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 3.45 | 46 ratings
Battalions of Fear
Speed Metal 1988
BLIND GUARDIAN Follow the Blind album cover 3.34 | 45 ratings
Follow the Blind
Speed Metal 1989
BLIND GUARDIAN Tales From the Twilight World album cover 3.89 | 53 ratings
Tales From the Twilight World
Power Metal 1990
BLIND GUARDIAN Somewhere Far Beyond album cover 4.13 | 59 ratings
Somewhere Far Beyond
Power Metal 1992
BLIND GUARDIAN Imaginations From the Other Side album cover 4.33 | 85 ratings
Imaginations From the Other Side
Power Metal 1995
BLIND GUARDIAN Nightfall in Middle-Earth album cover 4.11 | 68 ratings
Nightfall in Middle-Earth
Power Metal 1998
BLIND GUARDIAN A Night at the Opera album cover 4.04 | 62 ratings
A Night at the Opera
Power Metal 2002
BLIND GUARDIAN A Twist in the Myth album cover 3.61 | 42 ratings
A Twist in the Myth
Power Metal 2006
BLIND GUARDIAN At The Edge Of Time album cover 3.73 | 46 ratings
At The Edge Of Time
Power Metal 2010
BLIND GUARDIAN Beyond the Red Mirror album cover 4.20 | 24 ratings
Beyond the Red Mirror
Power Metal 2015
BLIND GUARDIAN Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands album cover 3.56 | 4 ratings
Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands
Non-Metal 2019

BLIND GUARDIAN EPs & splits

BLIND GUARDIAN live albums

BLIND GUARDIAN Tokyo Tales album cover 3.28 | 12 ratings
Tokyo Tales
Power Metal 1993
BLIND GUARDIAN Live album cover 4.50 | 6 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 3.82 | 11 ratings
The Forgotten Tales
Power Metal 1996
BLIND GUARDIAN Memories of a Time to Come album cover 4.50 | 1 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
4.80 | 5 ratings
Imaginations Through the Looking Glass
Power Metal 2004

BLIND GUARDIAN Reviews

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.

BLIND GUARDIAN Twilight Orchestra: Legacy of the Dark Lands

Album · 2019 · Non-Metal
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Kev Rowland
This release is the brainchild of guitarist André Olbrich and singer Hansi Kürsch, who decided to take their music to a logical extreme and release a Blind Guardian album with only Kürsch appearing on it from the band. The other aspect which may be rather concerning for fans of the power metal act is that there are no guitars. Working with German bestselling author Markus Heitz, a storyline was developed, regarding the mercenary Nicolas and his involvement in the Thirty Years' War. Heitz starts the story off in his book ‘Die Dunklen Lande’ and the band followed with the album, ‘Legacy Of The Dark Lands’. Here, André Olbrich and Hansi Kürsch fulfill their long-time wish of emphasizing imposing choral singing and classical orchestral arrangements. But what will fans think of it?

Given the way the band have been developing their sound over the last 20 years or so, in many ways this is a logical step, and without the need to include rock instruments there is far more freedom and space within the music. This feels far more like a musical than a concept album, and there are sound effects and actors taking their parts to drive the story along. Musically the songs are often huge, showstoppers in many ways. One can easily imagine the crowd sat in their best finery sat in the theatre and clapping wildly after the “Dark Cloud’s Rising” which sound like the end of an Act to me. Kürsch has a great voice, and the result is an album which is rapidly becoming one of my favourites from the band. Is it metal? No, of course not, this is orchestral musical cinematic storytelling which one can easily imagine on the big screen.

The question I guess for many fans though, is does this mean that Blind Guardian as they were known have ended and this is a new direction, or is it a one-off? I think it is more likely it is the latter as this has not been released as a Blind Guardian album as such, even though they have kept the logo, and I would rather think of this as a project. Whatever it is, whether it is the future of the band or simply something they had to get out of their system, I have found it infinitely more interesting than some of their other albums.

BLIND GUARDIAN Beyond the Red Mirror

Album · 2015 · Power Metal
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Kev Rowland
This 2015 album was the tenth studio release from Blind Guardian, and the first since ‘At The Edge of Time’ some five years earlier and is a concept and sequel to 1995’s ‘Imaginations From The Other Side’. Although Blind Guardian made their name initially in the same speed metal area as fellow countrymen Helloween, over the years they had moved both into power metal and in producing bombastic albums with a series of guests. This is no different, in that outside the core quartet of Hansi Kürsch (vocals), André Olbrich (guitars), Marcus Siepen (guitars) and Frederik Ehmke (drums) they not only have a new session bassist in Barend Courbois but also have two orchestras, three choirs and more.

The result is something which is massively over the top, bombastic, but also for some reason feels quite compressed. There is a lot going on at times, but one does not really get the epic feel that Blind Guardian are looking for as instead there is the feeling of everything being squashed together. It can be quite smothering at times as there is just no space for movement. I have heard quite a lot of Blind Guardian over the years and while never being a huge fan have never really disliked their music either, and that is the case again with this one. It is interesting, but there just is not enough freedom in the music for it ever to be anything special as it has been produced to within an inch of its life. Some people have stylised this as symphonic metal, but it certainly isn’t that, it is bombastic power metal which is attempting to become ever more so. That it does not reach the heights it is reaching for is another matter altogether. Possibly looking at it from five years on as opposed to reviewing it after there had been such a long gap between albums had some impact on my feelings, but there again maybe not.

BLIND GUARDIAN Movies Reviews

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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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