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699 reviews/ratings
BLIND GUARDIAN - Somewhere Far Beyond Power Metal
BLIND GUARDIAN - Imaginations From the Other Side Power Metal
AVATARIUM - Avatarium Doom Metal
OPETH - Still Life Progressive Metal
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal
BREED 77 - In My Blood (En Mi Sangre) Alternative Metal
CELTIC FROST - Monotheist Doom Metal
KATATONIA - Brave Murder Day Death-Doom Metal
SOUNDGARDEN - Badmotorfinger Alternative Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ziltoid The Omniscient Progressive Metal
UNEXPECT - Fables of the Sleepless Empire Avant-garde Metal
AGALLOCH - Marrow of the Spirit Atmospheric Black Metal
BORKNAGAR - Quintessence Melodic Black Metal
MARE COGNITUM - Phobos Monolith Atmospheric Black Metal
SPECTRAL LORE - III Atmospheric Black Metal
VEKTOR - Black Future Thrash Metal
VEKTOR - Outer Isolation Thrash Metal
VEKTOR - Terminal Redux Thrash Metal
BLIND GUARDIAN - Nightfall in Middle-Earth Power Metal
BLIND GUARDIAN - At The Edge Of Time Power Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Black Metal 161 3.52
2 Atmospheric Black Metal 121 3.78
3 Alternative Metal 58 3.24
4 Symphonic Black Metal 39 3.73
5 Nu Metal 38 1.49
6 Progressive Metal 34 4.01
7 Melodic Black Metal 33 3.83
8 Avant-garde Metal 27 3.65
9 Groove Metal 17 3.56
10 Non-Metal 17 2.79
11 Depressive Black Metal 16 3.06
12 Thrash Metal 15 3.73
13 Metal Related 14 3.29
14 Death Metal 14 3.54
15 Gothic Metal 13 3.38
16 Folk Metal 13 4.08
17 Power Metal 12 4.25
18 Hard Rock 10 3.35
19 Melodic Death Metal 10 3.60
20 Metalcore 8 3.31
21 Death-Doom Metal 7 4.36
22 Doom Metal 5 4.50
23 Crossover Thrash 5 3.70
24 Sludge Metal 4 4.25
25 Speed Metal 2 4.00
26 Industrial Metal 2 0.75
27 Traditional heavy metal 2 3.00
28 Hardcore and crust 1 4.00
29 Funk Metal 1 2.00

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 2015 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Danish born musician Myrkur (birth name Amalie Bruun) has certainly picked up a dedicated following and more than her fair share of haters since the release of her debut album M a couple of years ago. She's currently building up to the release of a second, Mareridt, so I figured that now would be an ideal time to put my thoughts down about M. Her fans seem to treat her like she's the best thing since sliced bread while her haters will go out of their way to pull the album to bits and the more vehement ones have even seen fit to insult her personally, which to her credit she really takes in her stride.

Personally I find myself in the middle of these two groups. I am not a fan of the album M per se, but I certainly don't hate it either. One thing that is for sure is that it's nowhere near as bad as the woman's haters would have you believe, but I don't see it as a particularly special release either. It's listenable music at the very least.

Myrkur is associated with the black metal genre but to be honest I don't really hear it too much in this release. The vocal work is mostly clean with only a few parts where she actually uses any growls and for me those are a big part of what makes black metal what it is, though it's also not enough to preclude the release from being considered as such. Ulver, a band which is known to have been a big influence of Myrkur's music (Garm co-produced this album as well), had the first song on Bergtatt using only clean singing and that is definitely a black metal song, but my issue here is that I rarely hear musical techniques that sound black metal, beyond the production sound which does fit the bill. Instead there seems to be bits and pieces thrown together that could fit a number of metal styles. Often it seems that the most unifying element in the album is the use of Nordic folk music, which given Myrkur's fondness of clean vocals over growls makes me wonder if creating some kind of folk metal wouldn't be more her forte.

As is, the album gives me the impression that Myrkur isn't really sure where she wants to be musically. If this is an earnest attempt at a black metal release then it's really not great, but the end product does have its charm. Myrkur's clean singing voice especially, is very good. But I do think she needs to decide whether she really wants to be a black metal artist (which would require her to find some more black metal elements from somewhere) or something else (in which case it may be to her benefit to get rid of what black metal elements she does have on M). I'll be checking out Mareridt out of curiosity when it drops, but for me M will always be simply 'OK'.


