Final blog post
Well, it’s the end of the semester, everyone is feeling good and getting ready for the Holidays. What better way to bring in the Holiday season and spread cheer with a bit of good old fashion family friendly power metal. To be specific, the German Power Metal band Blind Guardian. Blind Guardian formed during the mid 80’s in Krefeld, West Germany and are known as one of the more popular and influential acts to come from the Power and Speed Metal genre. The band has switched members a number of times throughout their history and the current line up consists of Hansi Kursh, Andre Olbrich, Marcus Siepen and Frederik Ehmke.
Musically, the band is influenced from fellow countrymen “Helloween” as well as other acts such as Iron Maiden and Metallica. There most noticeable influence is seen that they derive a large amount of their lyrical content from the works of fiction from fantasy authors such as J.R.R Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, Robert Jordan, Stephen King and George R.R. Martin as well as taking influence from traditional legends and epics.
Their musical influence does change from album to album. They had more of a Speed metal sound coming off of their first albums “Battalions of Fear” (1988) and “Follow The Blind” (1989). As the band continued making albums, they began writing more complicated songs and then with the album “Nightfall in Middle-Earth” (1998) we have a more melodic and operatic sound with more backing vocals to the lead singer to give it such a more powerful sound which is really seen on the album “A Night at the Opera” (2002) (Influenced by Queen and their use of backing vocals). One song that well incorporates backing Vocals as well as an epic sound is “Wheel of Time” off of their 2010 Album “At the Edge of Time”
It’s easy to hear the influences they took from the writers as a large portion (if not all) of their songs incorporate lyrics that sound like something out of Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, such as fantasy and war. In the song “The Bard’s song” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE8EyKpyodw) we have a song that sounds like something that would be sung by bards found in Medieval times and then around the 3 minute mark transition into traditional heavy metal, yet still containing a traditional sound. We also have more obvious signs of their influence seen with their 1998 album titled “Nightfall in Middle-Earth”. The influence they take from legends and epics can be seen with them always including at least one song that breaks the 7 minute mark (give or take a few seconds) per album, with their longest song to date being “And then there was Silence” clocking in at 14 minutes long. If you want to listen to an epic tale prepare 14 minutes to have your mind blown.
This version comes off the album “Memories of A Time To Come” (2012) that includes remasters of songs from previous albums
The reason I chose this band to discuss for my final blog is because they had a positive impact on my life as they provided the soundtrack to my efforts to drop some unwanted poundage prior to the semester (as well as just sounding awesome after hearing their song “Battlefield” featured in a phone game I played on my way to class). Having a song such as “Battlefield” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xIe1tPtyAk) or “The Soulforged” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga-q0F7oWnU) come on while huffing and puffing up a hill is just what a person needs to hear to give them the surge of adrenaline to make it that extra mile. I approve the Blind Guardian diet of Mutton, mead and long journeys that involve throwing cursed all powerful items into volcanoes.
Currently the band is still around today touring and planning to release a new album in January of 2015. With that tidbit of info, I leave this blog and class with their hit song “Sacred Worlds” also off the album “At the Edge of Time”