Album Reviews

Battalions of Fear - 1987

Blind Guardians first album is fast and raw, quite good, but not as good as for example "Imaginations From The Other Side", which is Guardian's best cd to date. So, is this cd worth buying then? If you are a big fan of Blind Guardian, I think you should, but if you havn't listened to them before, you should go for "Imaginations..." or "Nightfall In The Middle Earth". As I said, the music is fast and raw. It is also heavy, and well played. The vocals are not so good, a little bit "unsure" but, Hansi has a good voice anyway. One thing I dislike with this cd is the echo on the, which makes the drums and vocals to sound less good. The guitars are very good, really fast and heavy. The drums are also very fast and heavy, with lots of double beats. If you give "Battalions of Fear" a little time, you will find that this is a good cd after all.

Rating: 6.3

Lord Hypnos (
Follow The Blind - 1989

Blind Guardian released this cd, their second, in 1989. This is actually quite a good record, but the sound quality is poor, but then again, it's the early 90's. Hansi Kürsch does a good job with the vocals, but his bass playing can't be heard anywhere. The cover's cool, and some of the songs are hard to stop listening to. My personal favourites are: Song #2. Banish from Sanctuary, #4. Follow the Blind, #6. Fast to Madness and #8. Valhalla. I do NOT recommend the two last songs, Don't Break the Circle and Barbara Ann. These are really poor covers that doesn't fit Blind Guardian at all... These are not worth even to listen to a first time. But all in all, this record is good one, I warmly recommend it, even though the two last songs forced me to put a lower grade than i wanted...

Rating: 8.0

Thomas, (
Tales From The Twilight World - 1991

Blind Guardians third release, "Tales From The Twilight Hall", starts with a mighty song called "Traveler In Time". This song is fast and wonderful. Great guitar leads and drums, and of course great choirs, with other words, a true BG song! Almost all of the songs on "TftTW" are like "Traveler In Time", fast and good. But there are also some exceptions, like "Weird Dreams", which is a instrumental song, short, and quite strange actually. "Altar 4" is another strange song, but it is quite O.K. One of the best songs are the acoustical "Lord of the Rings", one of the best songs ever! It really amazes you!!! The guitar solos are absolutely stunning, they are really great. Worth mentioning is that Kai Hansen is doing an appearance on guitar and vocals. The sound quality is a bit better than on the first two albums (quite good). My opinion is that you must buy "Tales From The Twilight World" because it is really great. Great artwork by Andreas Marschall too.

Rating: 8.9

Lord Hypnos (

Imaginations From The Other Side - 1995

Imaginations From The Other Side is Blind Guardians best cd, and one of the absolute best power- metal cd's ever. The music is extremely good, very atmospheric, powerful and simply amazing. There are both fast songs and calm songs, as well as one acoustic song. Blind Guardians music is a mix between Edguy's and Gamma Ray's music, but more proffesional. There's also a great choir. The vocals are great, strong and powerful. The guitars are wonderful, especially the amazing leads and solos. The drummer, Thomas Stauch is one of the best drummers in the world, and it really shows on this cd. Imaginations From The Other Side is a masterpiece, and I havn't listened to any cd thats better than this...

Rating: 9.8

Lord Hypnos (
The Forgotten Tales - 1996

"The Forgotten Tales" isn't an ordinary album, it's more of a special compilation album. On this cd there are acoustic versions of songs such as "Bright Eyes", "Spread Your Wings", "Mordreds Song" and more. There are also covers of old classic songs from the 50's and 60's, for example "Surfin' USA" and "Mr Sandman". And there's more: orchestral versions of "Lord of the Rings", "Theatre of Pain", "Black Chamber" and a live version of "The Bards Song". "The Forgotten Tales" is a very good cd, with wonderful played music, plus great artwork and good looking booklet. One thing which is negative is that the songs can get a bit boring after a while, because almost every one of them are acoustical and so on. But anyway, "The Forgotten Tales" is a must have for the big Blind Guardian fan.

