Rating:
9.2
Blind Guardian - Nightfall In Middle-Earth
24 April 1998


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...)
23. Nightfall [orchestral version, Japanese bonus]
24. A Dark Passage [instrumental version, Japanese bonus]
25. Harvest Of Sorrow [remastered edition bonus]


Power Metal and fantasy - dragons, magic and short, bearded fellows - have been walking hand in hand almost since the creation of the genre. Blind Guardian has strengthened this connection since their first album. Ten years after their initial release the genre-defining group returns with one of their most ambitious projects ever: a concept album based on the epic "Silmarillion" by J.R.R. Tolkien, one of the bands biggest influences. The result? Have they possibly managed to make something memorable and, most importantly, metal of the literary work? Hang on for the answer.

The sound of "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" is a very orchestrated and polished sound with Hansi's vocals being highly layered. This makes for a very epic sound with almost operatic choruses. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical to begin with but once I got used to it, it fits the music perfectly. I imagine a lot of old-time fans might get turned off by the symphonic sound but for me it was the other way around because this was the album that got me into the band. Despite the symphonic elements the guitars and drums are prominent enough and the guitars are still what drive the songs. If you are solely into the Speed-Metal side of Blind Guardian and Power Metal in general you might have a hard time enjoying this album but it might also be the album that gets you into this distinct subgenre.

The instrumental skills of the band are undoubtedly very high on this album, with incredible melodies, solos and rhythm. The same goes for the song writing. The songs are complex with varied song structures and great build-ups. Most of the songs are followed by an interlude that tells a part of the concept-story with very good voice-acting. Obviously you grow tired of these interludes while just casually listening but they make the concept more understandable. NiME contains some of the band's most classic songs including: "Nightfall", "Mirror Mirror" and "Time Stands Still..." and there aren't any filler material, unless you consider the interludes filler. It is a very even mix of songs; both faster, middle-paced songs and ballad-like songs as well. There is even a piano-driven ballad called "The Eldar" but it doesn't quite offer much of a punch compared to the other songs.

The lyrics all deal with the story of Silmarillion and it is a complex story. It's basically the full background of Middle-Earth, the place where "Lord of the Rings" takes place. I was so fascinated with the story that I had to read the book and I can tell you Blind Guardian have really captured the story with their music (apparently Peter Jackson wanted them to make the music for the "Lord of the Rings" movies). The production of NiME is above average so nothing to complain about there. It really is an original album in so many ways; the concept, the symphonic elements and the folk-music inspired melodies.

To me this should be a milestone in Power Metal with its consistent material, brilliant performance, good production and great lyrics. Every song has something to offer and many are ranked as band classics. This is THE Blind Guardian masterpiece that no Power Metal-fan should leave unnoticed because it is highly possible it will blow your mind!

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Blind Guardian
Album: Nightfall In Middle-Earth


 


written by Storchillarn | 01.07.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Ernis

Rating:
7.7
Blind Guardian is an absolute star of Power Metal and their 1998 release 'Nightfall In Middle-Earth' is a monolithic work. Using the expression "left a mark" isn't enough. Of course this album has left a mark upon all who have listened to it and left a mark in the history of Power Metal and metal in general. And also literature, all in all, being like an asteroid leaving a crater.

Read more ››
published 01.10.2007 | Comments (12)



Comments

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Katatronik - 01.07.2007 at 13:12  
A must-have album, simply amazing... I'd rate 10 in songwriting too...
Good review anyway!
Dandelion - 03.07.2007 at 21:19  
At last a remarkanle review for Nightfall in Middle Earth...A real Masterpiece and the last great work by Blind...
Arcaliz666 - 04.07.2007 at 22:03  
Amazing album of Blind Guardian, one of the best works of the band.
Piro - 08.08.2007 at 20:57  
Finally we have a review for the album that speaks truly IMO. Still, at least Metalstom now houses both opinions of this ever popular and debatable album.
Aylee_Bodom - 09.08.2007 at 04:20  
This is the first BG's album I listened to, and I have to say it really impressed me since the first moment. This is a masterpiece!!
Ellrohir - 09.08.2007 at 09:38  
i have listened it yesterday...well, there are four finest tracks i really enjoy - Into the storm, Nightfall, Mirror, Mirror and Time Stand Still, but the rest 18 tracks seemed a bit about nothing for me
Piro - 12.08.2007 at 15:57  
Have you read the silmarillion?

And what about "The Curse of Feanor". Did you like that song?
I've just recently listened to this album again, because I was writing a review for another site, and I have to say, I like it even more now.
Blind__Earth - 15.08.2007 at 09:55  
Yeah, NIME is an amazing album, but it's even far more interesting when you read the silmarilion and you understand the meaning of the lyrics.
I just don't like the guitars, especially the rythm, sometimes it's not enough present. It should have been accentuated, for my opinion.

