BLIND GUARDIAN

Power Metal / Speed Metal / Non-Metal / Heavy Metal • Germany
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Blind Guardian is a German power metal band from Krefeld / Meerbusch. They are commonly counted among the most influential artists of the genre, as well as one of the earliest acts to play the so called European style of power metal. Like with genre pioneers Helloween, Blind Guardian began life as a speed metal band.

Blind Guardian were originally known as Lucifer's Heritage. The band was active between 1984 - 1986 and in that time released two demos, Symphonies of Doom (1985) and Battalions of Fear (1986). The band originally consisted of Hansi Kürsch (vocals, bass), André Olbrich (lead guitars), Marcus Dork (rhythm guitars, additional vocals) and Thomen Stauch (drums). An additional lead voclaist, Thomas Kelleners, was also involved at one point but never recorded with the band. On the second demo Dork was replaced by Christoph Theissen (R.I.P. 2013) and Stauch by Hans-Peter Frey. Following this demo Lucifer's
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BLIND GUARDIAN Discography

BLIND GUARDIAN albums / top albums

BLIND GUARDIAN Battalions of Fear album cover 3.44 | 50 ratings
Battalions of Fear
Speed Metal 1988
BLIND GUARDIAN Follow the Blind album cover 3.36 | 49 ratings
Follow the Blind
Speed Metal 1989
BLIND GUARDIAN Tales From the Twilight World album cover 3.90 | 58 ratings
Tales From the Twilight World
Power Metal 1990
BLIND GUARDIAN Somewhere Far Beyond album cover 4.12 | 65 ratings
Somewhere Far Beyond
Power Metal 1992
BLIND GUARDIAN Imaginations From the Other Side album cover 4.31 | 91 ratings
Imaginations From the Other Side
Power Metal 1995
BLIND GUARDIAN Nightfall in Middle-Earth album cover 4.10 | 71 ratings
Nightfall in Middle-Earth
Power Metal 1998
BLIND GUARDIAN A Night at the Opera album cover 4.03 | 67 ratings
A Night at the Opera
Power Metal 2002
BLIND GUARDIAN A Twist in the Myth album cover 3.59 | 45 ratings
A Twist in the Myth
Power Metal 2006
BLIND GUARDIAN At The Edge Of Time album cover 3.69 | 49 ratings
At The Edge Of Time
Power Metal 2010
BLIND GUARDIAN Beyond the Red Mirror album cover 4.13 | 29 ratings
Beyond the Red Mirror
Power Metal 2015
BLIND GUARDIAN Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands album cover 3.15 | 6 ratings
Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands
Non-Metal 2019
BLIND GUARDIAN The God Machine album cover 4.69 | 7 ratings
The God Machine
Power Metal 2022

BLIND GUARDIAN EPs & splits

BLIND GUARDIAN live albums

BLIND GUARDIAN Tokyo Tales album cover 3.24 | 13 ratings
Tokyo Tales
Power Metal 1993
BLIND GUARDIAN Live album cover 4.43 | 7 ratings
Live
Power Metal 2003
BLIND GUARDIAN Live Beyond the Spheres album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live Beyond the Spheres
Power Metal 2017

BLIND GUARDIAN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

BLIND GUARDIAN Live Promo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Promo
Speed Metal 1989
BLIND GUARDIAN Banish from Sanctuary album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Banish from Sanctuary
Speed Metal 1989
BLIND GUARDIAN Tales from the Twilight World album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tales from the Twilight World
Power Metal 1990
BLIND GUARDIAN Demo 1990 - Preproduction album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo 1990 - Preproduction
Power Metal 1990
BLIND GUARDIAN Demo IV album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo IV
Power Metal 1991
BLIND GUARDIAN Blind Guardian Plays Beach Boys album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blind Guardian Plays Beach Boys
Power Metal 1996
BLIND GUARDIAN Guardians of the Rings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Guardians of the Rings
Power Metal 1998
BLIND GUARDIAN The Sacred Worlds and Songs Divine Tour 2010 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sacred Worlds and Songs Divine Tour 2010
Power Metal 2010