Rating: 7.8

Lord Hypnos (

Mirror Mirror - 1998

This single is good, but I think there are too few songs. Maybe there could have been another song from "Nightfall In The Middle Earth". To be honest, I excpected "Mirror Mirror" to be better.

The single features these four songs:

Mirror Mirror
a really mighty and fast song from "Nightfall In The Middle Earth".

And The Story Ends (live)
great song recorded live in Dusseldorf 22nd December 1995.

Imaginations From The Other Side (live)
a masterpiece song from a masterpiece album. Played at in Dusseldorf 22nd December 1995.

Beyond The Realms of Death
this is a Judas Priest cover. Quite good song.

Rating: 6.4

Lord Hypnos (

Nightfall In The Middle Earth - 1998

This is Blind Guardians best cd next to "Imaginations From The Other Side". This cd is like a mix between "Somewhere Far Beyond" and "Imaginations...". The cd is based on the book "The Silmarillions" by J.R.R Tolkien. Between the songs there are some tracks with atmospheric speechs, dialogues and such from the book. This makes the cd very deep, and amazing. There are also lots of choirs, almost to much I think. The music is both fast and powerful AND calm and slow. One think I dont like is that there's to many sounds in the backgrounds in the songs, they are disturbing. The songs are very well played and the lyrics are great. Hansi's vocals are wonderful, but they are not as heavy and powerful as on "Imaginations...". The guitars are very melodic and so f*ing great! The solos are out of this world :) The drums are incredible, Stauch is very proffesional! "Thorn" is a great song which shows Blind Guardians ability of creating atmospheric intros, this is one of the best songs on the cd. Other great songs are the wonderful "Nightfall", the fast and heavy "The Curse of Feanor" and the mighty "Mirror Mirror" and of course "When Sorrow Sang". This cd is a must have!

Rating: 9.2

Lord Hypnos (

Virgin CD 87885-2
Choice Tracks-Banish From Sanctuary, Valhalla, Hall of The King.

This is the first Blind Guardian CD I purchased. At first, I didn't know what to think about these German speedsters. The music was incredible, however I had a few reservations about Hansi's vocals. However, the more I listened to this CD, the more I appreciated his throaty vocals meshing with the incredible guitars and drums. Now Blind Guardian are absolutely one of the best metal bands on the face of the earth, period. The CD opens up with a monk chant on Inquisition, which gives way to the classic "Banish from Sanctuary." From there on, the CD carries on at breakneck speed. "Beyond the Ice" is a great instrumental, and "Valhalla" guests Kai Hansen on guitar and vocals. The final song on the CD is a Beach Boys cover-"Barbara Ann" which sounds way better than the original of course! Anyways, a great CD, not as refined as their later work, but a great precursor for things to come...


Virgin 87789-2
Choice Tracks-Traveler in Time, Lost in the Twilight Hall, The Last Candle

I have one simple word to describe this CD...MASTERPIECE! This is one of the absolute best CD's I have ever heard in my life! The CD gets off to an incredible start with "Traveler in Time" and never looks back. The band really improved their chorus work on this CD over Follow the Blind. Very well produced as well. The fantasy themes continue with songs such as "Welcome to Dying", "Lord of the Rings", and "Lost in the Twilight Hall". Sci-fi fans are treated to the songs "Traveler in Time" (about the great book Dune) and the slightly weaker "Altair 4". A song called "Tommyknockers" is also featured. The CD closes on a great live recording of "Run for the Night". If you are purchasing your first power metal CD, make it this one! You won't be disappointed!


Virgin 86831-2
Choice Tracks-Time What is Time, The Bard's Song-In the Forest, Somewhere Far Beyond

Another excellent outing from Blind Guardian. This CD is full of both straight ahead fast songs(Time What is Time, Ashes To Ashes), and some slower songs(the classic "The Bard's Song-In the Forest" which is an incredible acoustic song, and its twin "The Bards Song-The Hobbit", the same music done with regular instruments with different lyrics). The whole CD is great, even a very good cover of Queen's "Spread Your Wings" appears(apparently the band was dissatisfied with it for some reason though...) The only gripe I have is that they include two versions of "Theatre of Pain" which I don't think is a standout song to begin with. But besides that, this CD is another amazing outing by Blind Guardian.


