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Review of the Album "a Night at the Opera" by German Power Metal Band Blind Guardian

Updated on August 19, 2020
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Some Heavy Metal Fans May Not Like This Album But it Is Still Good

German power metal band Blind Guardian has been able to make audiences become very pleased with the quality of their music over the years. Their 2002 album called “A Night At the Opera” may however leave some of their fans wondering what is going on or if these guys are that same band. I am under the impression that Blind Guardian has always been pretty solid. However, this 2002 album is different than what we have expected from these guys. Sometimes, though, when a band changes their style it can end up being detrimental but for Blind Guardian, musically they did not get so low that they flopped. Rather, they reinvented themselves musically when they changed their style of play. Furthermore, our opinions of certain albums can change though not always. With that stated, we will also update this review with another analysis of one of the songs called “The Soulforged.”

The Album Cover For A Night At the Opera

The album cover shows the conductor trying to conduct the musical while the trolls and other creatures are standing in the audience. Hansi Kursch is not known as an operatic vocalist but he is still pretty good.
The album cover shows the conductor trying to conduct the musical while the trolls and other creatures are standing in the audience. Hansi Kursch is not known as an operatic vocalist but he is still pretty good. | Source

The Song Precious Jerusalem Sets a Good Tone For the Album

From the first song called Precious Jerusalem, we notice a very harmonic nature in the vocals which is vastly different than what we’ve seen from Hansi Kursch and the band. The song is about a person that has discovered his identity. He knows who he now is even after he has fallen (failed) so many times. He wanders from the desert and is on his way to Jerusalem.

A Night at the Opera Is Similar to Nightfall In Middle Earth

The melodies and solo parts are similar to Nightfall in Middle Earth which is a very good concept album. So if you are hopeless and listening to this album, just know that love conquers everything and heals us.

How Is the Song Called Battlefield?

The next song called Battlefield lyrically is similar to so many songs in spite of the harmonic vocals. The same, generic lyrics exist about a warrior going out to battle either remains on the battlefield either victorious or he dies and has to be honored as a brave warrior.

The Soulforged Another Weak Song? This Was How the Song Felt at the First Analysis

The Soulforged is a song about someone describing that as he dies, his soul will rise and there is most probably something else beyond that door that he will pass through. The song tries to be melodic but the slowed down speed just makes it less than stellar. This album does not have inspiring songs such as Nightfall in Middle Earth. That album had great songs such as Nightfall and Mirror, Mirror. Is Blind Guardian just trying to fill an entire album with opera influenced slower songs?

A Night At the Opera Is Blind Guardian's Weakest Album and Here Is Why

Wait for an Answer has a slightly better beginning riff than the other songs at this point. The last descendants of these valiant soldiers that have battled will recruit the proper people so that they can return home victorious. A Night at the Opera is Blind Guardian’s weakest moment musically and it is not because any of the songs are pitiful but songs such as Sadly Sings Destiny are weak attempts to sound like a blues band. That song isn’t a horrible song in the literal sense but that type of blues just is not the suitable type of style for Blind Guardian.

Age of False Innocence and Punishment Divine Make the Album At Least Pretty Good

With the song Age of False Innocence, the band tries to sound like a slower version of Angra with one part of the riffing. Does it work out well for them? No, it is not an elite song but it does have a good interlude in the mix and by this point in the album, Precious Jerusalem may be the best song in the album but even that one cannot compare to the classics of this German band. As great as Blind Guardian has been in their career, A Night at the Opera is not a terrible album but it is still significantly below their standards of greatness.

Punishment Divine begins with faster than usual riffing for this album and the thundering style of drums that we hear from some power metal bands is present in this song. The solo is good and melodic riffing from 1998 is present in this song thus allowing one of Germany’s heavy metal giants to create a somewhat redeemable album. The last song called And Then There Was Silence is a very long song similar to what German band Edguy does to finish their albums. The one quality that is not present on this album are the spoken dialogue parts which is a good thing because we can get right down to the music without questionable delays.

Cons for the album A Night at the Opera

One flaw about this album and that is that the band cannot seem to end its fascination with lyrics about fantasy themes or soldiers that go out to war to battle. One suggestion for these talented guys is this: adjust your lyrical content to include topics about real life issues so that your listeners can relate to the songs and really understand the messages that are being conveyed. Another possible con with the album is the blues influenced song Sadly Sings Destiny. Blind Guardian is not cut out to play blues metal. Their strong points are speed and thrash metal which they have totally gone away from at this point.

Pros for the album A Night at the Opera

  • No spoken dialogue parts
  • The songs Precious Jerusalem, Age of False Innocence, and Punishment Divine
  • An attempt at harmonic, operatic style vocals
  • "The Soulforged" is not as weak of a song as I once thought but that the riffing is powerful but in a different way.

"Punishment Divine"

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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