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Global Domination | Class 6(66) | Blind Guardian: Nightfall in Middle-Earth

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Class 6(66)

Blind Guardian: Nightfall in Middle-Earth

04/02/11  ||  Habakuk

Introduction

There are not many bands on this planet that promoted the concept of intertwining nerdery and heavy metal more blatantly than Blind Guardian, although there are some apparently. With this one though, Blind Guardian hit the mark. What used to be a not-so-subtle undertone of gnomes on album covers, Hobbits in songs and general medievalish shitfantasy became a flaming full-on 100% feast for pubescent boys playing Magic cards.

a) The album has Middle-Earth in the title. There, the flood gates have been opened. Nerd eyes are starting to turn glossy, but that’s not enough. b) It’s a concept album about, no, you amateurs, not “Lord of the Rings”, everyone can do that – but the fucken “Silmarillion”, another book by Tolkien about …whatever, really. Essential background knowledge if “Lord of the Rings” didn’t satisfy your Middle-Earthian needs. In other words, if you find yourself reading it, that’s a sign you might wanna go outside a little more often, or simply that the “WoW” servers are down. c) “Epic” is a less deferential attribute you’ll see thrown around with this, and the album mirrors that by being chock full of theatralic narration interludes. d) Naturally, it has a nerd-pleasing Andreas Marschall cover, too. I’m not gonna spoil everything in the intro now though, so for all the details, please refer to “NIME”‘s character sheet:

Overall and ending rant

After culminating their melodic speed metal style with Imaginations from the other side, Blind Guardian decided to get a little more pretentious. Luckily for them, they kept just enough of their old strengths to not fuck up royally. Quite the contrary, the result works perfectly and is an absolutely classic concept album. Also, it was one of my personal gateways into heavy music, as with probably 50 % of all German metalheads my age. And as it turns out, while my enthusiasm for fantasy gibberish has diminished a tiny bit, this album is still great after more than ten years of loathing its genre, its chainmail-sporting LARP-playing fans and switching to mostly death, grind and thrash.

If by some interesting circumstances you were required to own one power metal album, this should be it.

9

  • Information
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: Virgin
  • Website: www.blind-guardian.de
  • Band
  • Hansi Kürsch: vocals
  • Andre Olbrich: guitars
  • Marcus Siepen: guitars
  • Thomas Stauch: drums
  • Oliver Holzwarth: bass
  • Matthias Wiesner: keyboards
  • Mi Schüren: piano
  • Max Zelner: flute
  • Norman Eshley & Douglas Fielding: narration
  • Billy King, Rolf Köhler, Olaf Senkbeil, Thomas Hackmann: choir
  • Tracklist (interludes in italics)
  • 01. War of wrath
  • 02. Into the storm
  • 03. Lammoth
  • 04. Nightfall
  • 05. The minstrel
  • 06. The curse of Feanor
  • 07. Captured
  • 08. Blood tears
  • 09. Mirror mirror
  • 10. Face the truth
  • 11. Noldor (dead winter reigns)
  • 12. Battle of sudden flame
  • 13. Time stands still (at the iron hill)
  • 14. The dark elf
  • 15. Thorn
  • 16. The eldar
  • 17. Nom the Wise
  • 18. When sorrow sang
  • 19. Out on the water
  • 20. The steadfast
  • 21. A dark passage
  • 22. Final chapter (Thus ends…)