Virgin 840337-2
Choice Tracks-The Script for My Requiem, I'm Alive, Another Holy War.

Okay, first I'll get this out of the way-the production/mix on this CD stinks! It sounds very muddy, Flemming Rasmussen did a horrid job on this! Kalle Trapp, where are you? Anyways, this CD also features one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen! Anyways, this is another great Blind Guardian outing, 9 songs of powerful. melodic metal, played in Blind Guardian's unique style. The band seems to experiment a bit more with time changes in some of the songs, with success of course! A great addition to any metalhead's collection! You won't be disappointed with the music!


Virgin 845899-2
Choice Tracks-Nightfall, When Sorrow Sang, Time Stands Still(At The Iron Hill).

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Silmarillion, Blind Guardian have created yet another masterpiece in Nightfall In Middle Earth. Gone is the muddy production which plagued Imaginations From The Other Side, instead replaced by 22 songs of glorious, epic narrations mixed with fabulous songs of power as only Blind Guardian can create. Many of the songs have short narrative lead-ins, which only helps to tell Tolkien's glorious tale. The songs themselves range from sheer epic beauty("Nightfall", which is very reminiscent of "The Hobbit" songs Blind Guardian previously recorded), fast powerful songs reminiscent of their earlier work("When Sorrow Sang" could have easily been on Tales From The Twilight World), and the pure power of songs like "Mirror Mirror" , the huge chorus of "Time Stands Still(At The Iron Hill)" and the equally excellent "Into The Storm", complete with the giant sounding choruses Blind Guardian have become known for. Easily one of the band's finest works to date, this CD is a complex mixture of various types of songs, and with a much better production than their last outing, Blind Guardian have created a disc which will certainly keep fans of the band happy until their next album. An absolute masterpiece.

Nightfall in Middle-Earth
from Metal Hammer Greece 5/98 (thanks to Ares Terzopoulos!)

1) There's been a very long time since the last time I heard a power metal album that touched me so much as "Nightfall In Middle-Earth". The new album from Blind Guardian has everything that anyone having heard their three previous full releases would expect from the, justly called, fantasy metallers, and much more. It has the passion that characterizes Hansi Kursch's voice, which makes every lyric burst from emotion. It has the familiar outstanding riffs that bind ideally with the lyrics. Blind Guardian have much progressed musically (especially the vocals and drums are much better than in the past) and they've followed the direction taken from "Somewhere Far Beyond" and afterwards, increasing the variety of the songs and enriching the orchestrations. "Nightfall In Middle-Earth" has fully assimilated influences from the 70's (immediately and through the 80's, i.e. Queensryche, Savatage), folk influences (Hansi claims influence from Jethro Tull) and all these now create the very special character of the band. We are dealing with music that is epical to the highest degree, literally, concerning the lyrics and metaphorically, concerning the kind of melodies one describes as epical.
2) The relationship between the music and the listener is one that can take many forms. There is music that expresses the feelings and the thoughts of the listener. There is music that expresses other people, giving the listener the means to understand them. There also exists music that creates other worlds, seen from the very eyes of the beings therein. Once that is achieved, the listener finds himself living in other worlds, perhaps feeling as their co-creator. What more could one ask from art?

9½ ('cause the next will be even better)

Orestis Raptis

Nightfall in Middle-Earth
from EMP catalogue 2/98 (thanks to Lars Tiede!)