BLIND GUARDIAN re-issues & compilations

BLIND GUARDIAN The Forgotten Tales album cover 3.83 | 12 ratings
The Forgotten Tales
Power Metal 1996
BLIND GUARDIAN Memories of a Time to Come album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Memories of a Time to Come
Power Metal 2012

BLIND GUARDIAN singles (11)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
A Past and Future Secret
Power Metal 1995
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Bright Eyes
Power Metal 1995
.. Album Cover
3.29 | 3 ratings
Mr. Sandman
Power Metal 1996
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
Mirror Mirror
Power Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
And Then There Was Silence
Power Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Bard's Song (In the Forest)
Power Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Fly
Power Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Another Stranger Me
Power Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 3 ratings
A Voice In The Dark
Power Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Twilight Of The Gods
Power Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
Merry Xmas Everybody
Heavy Metal 2020

BLIND GUARDIAN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.65 | 6 ratings
Imaginations Through the Looking Glass
Power Metal 2004

BLIND GUARDIAN Reviews

BLIND GUARDIAN Imaginations From the Other Side

Album · 1995 · Power Metal
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SilentScream213
On their 5th album, Blind Guardian released what I consider to be their best work up to that point. I’m one of the few who preferred their aggressive Thrash/Speed days on their first two albums to the more polished and melodic albums that followed (though this is mostly because they always had useless interludes bloating them). Well, Imaginations still has one of those in the way of acoustic ballad “A Past and Future Secret,” but the rest of the material is just about as perfect as Power Metal gets.

Blind Guardian stated themselves that the new producer for this album took them to new levels, and it shows here. The choruses are insane, the vocal performance in general just sends shivers down your spine in a perfect mix of gruff yell-singing and epic, multilayered cleans. The guitar melodies sound a bit darker than before, which is always welcome, but of course they remain just as catchy. The rhythm section is just superb, so much speed and aggression on display here, definitely matching their Thrash days in that department.

The album isn’t a true concept album, but themes of lost innocence run rampant throughout the album. Letting go of better imaginary worlds, living under a suppressive political system, and learning to cope with inner demons and even childhood trauma are all alluded to in ways that still sound fantastical. I absolutely have to mention the track “Bright Eyes” as the best thing they have done yet, and by god it will be hard for them to surpass it. The chorus in the song is one of the most immense I’ve ever heard, and the riffs are passionate and dark. It’s quite a moody song for the band, and supposedly about a child struggling with abuse from his parents. It’s as powerful thematically as it is musically, an instant standout from the moment I heard it and only growing stronger the more I listened to it.

BLIND GUARDIAN The God Machine

Album · 2022 · Power Metal
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adg211288
As my indisputable favourite band, when Blind Guardian releases a new album it is, understandably, one of the biggest metal events of any year that it happens. In 2022, the event is the release of The God Machine, Blind Guardian's eleventh mainline album and twelfth overall, following the long talked about orchestral album that finally appeared as their previous release, Legacy of the Dark Lands in 2019, which was released under the name Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestra. Excluding that album, it has actually been as long as 2015 since Blind Guardian released a new power metal album. The God Machine represents the proper follow-up to Beyond the Red Mirror, ending their longest gap between studio albums – seven years.

Never the most prolific of bands in terms of turning out new albums, Blind Guardian has always represented quality over quantity. There is not such a thing as a sub-par album in their entire discography and The God Machine is of course not the one to break that trend. In fact, it does much the opposite. Despite some fierce competition from especially 2010's At the Edge of Time, what we have here is easily the strongest release Blind Guardian has put out since their golden years of the 1990s. That's in part due to how much this album actually sounds like their classic period once again. This is the kind of record that will likely make their former drummer Thomen Stauch, who left the band after 2002's A Night at the Opera due to be dissatisfied with the less aggressive direction the other three band members were heading in, wish he was back in the band. It's that much like the 1990-1995 era that produced their trio of aggressive power metal classics: Tales From the Twilight World, Somewhere Far Beyond and Imaginations From the Other Side.