Still I can't find a chorus that was not good... Nightfall is so great! And Thorn!!! Thorn is not that great, but when you arrive to the chorus, you can't say anything but : shit, this is fucken epic!!
The interludes can be annoying, of course, but think : War Of Wrath is their opening on shows! Everytime!
So Blind Guardian's Nightfall On MIddle Earth is an exceptionnal album, and it doesn't deserve at all the 2/10 that aguirre put, cause the orginality is worth a 10, the songwriting a 9, performance 9, and production 7 (because of the guitars)
Angel Of Mercy - 12.05.2010 at 16:03  
I honestly couldn't understand where this fits in with the book.

Help please?
Valentin B - 12.05.2010 at 16:38  
Written by Angel Of Mercy on 12.05.2010 at 16:03

I honestly couldn't understand where this fits in with the book.

Help please?

it's about the Silmarillion. read the first chapters at least and you'll clearly have the lyrics to some of the songs in mind.
Angel Of Mercy - 12.05.2010 at 17:01  
Written by Valentin B on 12.05.2010 at 16:38

Written by Angel Of Mercy on 12.05.2010 at 16:03

I honestly couldn't understand where this fits in with the book.

Help please?

it's about the Silmarillion. read the first chapters at least and you'll clearly have the lyrics to some of the songs in mind.


I know it's about the Silmarillion, I've read the first chapter but clearly the album doesn't start from there. Where does it start from?
Valentin B - 12.05.2010 at 17:17  
Written by Angel Of Mercy on 12.05.2010 at 17:01

Written by Valentin B on 12.05.2010 at 16:38

Written by Angel Of Mercy on 12.05.2010 at 16:03

I honestly couldn't understand where this fits in with the book.

Help please?

it's about the Silmarillion. read the first chapters at least and you'll clearly have the lyrics to some of the songs in mind.


I know it's about the Silmarillion, I've read the first chapter but clearly the album doesn't start from there. Where does it start from?

if you haven't read the first few chapters then i'd say this might be a spoiler so read at your own caution, the first track is a narration between Sauron and Morgoth at the ending battle of the War of Wrath done by the Valar, and the actual album starts from the moment that Ungoliant and Morgoth stole the silmarils and drained those two trees, the dialogues are between Ungoliant and Morgoth, the bigass spider trying to eat all the silmarils, and the chorus is about the Noldor who decide to "follow the will of the one, through the dark age and into the storm" in order to get the silmarils back.

Lammoth is when Ungoliant bites Morgoth on the icy northern shore of Middle Earth, and the rest of the interludes aren't really part of the story afaik, after the track Nightfall they stop following the storyline, they just tell of random stuff happening in the book.

i noticed i haven't yet rated this album. it truly deserves a 10. BY FAR Blind Guardian's best album, and imo one of the best albums i've ever heard. absolutely mindblowingly epic, insanely catchy, beyond emotional and complex as fuck.
Angel Of Mercy - 12.05.2010 at 17:22  
Oh ok, I thought it was an album about the ENTIRE events of The Silmirillion. Glad too see I am wrong.
Valentin B - 12.05.2010 at 17:33  
Written by Angel Of Mercy on 12.05.2010 at 17:22

Oh ok, I thought it was an album about the ENTIRE events of The Silmirillion. Glad too see I am wrong.

shit, the whole Silmarillion would need 3-4 albums like this one for complete coverage haha
Angel Of Mercy - 12.05.2010 at 17:35  
Written by Valentin B on 12.05.2010 at 17:33

Written by Angel Of Mercy on 12.05.2010 at 17:22

Oh ok, I thought it was an album about the ENTIRE events of The Silmirillion. Glad too see I am wrong.

shit, the whole Silmarillion would need 3-4 albums like this one for complete coverage haha


True,true. I haven't read the book (I just started it) and the first chapter is driving me insane. I don't get it at all.

Good to see BG can understand it though xD
ErnilEnNaur - 12.09.2010 at 02:14  
Great concept, good album. I very much liked the voice actors, but the ending narration could have been better.
Anriii - 27.05.2011 at 19:22  
This is the album that got me not only into Blind Guardian but into power metal as whole. Thus it got me into speed metal (as I had to listen all albums of this awesome band). Which in turn got me into Thrash metal, which then helped me to understand Death metal better.

Could be that I am metal only thanks to this album.
BeastOfMetal456 - 26.07.2011 at 03:17  
Excellent review. One of the best I've read ever. I heard the first half of the album only, and it really corresponds with the review. All track till now are memorable. I'd like to hear the whole album after reading "The Simillarion".

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