Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

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Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#1 Post by Edain » 22 Jun 2010 20:56

The (traditionally Guardian-friendly) German Rock Hard-magazine published an article about "At the edge of time" - here's a rough translation:

[quote]Blind Guardian - Death to the King!

While elsewhere production-budgets are (easily audible) cut drastically, Blind Guardian surpass themselves again on their new CD when it comes to love of details, perfectionism and unconditional love for music.

Every four years Fantasy Metal-gourmets can look forward to a new album of the most innovative, most ambitious and compositional best band of the genre. Every four years Blind Guardian invite journalists to their Twilight Hall-studios in Grefrath-Oedt to demonstrate their brand new songs. And every four years after the CDs first spin it's easy to see that the quartet has become even better and left the competitors miles behind.

In the year 2010 the band's creative output hasn't declined a bit. On "At the Edge of time" Blind Guardian not only convince with hard guitar sounds and (not using any samples) inartificially grooving drums but manage also to bringing back their Speed/Thrash-roots and making use of an orchestra in a way that wasn't seen before in the field of Metal.

This progression is our agenda says singer Hansi Kürsch. We've never had verse/bridge/chorus-schemes and we'll never have. We need freedom to express ourselves. This time the main focus lies on the interaction between band and orchestra and also the Thrash-parts we've had up to the nineties have come to the fore. Furthermore we sound a little more catch than before, although the songs haven't become simpler.

The songs:

- "At the edge of time" begins with the nine-minute Sacred Worlds, a new edition of the computer game's song "Sacred", which easily surpasses it's precursor. The hyperbombastical ( :mrgreen: ) orchestral passages have been extended massively - not with keyboards but with the 90-headed Prager Sinfonieorchester, which gives the song a strong soundtrack-vibe. Hans Zimmer and Tschaikowski meet hard-hitting, raw riffs - seldom before have Metal and Classic complemented each other that good.
We're composing the orchestra's arrangements always during the songwriting-phase and dictate the orchestra every single note. Hansi explains. That's why the elements flow together so smoothly.
Since the seventies there have been Rockbands who worked with orchestras
guitarist André Olbrich explains. I don't want to say that what they did back then was bad, but most of these bands first wrote their songs and got an orchestra aside afterwards which just accompanied the finished songs. Our way of composing opens completely other ways.

- With Tanelorn (into the void which is neither textually nor musically a tribute to the track "The Quest for Tanelorn" Blind Guardian return - many old fans will be pleased - to their thrashy heaviness of the "Imaginations"-era. Hard as well as complex riffs, Andrés distinctive leads and Frederiks pounding doublebase-drumming lead to an epic chorus and although the song seems - compared to the last two albums - unadorned: in these six minutes happens more than on 99 % of other Metal-bands' outputs.
Responsible for these fast, hard parts is probably the fact that we started other than before directly after the tour with the songwriting. André tries to explain. We've still had that live-feeling back in mind, this energy flowing from the fans.

- Road of no release starts with a slow piano intro and ends up as a classy, progressive midtempo-epic which is topped by a terrific chorus. This one's a real hybrid. Hansi explains. It's got everything, this classically sounding, Savatage-like intro is followed by a journey through the whole nineties' Metal. That wasn't intentional, the song just grew part by part.

- Next one's harder and straighter. The guitars dominate in the - despite many hidden tricks - quite straightforward hit Ride into obsession which again reminds of the mid-90s-phase of the band, deals textually with Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" and stands out beside awesome choirs with very versatile lead-vocals.

- Folk-guitars and atmospheric flutes played by Fred open the three-four-timed irish-sounding bombast-ballad Curse my name. By violins and marching drums we are drawn into a soundtrack-like colourful song. Hansi explains: Due to it's darker mood it's sort of unusual on the album. It's based on "The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates", a political writing by John Milton where he legitimates the killing of a king who didn't carry out his duties.

- Rain, thunder and acoustic guitars are the start of Valkyries surprising with rockish chord progressions which just prepare the ground for the brilliant, massive chorus one could enjoy for hours. Great breaks, cunning varied midtempo-riffing and omnipresent excellent melody-lines bring Nightfall in Middle-earth back to mind.

- In Control the divine we get to hear creative vocal lines above a hard-hitting headbanger's riffing. The typical warm Blind Guardian-grandeur and a bit of Queen-glamour might even convince sceptical "Somewhere far beyond"-purists.