Just wonder about Blind Guardian: How manages the band to increase their qualities continuously? Insiders were after the release of "Imaginations From The Other Side" in agreement that this album would set the new standards for the next years. They failed, because "Nightfall In Middle Earth" accomplishes the impossible and beats IFTOS by far. NIME is no normal music album, it is fast to a "radio play". "Nightfall In Middle Earth" takes us into a medieval-phantastic time, in a world created by J.R.R. Tolkien and his book "The Silmarillion". Spoken passages and atmospheric intros make the CD, which is over 70 minutes long, to a trip into another world. But "Nightfall In Middle Earth" needn't be heard at a row. Every song has its own power, no song which doesn't get at least the predicate "highest level". Nevertheless, the really irresistible magic the album develops only as a whole, as a complete tale. So take your time hearing this album! "Nightfall In Middle Earth" beats all the expectations and the artists even beat themselves. This album could get such an importance for Heavy Metal music like "Sgt. Pepper" (by the Beatles) for Rock and Pop music.

(Original by Olaf Plotke)

Imaginations From The Other Side
from Artifact

I have always marvelled Blind Guardian's persistence in creating medieval- fantasy concepts for their albums. This album is no different. It has an excellent cover to start off with and, hey, I heard that! I know reviews are not supposed to be based on album covers, but then again, a good cover reflects an artist's impression of the album, is it not? It aids in the conjuration of fantasies which are pretty integral with the appreciation of music in general. Anyhow, back to the review!
Heavy, pounding drums and keyboards commenced the album with an ominous feel. The gradual buildup of guitars hinted grandeur and I found myself turning blue from holding my breath. The tension broke and the vocals eased in. Coarse and assertive, Hansi held his voice well. What hit me was the excitement* which the song, "Imaginations From The Other Side", displayed. It leaves painful anticipation of what was to come. One important attribute to a memorable song.
"A Past And Future Secret" would be my ideal medieval-style ballad. I found the strumming and picking of the acoustic guitars extremely soothing, almost trance-like. The anguished feel of this song brought tears (no kiddin!). Mixed with percussion, this song treads on glorious paths.
The rest of the songs are generally well-structured and polished. I particularly enjoyed the mystical journey which the band took me, with their music.

Power Metal Chart Rating : 9.0

* Songs which are able to control and shape the moods they create, in my opinion, are good songs. It is pretty much like a story-telling session. A bad story, is a story with bits and pieces left hanging, unaccounted for. On the other hand, a good story is one which ties everything up nicely. The way we understand why things are written the way they are, determines the degree of excitement they generate.

