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Blind Guardian’s Debut “Battalions Of Fear” Hits 30 Years (1988-2018)

Before I get started on this latest album anniversary or “music milestone” as we’ve been apt to refer to them, I must admit that way back in the days of 1988, I was NOT listening to the band Blind Guardian at all and the same applies for a lot of bands from this region of the world. We are still going to raise a goblet of our favorite drink in honor of the birthday of their debut album “Battalions Of Fear” which came out care of No Remorse Records on this very day thirty years ago. Fans of Blind Guardian who might have come on board over the last dozen years or so ago love them for the polished and exciting Power Metal that they are true masters of. Given my lack of overall background on the debut itself, I’ll be deferring readers to the official Wikipedia entry at the close

Having referenced the bands acumen as Power Metal leaders, it might surprise some of you to learn that this was not at all how the band started out. When you begin to give a listen to “Battalions Of Fear” you find instead a fast-paced, more Speed Metal meets Thrash Metal type of release. In 1988 I can honestly say that Blind Guardian had more in common with the likes of Metallica and Exodus or even Anvil in terms of how the drumming and frenzied riffs were being laid down. It was interesting to me for sure because in 1988 I was really focused on more of the US Metal, even though I did have a few bands from that side of the pond that I enjoyed quite a bit. “Majesty” rips you a new one while “Guardian Of The Blind” has some awesome layers to it and drumming that made me bang my head while I was composing this toast. Believe me that is not easy to do when you are trying to type. “Trial By The Archon” reminded me a lot of the vibe that early Iron Maiden had to them and perhaps this short instrumental number was designed to be an homage of the Brits. “Wizard’s Crown” continues the same vibe and there is a strong cohesion to the full release. The members of the band for the debut are of course singer Hansi Kursch who was also on bass at the time. Andre Olbrich was on lead guitar and Marcus Siepen on rhythm while Thomas “Thomen” Stauch played drums
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“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.
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