This most aggressive side of Blind Guardian isn't like it hasn't been heard since the 1990s. The last two albums most of all had tracks that harkened back to those days, but they were overall very modern Blind Guardian releases of the kind started by 1998's Nightfall in Middle-Earth; more melodic, progressive, and symphonic. The God Machine instead feels like it may be somewhat reactionary to the fact that their last output was the orchestral album, following the non-metal album with an album that's the heaviest they've been since Imaginations From the Other Side. Signs of the more modern Blind Guardian are still here, such as in Secrets of the American Gods, which is a quite symphonic track, and there's also a ballad, Let it Be No More, but mainly this is a Blind Guardian that is all about speed and aggression, with some actual speed metal once again in evidence within the power metal.

The only thing really missing from making this sound like a true classic Blind Guardian album is one of their folksy ballads like A Past and Future Secret or The Bard's Song: In the Forest. Let it Be No More is quite nice but doesn't quite just work in same way. That said, this is still the closest thing you'll hear to a new 1990s style Blind Guardian album. And it turns out that this is just what the doctor ordered. It is, without a doubt, the best album they've done since then. Great songs, heavy as hell and Hansi Kürsch is on absolute fire, singing like he's in his twenties again instead of his fifties. Together Blind Guardian are giving the power metal genre one big kick up the backside.

Despite being my favourite band, or perhaps because of it, I always find it difficult rate Blind Guardian albums when I review them. I could easily put the majority of them on a pedestal and even the weakest among them is still far stronger than the average album, which is why I have to force myself to be more reserved than I might with other bands. Rate them as only Blind Guardian albums and not more generally as power metal albums. Doing it this way, I had long come to the conclusion that the 1990s was Blind Guardian's five star period and other albums, no matter how good, were the four and a half stars, 'best of the rest' ones.

The God Machine is the Blind Guardian album that proved me wrong.

BLIND GUARDIAN Somewhere Far Beyond

Album · 1992 · Power Metal
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SilentScream213
I can’t tell if this is a transitional album yet cause I haven’t heard anything they released after, but on Somewhere Far Beyond, Blind Guardian really start to lean into more modern sounding cheesy melodic Power Metal. They’ve still got their thrashy Speed Metal edge, but a much larger focus is put on keyboards/synths and the general epic atmosphere. There’s also quite a variety of styles present, even in individual songs.

Most of the tracks here are magnificent; catchy yet fierce, energetic yet anthemic. I really like the vocals too, having a rough edge of aggression most of the time, but easily hitting smooth melodic notes when he needs to. Guitars, bass, drums, keys; all splendid, adding great flavor to the mix.

My huge complaint with this album is the amount of useless filler. Out of the ten tracks, two are pointless interludes that add nothing to the album, and the first Bard Song is an acoustic song that just isn’t up to par. Acoustic ballads can be beautiful, but this one is missing that special something and just ends up breaking the flow of the album. The bonus tracks, which are actually usually included in main releases, are great tracks that definitely add to the album in my opinion.

Unfortunately not as consistent as previous releases, but many of the tracks here are absolute top-notch Power Metal.

BLIND GUARDIAN Battalions of Fear

Album · 1988 · Speed Metal
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UMUR
"Battalions of Fear" is the debut full-length studio album by Germam speed/power metal act Blind Guardian. The album was released through No Remorse Records in May 1988. Blind Guardian formed in 1984 under the Lucifer's Heritage monicker, but after being signed by No Remorse Records in 1988 they changed their name to the current one. The early years of the band saw several lineup changes and produced two demos.

Stylistically the material on "Battalions of Fear" is speed metal with melodic power metal leanings and even the occasional nod towards thrash metal. It´s strongly influenced by the early recordings of fellow countrymen Helloween and also contemporary releases by an artist like Running Wild, and you´ll find very little here to seperate Blind Guardian from other German speed/power artists of the era. The material on "Battalions of Fear" are however well written, relatively memorable, and very well performed. Already this early on Blind Guardian were an incredibly tight playing and skilled unit. They have considerable compositional skills too, and incorporate neo-classical elements and intriguing lead guitar work with ease. Lead vocalist/bassist Hansi Kürsch has a powerful and relatively raw voice, although he isn´t quite as rough sounding here as he would be on subsequent releases by Blind Guardian. Quite a few lyrics on the album are based on J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" (something they would of course explore much further on subsequent releases), but the band also touch other subjects, which are typically fantasy themed.