Concert Reviews

Trinec, Czech Republic - 27th June 1998
oncert review of BG - Trinec, Czech Republic, 27.06.1998 (Michal Gelbic, webmaster) Finally, we waited to see them. Exactly on June the 27 BLIND GUARDIAN introduced themselves to the Czech fans on the Czech-Moravian-Silesian lands (I don't wonna do injustice anybody of region patriots) for the first time . Let's tell the truth - it took a long time. André claimed that BLIND GUARDIAN couldn't appear in our country formerly becouse the didn't obtain any offer but as I know there was an endevour from the side of fanclub Circle Of The Czech Bards.
I started with a preparation for the concert exactly 24 hours before the show. A stencil drawing, its neverending cutting was concluded with a final spraying and a sheet with a notice "Fans around Czech internet page of BLIND GUARDIAN" saw the world. I'd like to thank to my girlfriend once more. Thanks to her help I slept that night quite quietly. Whole day I was on thorns. Finally at 5 PM, after the precise text repeating, I jumped into my car and went towards Tøinec ironworks. I reached a place after an hour wandering. What I saw surpassed all my expectation. Dirt, trash, mud - total dismay (sorry for my tender-heart). But as I later gathered it was a typical and inevitable signs for summer festival atmosphere. I decided to endure and with unremitting grinding: "You wanna see them? So don't chat and go!" I reached the gates of Borek stadium and after successful disposal of all enter affairs I broke into its area. It took me an hour to find out my friend. That first success was changed with endless sorrow. I missed a meeting with a big André at damned 15 minutes! I gave ear to my friends and sometimes I shed a tear...
Six o'clock, seven, eight... We could hear a few songs from "Olympic" (Czech bigbeat band) mixed with an unpleasant shower which we could take as an omen of a true storm timed for 11 PM. And while I dolefully held the fence in a front line and psychicly prepare myself for the BLIND GUARDIAN, I missed another meeting, this time with Thomen. Oh dear, at that moment I started to hope that the show won't be canceled from any reason. And that was the way the show went untill guys from "Buty" finally vacated the stage and BG's technicians started to scromble on it.
All fans were totally fervent and expected quick professional apparatus' preparation. But reality was about something else - from a blitzaction was more than 30 minutes. Ultimately the scene made dark and we could hear well-known sounds from the frantic battle "War of Wrath". That's the fact that it was something like that in our first lines. No sooner a dark Morgoth brought his monologue to an end than our germanic boys ran out on the scene and grubbed the strings. With such a madness that we were thrown right "Into The Storm". After the song Hansi started to rave about a beauty of our country (Can we consider sorrounding ironworks as a representative sample of our country?) and meet us. Than a song "Lost In The Twilight Hall" followed, and we felt a first impact to our vocal chords. Afterwards the Krefeld bards were rewarded with laudatory choir "guardian, guardian" and it pleased them very much. Maybe they didn't expect so much fans in Trinec. Than following songs sounded - "Ashes To Ashes", "Valhalla", "Nightfall" and "Bard's song - In The Forest" when we gave out a maximum from our vocal chords. When we cought a breath, GUARDIANs started with another flash song - "Imaginations from The Other Side". Our heads started to move up and down, up and down; just the speed of the motion was variable and depended on the beat of a sigle parts of the song. Then GUARDIANs left the stage but everybody knew that we would continue. And it happened in this way. The first encore was a ballad "And The Story Ends", immediatelly aftewards followed by the novelty "Mirror Mirror". The end of the show was provided with rock-n-roll classic "Barbara Ann". At that moment was clear, that short time which was defined for BLIND GUARDIAN, passed. Hansi promised that they would come next year, than GUARDIANs turn back and the show was over.
What shall I say? The Krefeld bards convinced that they are not unknown in the Czech Republic and that they have to count with us for the future. I wanna thank to all fans who managed to create a splendid atmosphere and prepare a great suprise for the band. Those who didn't visit a festival should really lament.

by Michal Gelbic
Blind Guardian (Nevermore – Rockhaus)
Wien, Austria - 9th May 1995

So, Blind Guardian are out on tour, as I learned from Rock Hard (Czech magazines are incompetent in supplying tour dates) and there’s no stopover in Czech Republic (Czech organisers are incompetent in supplying good band’s concerts - or should I say impotent?) Be it as it may, Blind Guardian are a must see band for me, thus, I decided to go to Wien, cost it what it may. My sister will pay for this, anyway, as Blind Guardian are a must see band for her even more than for me ...

Ok, Wednesday morning we set out on a trip, first trying to hitchhike to cut on expenses as much as possible, still, we had to use the comfort of railway transport eventually. Arriving at Wien (Yes, I should perhaps translate it to Vienna, aber ich glaube das ihr, Menschen, Deutsch verstehen kannt...) shortly after noon, having enough time to look around Prater, the City and last but definitely not least find out the location of the venue.

There were few maniacs around, short time before the beginning of the show though it was, but the club filled right on time. I was surprised (positively) by the behaviour of the Austrian fans; they appear somehow much better behaved than those in Czech Republic. Due to the respect fans here show for each other, we had no problem assuming the position right in the first row (naturally, we’d been waiting there for quite a time) and await there anxiously the first band of the evening.

Holding “Into the Mirror Black“ in nearly a sacred reverence, as I do, I naturally became a fan of the new effort of ex-Sanctuary members, although I don’t find their debut as great as the aforementioned release. Lights went out and the long haired quintet (men, they draft new guitarist according to the length of hair or do all folks in Seattle look so? I doubt, haha ...) enters the stage. they start with two tracks from the self-titled debut (sorry, I haven’t grasped the tiles yet). Then Warrel (looking a bit ... well, quite a bit ... under the influence) greets the audience and asks who remembers their last European tour with Fates Warning.

