An honest review on this album...(UPDATED)

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TraneDeracs
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An honest review on this album...(UPDATED)

#1 Post by TraneDeracs » 01 Sep 2010 18:35

Major, major edit -

Alright, after listening to this album since I posted this it has grown on me quite heavily. I think this was all originally from listening to the live album over and over again in anticipation of the release and giving "Majesty" a second or third play here or there.

I don't know why, but it just didn't hit me at first. I guess I was hearing more of the production than the music itself, I have no clue...but what I hear now is absolutely spellbinding. Easily their best record since Imaginations. The arrangement threw me off at first because I kept hearing the tone and composition of A Twist in the Myth...oh well, that's buried now.

Genius, brilliant, captivating, grand, spellbinding album.

PS - Valykries is good. Why does no one like it?





Old post:

Alright, so I might or might not (I don't know, I haven't been paying attention to the posts here as of late) be amongst others when I truly have mixed feelings about this album. Up until the release I was in full anticipation of it. I had heard "A Voice in the Dark" and all the other samples and to me it sounded as if it might be a return to full form, completed with the addition of the mechanics, production, and composition of the two previous albums.

Now I will mention this here and now: I didn't get into NatO or TitM until a few years afterwards. Otherland and This Will Never End are two of my favorite BG songs now due to the second to last here. So in all honesty I don't know: I might or I might not be able to get into it later on down the road and I might even see something I originally didn't hear or feel overall.

However at the present...I must confess the mixed feelings I have about this recent tale told by one of my favorite bands.

Ahem:
Is the music good? YES.
Is it well composed. YES.
Is it spectacular? YES.
Is it arranged with the nostaglia one gets when he drifts into a fantasy world, some forlorn territory? YES.
Do the intrumentals and operatic/choir/orchestral sounds add to the glory of this album? They are very, very good.

...but here is where, after driving down the road and having it blast in my speakers, that all the excitement comes to a dead halt for me.

Is it...metal? Sadley, both yes and no.

I'd give it an honest 7.5-7.9/10. Somewhere in that range or category. I am hearing more quantity over quality with this album. I know they departed their thrashy sound long ago and there is even an old dispute about whether or not Imaginations and Nightfall are sell-outs even among some metal circles, but in the end I cannot....truly get into this album. Hansi's voice is there, the arrangement, aspects about Blind Guardian, and all the rest are there.

....unfortunately, there is a complete and utter lack of heaviness on the guitars.

Am I the only one who has this feeling?
Last edited by TraneDeracs on 08 Sep 2010 20:02, edited 2 times in total.

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Gandalf de Grijze
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Re: An honest review on this album.

#2 Post by Gandalf de Grijze » 01 Sep 2010 18:44

I'm sure there are more people who feel like you.
But in all honestly I cannot understand the obsession that people have with it being "metal" enough or not.

I guess that for a more "raw" sound you should just go to as many concerts as possible. We all know that the sound is rather polished on cd, but that would make the difference between a studio and a live song just the bigger. I personally prefer it like this, a band playing a song exactly like it is on the cd is just boring for me.
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Re: An honest review on this album.

#3 Post by Led Guardian » 01 Sep 2010 20:10

Gandalf de Grijze wrote:I'm sure there are more people who feel like you.
But in all honestly I cannot understand the obsession that people have with it being "metal" enough or not.

I guess that for a more "raw" sound you should just go to as many concerts as possible. We all know that the sound is rather polished on cd, but that would make the difference between a studio and a live song just the bigger. I personally prefer it like this, a band playing a song exactly like it is on the cd is just boring for me.
Agreed. Does it matter if it's metal? I don't think it does. That said, I also think this album is metal. I hear metal drumming, and metal guitars, and metal vocals, seems metal to me. Metal is a lot of things now.

As to your comment about the guitars, they sound pretty heavy at parts to me. Thick, fat, and with a lot of power. Parts of Sacred Worlds, the fast songs, and parts of RoNR I would consider heavy. It doesn't have to be drop C or a 7 string to be heavy. So I can't share your particular feelings on that.
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Re: An honest review on this album.

#4 Post by Juk » 01 Sep 2010 20:40

Whats the big deal? You like the music but you have mixed feelings because maybe it is less havy than XPTO album? Cant you just enjoy the album in the way it is?

