Review of the Album "At the Edge of Time" by German Heavy Metal Band Blind Guardian
At the Edge of Time Album Cover
How Good is the Album At the Edge of Time?
At the Edge of Time is the 2010 studio album by German heavy metal band Blind Guardian and this album is their best one since 1998’s Nightfall of Middle Earth. But unlike that album which has several shorter tracks and spoken parts, this album just has full songs. I was in awe of the musicianship that is present on this album. One example of such melody is in the song called Valkyries. That song begins with the sound of rainfall as Hansi Kursch’s voice starts to take over. The band starts to incorporate Norse Mythology to describe this song.
Blind Guardian Still Has No Bad Albums and They Are a Versatile Band
I have covered Blind Guardian’s career since their great album Battalions of Fear until this album. Blind Guardian still have no sub-par albums at all and this is a remarkable feat even if in 2002 they had their weakest moment. For this creative and talented German band, At the Edge of Time is one of their strongest works along with the band’s first four albums. The band has come a long way from their early days when the band members Andre and Marcus in particular are seen wearing Metallica t-shirts as it is seen on the back of the cover for their debut album. They have not abandoned heavy metal at all since those days. They have become a band that uses speed, slow songs, and even flute play.
The Songs Sacred Worlds and Tanelorn (Into the Void)
How does this album begin? It begins with the 9 minute plus song Sacred Worlds which has a huge classical music style influence in it and also it shows that Blind Guardian has influenced other power metal bands like Angra, Fairyland, and Rhapsody of Fire. One user on YouTube calls this album so underrated and epic. I will agree with the underrated and you are about to see why this is the case. Hansi’s vocal approach has changed drastically from the aggressive nature of the first two albums to a more melodic and harmonic approach. Blind Guardian can perform melodic, harmonic power metal in addition to the speed and thrash that we heard them work on from 1987 through 1990. Tanelorn (Into the Void) lyrically is similar to The Quest for Tanelorn that we heard in 1992. The song lyrically tells the tale of the chosen warrior that has missed the point of his mission.
I like to think of it this way: a chosen warrior has a mission that is determined for him. Should that warrior fail his mission that will be seen as a big shame that will be brought upon this warrior? At the very least, that failure would bring shame upon his kingdom or village.
Road of No Release and War of the Thrones
Road of No Release begins with piano and shows once again the Blind Guardian has a habit of making their music more diverse and for some fans, this quality may be a turn off but for me it shows that they have continued this trend that actually began as far back as 1990 when they wrote a short instrumental called Weird Dreams after the first two fast songs and then they followed that up with the soft ballad called Lord of the Rings. The song called War of the Thrones is about someone that is sitting there and wondering what will happen to the kingdom as there is a constant fight for the thrones.
"Tanelorn (Into the Void)"
About the Song A Voice in the Dark
A Voice in the Dark sees a somewhat partial return for this band into the realm of power and thrash metal. The song is basically about a bird that knows that he has to fly towards somewhere. He hears this voice in the darkness that tells him that he is supposed to understand what his mission is. Even with the choir of voices, this is a decent song.
Greatness of the Album At the Edge of Time
Is the album At the Edge of Time Blind Guardian's best Album Since 1998?
"Wheel of Time"
Final Thoughts About the Album At the Edge of Time
Wheel of Time starts out like you would hear in songs in an adventure style movie. The song is about a brave warrior that has reached the end of his journey and he has touched this light, a powerful force that absorbs him as he tries to reject the forces of evil that have forced lies upon him. The strongest songs in this album are sacred Worlds, Tanelorn (Into the Void), Road of No Release, and Curse My Name. The album is definitely stronger than A Night at the Opera or a Twist in the Myth.
© 2018 Ara Vahanian