- Although War of Thrones begins with a distinctive piano-theme and gorgeous strings the three-four-timed hymn-like ballad is mainly carried by Hansi's expressive voice which is peaked by an incredibly beautiful goosebump-chorus.
This time we mixed my vocals rather unadorned to emphasize them a bit. Hansi explains. Furthermore I'm singing a bit lower than on A Night at the Opera and A Twist in the Myth, which firstly sounds better and secondly allows me to sing a broader spectrum.

- Next one's a neck-breaker. The brutal, partially in Slayer-dimensions advancing speed-song A Voice in the Dark comes up with heavy staccato guitar-explosions and a slightly slower bridge which raises the excitement for the upcoming chorus in unknown heights. It's not possible to perform Fantasy Metal any better than on this single-output.

- Or is it possible. The closing The wheel will turn [did the journalist misunderstand the title? edain] brings perfection to the interaction of band and orchestra and surpasses every single classic-experiment in the field of traditional Metal. Oriental strings and rhythms, a progressive song-scheme reminding of And then there was Silence, a church's choir and an explosion of epicness which almost shatters the studio's speakers teleport the listener into a thrilling fantasy movie.
The song was - like And then there was silence - originally written for the orchestral project, we're still working on. But certain elements just made it more appropriate for a regular Blind Guardian-album. Even during production we still worked a lot on this one, eg worked out the oriental influences." Hansi explains.

From a certain point in the songwriting-period on we started to see the album as a whole. André summarizes the ten songs. Of course there will be for every single track some people who prefer it over another, but this time it was important for us that the CD can be listened enjoyable from the beginning to the end. "A Night at the Opera" was awesome too, but in retrospective I have to say that it was pretty exhausting. There happend so much on the limit, but all the time full throttle is a little too much. This time we managed a good balance between hard and calm parts - we've never before had such a perfect, round album.

On the upcoming tour there'll be three or four new songs, among them Tanelorn (into the void) and hopefully the perfect The wheel will turn, where the band is still trying to find out, whether it's possible to be done live. (Michael Rensen)
Last edited by Edain on 22 Jun 2010 20:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#2 Post by Arwen Arianna » 22 Jun 2010 20:57

guess what I just bought and read? :twisted: damn, it's mean to tease us like that.. but *someone* was very enthusiastic there O.o I don't think I ever read a review quite like this one..
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Re: Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#3 Post by t.a.j. » 22 Jun 2010 21:12

Did you run this through Babelfish? It's hardly comprehensible at times.
They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway.
They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...

Still the goddamn Batman.

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Re: Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#4 Post by Bender B. Rodriguez » 22 Jun 2010 21:14

t.a.j. wrote:Did you run this through Babelfish? It's hardly comprehensible at times.
i'm having the time of my life reading it LOL
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Re: Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#5 Post by Led Guardian » 22 Jun 2010 21:16

Yeah, they really liked it. Although so far, none of the reviews we've seen have had anything negative to say. Man, I'm excited.
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Re: Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#6 Post by Edain » 22 Jun 2010 21:46

Lol, as I said a rough translation, I had little time. Though I'm usually not bad when it comes to the English language. :mrgreen: Another problem was the vast amount of very colourful adjectives to describe the songs and sounds. Not easy for someone whose mother tongue isn't English. :mrgreen:
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Re: Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#7 Post by Zecharas » 22 Jun 2010 21:59

For some reason I really really want to hear Valkyries :D And obviously all the others, but I have been waiting for a Norse mythology-themed song since Valhalla!
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Re: Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#8 Post by Maglor's Fate » 22 Jun 2010 22:40

Zecharas wrote:I have been waiting for a Norse mythology-themed song since Valhalla!
What about skalds and shadows? :wink:

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Re: Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#9 Post by bestpike » 22 Jun 2010 23:31

Those fucking reviews make the anticipation even greater. Which can't be bad :D
Now I'm riding through the air
Going to where no one dares
On the way I cross the line forevermore.
For once in life, I do not care
Nothing matters, now I dare
On the ride I'll cross the line
Forever to be free

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Re: Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#10 Post by somnia » 23 Jun 2010 01:58

power progressive metal: polimat
game music and soundtrack: dogac yavuz

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Re: Listening-session in Rock Hard-magazine

#11 Post by Andreas » 23 Jun 2010 16:59

Nothing wrong with the translation, perfectly understandable. Thanks :D

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