BLIND GUARDIAN Tales From the Twilight World

Album · 1990 · Power Metal
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The year is 1990. A few years prior the German band Helloween had released a pair of albums, Keeper of the Seven Keys Parts 1 & 2, which have gone down in history as the birth of the metal genre known as power metal. Along with them several other German bands appeared on the fledgling scene such as Scanner, Running Wild and Rage. A thing in common that all these bands have including Helloween is that their roots were very much in speed metal, the genre that spawned power metal. Another band this is true of is of course Blind Guardian. They released two albums in the style called Battalions of Fear and Follow the Blind. Like the others mentioned above, they then made the transition to a power metal band with 1990's Tales From the Twilight World.

Blind Guardian are not only a key band in the genre due to how successful they have been, but because they were one of the ones who really pushed it forward into it's own style. Though there had been several other power metal albums before Tales From the Twilight World the ones that were not still overly dominated by speed metal or heavy metal elements were rare. I would personally count the famous Keeper of the Seven Keys albums as such I have overall always found their production sound to still be very traditional and very much eighties sounding. Running Wild always had a heavy metal side to them while Rage kept both speed and heavy elements on their late eighties work. 1990 was the point where things really started to change for power metal. Former Helloween guitarist Kai Hansen released the first Gamma Ray album Heading for Tomorrow earlier in 1990 of course, during a time when Helloween themselves were gearing up towards the release of the not so fondly remembered Pink Bubbles Go Ape and often loathed Chameleon album, and had also taken the young Blind Guardian under his wing, which resulted in several guest appearances in their early work such as on Tales From the Twilight World during the track Lost in the Twilight Hall. How much of their switch from speed to power metal was his influence is debatable, but what I do know is that with Tales From the Twilight World Blind Guardian were one of the early bands to unify power metal into a distinct style without still have one foot in the camp of another genre.

There are still some speed metal elements on this album of course, but the switch in direction is very evident. The album is hard hitting, admittedly not too polished especially when compared to their following work, but it's that raw energy that makes it a special entry in their discography. Years down the line the power metal genre has become one that certain breeds of metalhead like to snigger at and make jokes about (favourites being that the music is cheesy and that the singers sound like fairies) which makes me wonder what the hell went wrong along the way with the style as it caught on and become standardised, because Tales From the Twilight World is simply fucking metal to the absolute textbook definition. It's heavy, fast, memorable and most of all the vocals are powerful. Hansi Kürsch has not quite hit his peak here even, and he still sounds better than most power metal singers that both came before or since, including Kai Hansen who while I respect immensely as a musician and as the Godfather of power metal, isn't really all that much of a great singer, as evidenced by as his contribution to Lost in the Twilight Hall. I digress, in fact all of the album is powerful work, ballad Lord of the Rings aside. It may seem like a pun to say it, but this album really injected the power into the power metal genre. It's sad how many newer bands don't really have that and how the bands who are harder usually rely on heavy, speed or thrash metal elements to get them there. While there is indeed speed metal on this album it's more of a leftover by-product due to the band's evolution and would be gone completely on their next album.

Blind Guardian's speed metal records were good, but Tales From the Twilight World brought the band onto a whole other level. It's not quite as good as the two albums that they would go on to make next, Somewhere Far Beyond and Imaginations From the Other Side, but it's one hell of a stepping stone towards them. With Lord of the Rings we get the template for the Blind Guardian folk ballad, though sadly they messed up the lyrics, presumably in translation, by singing 'gnomes' instead of 'dwarves', which I'm sure is going to bother any Tolkien die-hards who listen to the song. They fixed this is a later re-recording though. Tracks like Traveler in Time, Welcome to Dying, Goodbye my Friend and Tommyknockers, especially Tommyknockers, are all early power metal classics.

Overall, Tales From the Twilight World really is an essential release. Not only is it an excellent album, but it's also fairly historic in the development of its genre. Awhile I can't quite give it five stars, mostly because there were still a couple of bugs to be worked out of the Blind Guardian sound at this point, it's no less of a classic album. Also if you're one of the people I referred to earlier who think power metal is cheesy and sung by fairies, then listen to this album. This here is power metal with balls!


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