ATEoT is definetly less heavy than IFTOS and older albums, but IMHO is heavier than NiME. And is fantastic, period.

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Re: An honest review on this album.

#5 Post by Orodaran » 01 Sep 2010 20:49

Ehm......... if it's not metal, what it is then?
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

----------------------
BG news (if you're lazy to check the site) :: You're on Facebook? Look at my photos from concerts, travels and more :: Oh, and since you're at it, check my photos also on 500px

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Re: An honest review on this album.

#6 Post by Led Guardian » 01 Sep 2010 20:53

Orodaran wrote:Ehm......... if it's not metal, what it is then?
Free jazz. :P
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Re: An honest review on this album.

#7 Post by Andreas » 01 Sep 2010 20:54

Who cares which genre it is? If you don't like something because it could be labelled as being not metal, there's something wrong with you.

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Re: An honest review on this album.

#8 Post by OokieSpookie » 01 Sep 2010 20:59

The whole obsession with "is it metal" is mind boggling to me.
It sure as hell is not polka, and it sure gets my blood fired up.
Do you like it or do you not like it should be the only metric that matters, not someones little "metal" scale.
In my personal opinion anyway, Blind Guardian is one of those rare bands that has taken metal and evolved into something more and richer while too many other bands are so worried about making sure they fit into the "metal" box.

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Re: An honest review on this album.

#9 Post by TraneDeracs » 01 Sep 2010 22:58

It's not that there isn't any metal in it, it's just mainly the fact that the guitars don't "stand out" like they used to. Felt as if there were places where this riff could have been heavier, perhaps a different tone, but overall it just didn't have the SAME energy and feel that I've heard in previous albums.

Yes. Growth is a good thing. Unfortunately, for some reasons all metal bands that "grow" at some point end up loosing the vital pieces which they had in the beginning that made them unique. In Flames did it, Children of Bodom have done it, Iced Earth, Tiamat, Samael, Moonspell, The Gathering, etc etc.

In the end I'm basically saying the "metal aspect" of the band doesn't stick out as much as it used to considering this is the genre they are in. It just feels like there is a major component missing from the band.

No, I'm not saying this in the same vein as some Darkthrone fan who still wants Transylvanian Hunger Part II or another Soulside Journey...but I just want my heavy guitar riffs about fantasy worlds I'm so used to hearing from BG. If only the sound from the "demo sessions" was more prevalent then I could give this album a higher mark, but alas...the production dogs it down completely.

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Re: An honest review on this album.

#10 Post by Skrymir » 02 Sep 2010 00:01

I gave the A Voice In The Dark EP, A Night At The Opera and Somewhere Far Beyond to a friend of mine. Last Weekend, he actually asked me, if Blind Guardian don't have any fast metal songs. He likes to be the tough guy driving fast with his car while e.g. "Heeding The Call" or "Thunderstruck" are hammering trough the open windows (which I think is quite ridiculous, I don't do that).

First I didn't really understand, because Blind Guardian seem to be harder than that melodic HammerFall stuff, but then he turned on the CD Player and we listend to the Blind Guardian stuff while he was driving. I realised, that somehow Blind Guardian really just isn't THAT kind of metal. The mood changes a lot within one single song and the fast and agressive parts are equal to the slow "emotional" parts of a song. This just isn't the "cool" soundtrack of a (wannabe-)rebel, like the most metal stuff is. We mainly listend to SFB, so the new stuff isn't even the point, that's just how BG use to be.

I would say, that the part with Curse My Name, Valkyries, Control The Divine and War Of The Thrones is a bit too slow, there could be one more hard song in it. But I don't really see, why the rest would be any less heavy than Somewhere Far Beyond or Imaginations From The Other Side. The production is a lot "more metal" than the last 2 albums, I think.

To find an answer to the question, if Blind Guardian / At The Edge Of Time are metal after all, let someone, who doesn't listen to metal hear some representive songs from the album. Then ask him/her what music genre that is. The answer will be quite clear. ;)

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Re: An honest review on this album.