Yes, I do, they played in Slovakia, but nobody bothered to make any promotion, so I learned only when it was too late (as usual). But now I expect something from the old times, once Warrel started to speak about them. “We never know what the future holds“, exclaims he and the “Future Tense“ is on. Then a couple of new songs, I remember the “Sanity Assassin“ and there was also a brand new one - “We have never played this before so you’re the first fans to ever hear it“, explains Warrel.

He also kindly reminds us of Lenny, “who stayed at home in Seattle trying to play grunge“, frowning at the end, and then he starts his lively performance again, the rest of the band supporting him by waving their long hairs, bassist Jim being like a wild animal, too. Another old track, dedicated to Seattle city police, as we learn, entitled “Taste Revenge“ and older one still - “Battle Angels“ - to close the fine set. I expected one more encore, but the crow starts shouting “Guardian, Guardian“, and the stage is being prepared for the bards from Krefeld already.

It’s no surprise that the “Inquisition“ intro is what we hear (and sing along) first, but the entering riff is not “Sanctuary“ ... no, it’s “Welcome to Dying“. Andre dressed in Megadeth t-shirt smiles at the audience, Hansi, dressed in team colours, likewise. Oh, I don’t think he should bother with singing at all, the crowd manages very well each single line of the text. And it’s not that many people, hardly more than 500, I should guess, but it’s just alright for the place.

Hansi thanks, greets the public, introduces the band and their hometown - in German, leider, also ich verstehe sehr schlecht, although I’m trained from asking the way all afternoon. “Journey through the Dark“ and then a new one, “Born in a Mourning Hall“, the audience is very well acquainted with already. The sound is very good and way heavier than on the records. Well, the keyboards become lost, but it improves towards the end. The spirits is, of course, high.

The acoustic guitars are brought and “Now we all know the bards and their songs ...“ The rest is left on ourselves, and we manage without problems. I wonder how Mr. Tolkien feels about this, I believe he watches from the other side with a smile on his face. Yes, and the atmosphere in the club is fantastic!!! Some more tracks - “The Quest for Tanelorn“, “Imaginations from the Other Side“ and time for acoustic one again. The new single about “The Past and Future Secret“ is obviously the song.

And back to some heavy stuff, “Time What Is Time“ - I expected keyboard part afterwards, like on the live album, but I was disappointed at this point, then the killer speed track off the new release “I’m Alive“ - yeah, it does sound heavy, like from the “Follow the Blind“ album, I love it. Hansi makes some jokes in between the songs which fail to get. (I gotta learn German, I gotta learn German, ...) I don’t remember how the songs exactly succeeded, but there were those from the “Tales“ - “Goodbye My Friend” and “Traveller in Time“ with a mighty chorus of fans for an intro, “Valhalla“ being the only track from my beloved “Follow the Blind“ album, once “Banish from Sanctuary“ was omitted at the beginning, “And the Story Ends“.

I mean, the story does not end at all, the fans fill the room with a mighty cry for more, and this is obviously what the band returns with. “Lost in the Twilight Hall“ and “Somewhere Far Beyond“ - hell, you could write a story using their song titles, couldn’t you? During the latter, Hansi exchanges the lyrics for the first and second verses, realising it later as his eyes turned upside reveal - I did not notice the reversed lyrics, but my sister watched and listened very carefully, so she informed me about each detail I would miss (plus, I guess she can recite their lyrics backwards, too). What I did not miss was the musicians wild running about the stage during the lead in this song.

Well then. Could you think Blind Guardian’s show ends like that? Haha, then you know little about them! “Ba ba ba ...“ Well, Hansi, you don’t have to teach us the lyrics, do you? And so we all sing along the final song, which is enriched by lots of solo parts here, even a rock’n’roll keyboard solo is included The the light is turned on and the fans leave one great experience richer.

Somehow, the people as if disappeared, as there was soon clear about the place. And we set out on out journey through the dark on the quest for Wien Nord looking at the posters saying Blind Guardian Nevermore ... And the story ends.

The story was written in English by W. Martin Brnovjak.
Thanks to
Circle Of The Czech Bards official Czech fanclub of Blind Guardian.