"Battalions of Fear" was recorded at Karo Studios, Münster, Germany in October–November 1987, with producer Kalle Trap. Considering the time of release and the fact that "Battalions of Fear" is a debut album, it´s relatively well produced. The album lacks a bit of bottom end and is a little thin sounding, but all details and instruments are clearly audible.

Upon conclusion "Battalions of Fear" is a pretty time typical German speed metal album and while the foundation of Blind Guardian´s great career was laid here, it´s not exactly obvious from listening to this album, how great that career would turn out to be. This is a decent but not excellent quality release and a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

BLIND GUARDIAN Follow the Blind

Album · 1989 · Speed Metal
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adg211288
Germany's Blind Guardian are undisputedly my favourite band. This is mostly because of what I think of as their holy trinity: Tales From the Twilight World (1990), Somewhere Far Beyond (1992) and Imaginations From the Other Side (1995). As far as I'm concerned if anyone claims that a stronger consecutive run of power metal albums (or even metal albums in general) exists then they must have been smoking something potent and highly illegal which left their brain addled beyond repair. But today we aren't here to talk about those albums. Before those came along, we had the original incarnation of Blind Guardian who played speed metal. Follow the Blind (1989) is the second and final album of this sound before they transitioned to power metal and history was made.

It had only been a little over a year since the release of Battalions of Fear (1988), but it's clear on Follow the Blind that Blind Guardian has become a much more polished and professional sounding unit in that time. This may be due at least in part to the band attracting Kai Hansen (Helloween) to guest on the album (and the two that follow it) and I'm sure the soon to be power metal band must have learned some tricks under the wing of one of the guys responsible for creating the genre they went on to play.

The debut Blind Guardian album of course has that special first album charm, that for me at least has always brought me to like it a little more than Follow the Blind. But this isn't an album that should be sold short or overlooked, despite it's quirk of closing with a cover of Barbara Ann originally by The Regents, which admittedly feels completely out of place. I actually stopped the album after the much more logical cover of Demon's Don't Break the Circle for many years and it was only later that I found an appreciate for Barbara Ann and started playing the album in its entirety. In hindsight it seems a rather ballsy thing for a band only on their second album to go ahead and do.

The original tracks on Follow the Blind are where it shines of course. Of particular note is Valhalla where we get guest vocals from Kai Hansen. I remember that as among the first Blind Guardian songs I heard and really loved. It had such a classic sound that screamed at me that this was what metal sound be all about. It remains a favourite Blind Guardian track to this day, with other highlights from the album being Banish from Sanctuary and Damned For All Time. The band's speed metal sound on this album is probably the closest they ever came to having some actual thrash metal material. If they'd been American, that's probably the direction they'd have taken next. Luckily they were German and speed metal over there meant proto-power metal rather than proto-thrash and so a legend was born.

While it's not quite top tier for Blind Guardian, Follow the Blind is an album I absolutely love. Even after listening to the band for over a decade, I'm still blown away by them and hold them up as the standard of what metal should be like.

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more than 2 years ago
I agree that the albums are more speed metal than power metal. However they are still more power metal than thrash metal (which they aren't at all). If speed metal cannot be selected (why?) then they should say power metal like everything else. Calling them thrash metal is just plain wrong. Speed metal is closer to power metal than thrash metal in any case.
adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
The early releases of Blind Guardian (and Helloween for that matter) are considered to be more speed metal than power metal. Here on MMA speed metal is an inclusive genre with our thrash metal sub, which is why early Blind Guardian releases are tagged as thrash metal.
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Maybe not in the traditional sense, but many early power metal bands (Helloween, Helstar, Gamma Ray, etc.) had thrash metal elements on their early releases.
more than 2 years ago
Thrash metal? There is not one note of thrash metal on any Blind Guardian release.
666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
There are definitely some top quality albums in the MMA power metal chart right now, a few surprising ones too, but Imaginations From the Other Side is better than all of them. :P
adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I hate that none of their albums currently appear in the top albums on the power metal page. :(

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