#11 Post by Led Guardian » 02 Sep 2010 00:45

Skrymir wrote:First I didn't really understand, because Blind Guardian seem to be harder than that melodic HammerFall stuff, but then he turned on the CD Player and we listend to the Blind Guardian stuff while he was driving. I realised, that somehow Blind Guardian really just isn't THAT kind of metal. The mood changes a lot within one single song and the fast and agressive parts are equal to the slow "emotional" parts of a song. This just isn't the "cool" soundtrack of a (wannabe-)rebel, like the most metal stuff is. We mainly listend to SFB, so the new stuff isn't even the point, that's just how BG use to be.
Really? BG is my favorite driving music probably. And I will admit to every once in a while having the windows down. :oops:
'Nowhere has this renunciation of man's transience been more joyous or uplifting than in the medium of airport carpets.'

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Re: An honest review on this album.

#12 Post by neverhood » 02 Sep 2010 09:58

Well, for me it was always hard to get into BG's albums. But, the thing about BG which I respect - each album is something *completely new*. It may sound better, it may sound worse, it may be hard, or light, but anyway it's just completely new hearing experience! That is music evolution, and it goes faster than any other band can get. That results in fans being unable to get enough of some particular music, because BG goes to another on the next album.
Now, the first time I listened to At the Edge of Time, I didn't like it A LOT. The song I hated most was... Wheel of Time.
It wasn't "good old BG", or even "bad new BG", it was something different and I did not know what to do with it. What happened later is almost obvious. Being unable to find BG in the sound, I listened the album not like it's BGs album, but like it's just some new music of an unknown band... and That Band rocks!! Later I finaly managed to link the new sound to the BG image in my mind, and it finaly became solid.
Anyway, new album is all about orchestra stuff, arragement perfection and unusual (for metal) sounds. When I listened to WoT's arrangement I was astonished! It's just mindblowing. Favorite song!
When you seek for "metal", you're actually seeking for "old BG"... that is useless. BG is not *THAT* kind of band...

As for the "emotional changes within the song", yes, that really distances modern BG's music from speed metal mainstream. Face it. The Sacred Worlds is a nice example. The only parts of this song with fast riffs are the ones with no vocal. That really did upset me, until I found other parts of this song to admire. That's BG for you.

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Re: An honest review on this album.

#13 Post by Orodaran » 02 Sep 2010 11:31

TraneDeracs wrote:It's not that there isn't any metal in it, it's just mainly the fact that the guitars don't "stand out" like they used to.
Ok, I can perfectly understand this point of view.

But one thing is to say this, and another thing is to say that the album isn't "metal" - because it's a total absurdity with no sense whatsover. This is an heavy metal album by an heavy metal band with metal arrangements, instruments, styles and vocals, then of course debate all you want about the heaviness of the sound or the symphonic elements and all of that, but to say that it's not metal it's nonsense.
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

----------------------
BG news (if you're lazy to check the site) :: You're on Facebook? Look at my photos from concerts, travels and more :: Oh, and since you're at it, check my photos also on 500px

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Re: An honest review on this album...(UPDATED)

#14 Post by TraneDeracs » 08 Sep 2010 20:03

Bump. I hereby apologize for not hearing it correctly the first time!

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Re: An honest review on this album...(UPDATED)

#15 Post by Led Guardian » 08 Sep 2010 20:53

TraneDeracs wrote:Bump. I hereby apologize for not hearing it correctly the first time!
You are forgiven. :mrgreen:
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Re: An honest review on this album...(UPDATED)

#16 Post by Gandalf de Grijze » 09 Sep 2010 00:19

but just this once
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Re: An honest review on this album...(UPDATED)

#17 Post by Webmaster » 09 Sep 2010 06:02

TraneDeracs wrote:PS - Valykries is good. Why does no one like it?
I LOVE Valkyries, one of the best songs on the CD IMHO.

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Re: An honest review on this album...(UPDATED)

#18 Post by Andreas » 09 Sep 2010 06:30

+1

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Re: An honest review on this album...(UPDATED)

#19 Post by Led Guardian » 09 Sep 2010 06:38

I'd love to love Valkyries more. I like the song, but I can't get into the second halves of the first 2 verses, and the 3rd verse. It loses me a bit in those places. Also "Follow the light" part should have been extended 2 more repetitions, with a different lyrical line. Am I right? Yes, yes I am.
'Nowhere has this renunciation of man's transience been more joyous or uplifting than in the medium of airport carpets.'

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