Blind Guardian- Power Metal at Its Most Epic

From their epic storytelling lyrics, Blind Guardian are often referred to as The Bards.
From their epic storytelling lyrics, Blind Guardian are often referred to as The Bards.

Sadly Sings Destiny from A Night At The Opera

 

            Blind Guardian is a band that was formed by its two principle members: Hansi Kursch and Andre Olbrich in Kremfeld, Germany in the summer of 1984. They modeled their own style of music on contemporary German bands such as Running Wild, Rage, and Helloween.

            They produced several LPs in their formative years with the aid of rhythm guitarist Markus Dork and drummer Thomen Stauch. Their work was primarily in the speed metal genre, which, though of high quality, was inherently uninspired, drawing from their contemporaries rather than their own creative capacity. Nevertheless, Hansi’s vocals have continued to be arguably among the best in heavy metal. The high baritone’s voice covers a minimum of four octaves. Citing Freddy Mercury as his idol, Hansi makes frequent use of doubletracking his own voice numerous times in the same song so that it seems a choir is singing rather than just a single man. This was used to the most astonishing capacity in their 2002 album “A Night at the Opera”, the title of which is a tribute to the famous album by Queen.

            Since then Hansi has reduced his doubletracking as, while it’s absolutely incredible on their albums, it makes certain songs impossible to play live.

From The Video Game Sacred 2

 

Blind Guardian first manifested the “epic” power metal sound for which they are known in the 1998 album “Nightfall on Middle Earth”. As many may guess, the name and subject of the album is a tribute to the J.R.R. Tolkien novel “The Silmarillion”. Not coincidentally, it was when producing this album that the band swapped out their rhythm guitarist and drummer with Marcus Siepen and Frederick Emke respectively.

            The concept for the groundbreaking album, which utilized varied lyrical stanzas, choir sound effects, as well as a crisp lilting style of guitar work which is their stock-in-trade, was developed by the lead guitarist, Andre Olbrich, who is a fan of epics, legends, and any fantasy fiction pertaining to these things.

            After the album success, the band realized they were onto something and have since focused on subjects close to their hearts. For instance, the album “A Night at The Opera”, though not entirely focused on Jesus Christ, had a distinct theme of showing the relationship between mortal man and the divine. This reflects Hansi’s inherent interest and respect for religion. Likewise two collaborations between Hansi and Jon Schaffer, the guitarist and founder of the progressive heavy metal band, Iced Earth, have become extremely popular.

            This collaborative band, entitled Demons & Wizards has since produced two albums. The first self-titled album included songs that were written in tribute to the works of H.G. Wells, Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, and their own personal experiences of loss. Perhaps the most jarring of which is the song “Fiddler on the Green”, in which Hansi recounts a fatal car accident he bore witness to. The second album “Touched by The Crimson King” was written in tribute to The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King.

            At present Blind Guardian has also done music for a video game, Sacred 2, and is currently working on a symphonic album which they hope to produce in late 2010.

From A Twist In The Myth

Comments 5 comments

Joy At Home profile image

Joy At Home 7 years ago from United States

Your third video says it has "invalid parameters"...whatever that means. Anyhow, it won't play. Otherwise this is a great hub...I feel like I've heard a lot of them, but I can't place where. Anyway, it brings back (mostly good) memories.


ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 7 years ago

Oooh... Some of the artwork in these videos is a bit shivery. That bottom picture reminds me of the poem "Babes in the Wood", and when I peeked into some of the suggested songs after "Sacred", "Otherland" made me feel like I'd tripped over the threshold into some dream I'd had but hadn't remembered. Or maybe some place I'd been wandering, like a subconscious forest, and didn't know it.

Now I'll have to go find out who the artist of those pictures is, so I can go track down some of his other work.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

I'm loving this group. Thank you for the introduction!


s2kthecreed profile image

s2kthecreed 7 years ago from State College PA

Blind Guardian is awesome albeit cheesey at times, but whats power metal without cheese? Nice spread the word my friend. Listening to A Twist In Myth...thanks great memories.


TheHeavyReview profile image

TheHeavyReview 4 years ago

Blind Guardian is definitely a great band. I love all of their work up to and including "A Night at the Opera". "Valhalla" is my favorite of their songs, it's speed/power metal at its best.

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    Fiddler on the Green, From Demons & Wizards

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