||Blind Guardian frontman Hansi Kürsch has posted the following message at the band's web site right before Christmas:
"A sign of life message just to let you know that Christmas is getting closer and we are still not done with recordings, yet. But that is the good news for the album: we are still on schedule. The description 'on schedule' can be stretched (manipulated?) a little, while talking about a Blind Guardian album production, anyway. We haven't — so far, but we could. There is only a small amount of guitars, which needs to be completed, some bass, a lot of vocals and even more mixing. We are targeting an early February deadline.
"I am very sorry we have not been able to involve you more so far, but we are so focused on the album, that we hardly find the time to eat. I turned a skinny beauty during these days. I promise to provide you with some studio shots as soon as the new year has started...
"Oh, about the single mentioned a few months earlier: We have accomplished it and I would like to provide you with some information about it, only the important ones and of course only true ones:
There will be three songs on the single:
02. Skalds and Shadows (acoustic version)
03. In A Gadda Da Vida
"'Fly' is a quite surprising title for a Blind Guardian song, one could think. But it lyrically fits very, very well. This song is about inspirations and how they can influence your art, your life and other people's li(v)(?)es(?). I, myself, was inspired by the movie 'Finding Neverland' when doing the lyrics. The music is mindblowing. It certainly describes how we look at music and how we see ourselves as musicians. We love to explore and assimilate. Though the song is different, it is pure Blind Guardian. I, personally, consider it to be amongst the best songs we have ever written. It is new!!! It is fresh!!! Whether you will like it or not, you will have to admit that you have never heard anything like that before. Not from Blind Guardian and neither from any other band on this planet.
"The acoustic version of 'Skalds and Shadows' completely stands in the tradition of songs like 'The Bard's Song' and 'A Past and Future Secret'. Charlie [Bauerfeind, producer] and Frederik [Ehmke, drummer] came up with a very cool percussion arrangement and on top of it Frederik played some mindblowing flute melodies to it. We are very happy with the result and we work on a more orchestral version at the moment, which is supposed to become part of the album. This purer single version will only appear on the single. The word 'skald' is probably not very common, but is nothing else than the ancient nordic description for their bards. The nordic Edda poems have mostly been invented by Skalds and they also have kept these stories alive by traveling around and telling the stories to other people. I, as a fan of 'Die Nibelungen' and of Tolkien's work, was mostly thrilled by the 'Saga of Volsung', which the song lyrically partly scratches — as well as the mission of the storyteller.
"As probably most of you have figured, 'In A Gadda Da Vida' is a cover version of Iron Butterfly's smash hit. Although we like stoner music — we dared to turn it into a modern speed metal tune. This song, of course, will only appear on the single.
"To complete the single subject: The cover artwork has been done by Anthony Clarkson. He did a great job. The motive is pretty much Blind Guardian. I am sure you will love it.
"What else can I tell you? We have not decided how the album will be entitled. Due to lyrical issues I am brainstorming with the word 'myth,' but that does not necessarily mean it finally will be used for the title. The two strongest titles from my point of view so far are: 'A Twist in the Myth', or 'Borderline Myth'. None of them can be seen as confirmed. Sometimes you wake up and you just know: that's the title to go for. Mostly it is just a question of the right inspiration...
"We recognized your discussion about the possible style we may have chosen for the new album and I just would like to point out the following one more time: We will not deny our roots, but we at the same time will not make a step back and we have no intention to stand right where we have been with the last studio album. The album will contain 11 very strong songs, which all differ strongly from each other. There's heavy metal, there's more rockish metal, there's more progressive metal, there's more intense metal, but there is no rip off! We do not sell out. 'Selling out' could be a cool title, too, by the way. Ah, damned someone has used it before, I think.
"The single will give you an idea of how much the songs on the album will be different from each other. To explore and invent something new — that's the thrill!!!
"Have one on me (and don't believe a word I've said)."
As previously reported, Blind Guardian recently replaced drummer Thomen Stauch, who left the band in April after 20 years. The new man behind the kit is fellow German Frederik Ehmke, who is said to be "fairly unknown in the world of metal." Working songtitles for the new CD include "Carry the Blessed Home", "The Edge", "In Search for the Lionheart", "Market Square", "Another Stranger Me", and "Otherland".