holzwarth performed bass as a guest musician on the recording.

Hemke especially is put to task as the bands new drummer as long time member Thomen Staunch left in 2005. Staunch would form Savage Circus and release a very traditional Metal record which has a lot of similarity to classic Blind Guardian. On “Carry The Blessed Home”, we find Hemke performing bagpipes and this is really one of the best songs on the album, holding a massive chorus and vibe that is just energetic at times. Another key track is “Turn The Page” and this one is loaded with multiple layers of vocals and guitars and perhaps one of the best of the albums segments. The first “single” from the record “Fly” is also good as is “Another Stranger Me” which is one of the more straight forward Metal tracks. The band does an amazing job of Celtic display with “Skalds & Shadows” which finds the new drummer playing some flute as well. Congratulations to Blind Guardian for keeping the music and the ideas fresh and flowing. This release will take the die hard listener a couple of turns to find acceptance if they are at any point upset with the slight change, but it will be an easy to appreciate listen for the general fan of Power Metal music. Once again, Blind Guardian has raised the bar – who dares to challenge them? No takers huh? It figures.

Song Listing:
1. This Will Never End
2. Otherland
3. Turn The Page
4. Fly
5. Carry The Blessed Home
6. Another Stranger Me
7. Straight Through The Mirror
8. Lionheart
9. Skalds & Shadows
10. The Edge
11. The New Order

Official Web site: www.blind-guardian.com

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