Rating:
7.7
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]


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.

Being such an exceptional album, Nightfall In Middle-Earth has been subject to both positive and negative criticism. Fellow reviewers Aguirre and Gurr wrote two reviews for the release which were like day and night but still concentrating on the main subject; fantasy meeting metal music. Questions rising before us again, how and why re-enact fantasy literature in music and how to do it so that the outcome would be as enjoyable as possible?

Having read the reviews of Aguirre and Gurr, I was lead into digging more deeply into this particular album and weigh its positive and negative sides. So here I am trying to give the most objective and neutral analysis as possible.

Why is the album so special? After playing the tracks from the beginning to the end repeatedly and some particular songs even more frequently, I'd say that the album is solid. Well done, nothing to cry about. It is good but it doesn't excel amongst other works of Blind Guardian. It can be called "another successful album" but personally I don't see anything very shining about the music. Everything's well done, good Power Metal indeed. However, I've heard the style occurring in other songs and albums as well.

Now if we come to the attempt to create a 'soundtrack' for Tolkien's 'Silmarillion', we meet a whole other story. A brave step taken by the band. This epic tale of fantasy literature is not at all an easy thing to forge into music. The dialogues featuring the main villain Morgoth are on right place. Nevertheless, they don't add much to the album itself. Just songs would do it perfectly. I liked the voice of Morgoth though. He sounded like an intelligent and tragic villain here instead of stressing the 'evilness' of the character. The inevitable clichés of the epic power and fantasy genre never started to bother me here.

My personal favourites from the album are "Time Stands Still" and "Nightfall". I'd also point out the intermezzo called 'Lammoth', the haunting cry of Melkor is atmospheric and awesome. A horrid scream, echo and nature, nothing more needed.

In fact one could write pages for this album, so this tiny review isn't able to describe all the nuances of the album which it has an abundance. I agree with all those who call it a must-have work. For those who haven't heard it, get it fast. It's not just for Tolkien fans or fantasy readers or Power Metal fans. It's for everyone. Just for being an asteroid-like album which hit the music world.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 8


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


 


written by Ernis | 01.10.2007


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
Storchillarn

Rating:
9.2
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.

Read more ››
published 01.07.2007 | Comments (18)



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Katatronik - 01.10.2007 at 21:54  
Songwriting here is amazing! The last great Blind Guardian album IMO! I'd give a 9 in performance too... One of my best albums ever!
Ellrohir - 01.10.2007 at 23:13  
i dont enjoy there are so much of those "0:30 tracks" about nothing...Into The Storm, Nightfall, Mirror, Mirror and Time Stand Still are great, but a bit solitary in 22 tracks album...
Ernis - 01.10.2007 at 23:18  
Written by Ellrohir on 01.10.2007 at 23:13

i dont enjoy there are so much of those "0:30 tracks" about nothing...Into The Storm, Nightfall, Mirror, Mirror and Time Stand Still are great, but a bit solitary in 22 tracks album...

Agree here....lots of space beside them.....
GT - 02.10.2007 at 19:51  
Yeah the small "fillers" are a little annoying but the album as a whole is brilliant
+{Jonas}+ - 09.02.2008 at 04:24  
Lammoth is probably the best intermezzo ever.
The very fact of turning The Silmarillion into an album deserves a 9, IMO...
Scottgun - 20.10.2008 at 19:32  
There are some great moments on this album, but there is also some filler. And I don't mean the little interludes between each song, but some of the songs themselves. In particular, "Mirror Mirror." It's pedestrian and doesn't add to the overall concept. Moreover, "Mirror mirror on the wall" is an unintentional but unmistakable Disney reference which would have appalled Tolkien who said he would "veto anything from or influenced by the Disney studios (for all whose works I have a heartfelt loathing.)"

The 7.7 rating is fair however. The 9.2 is exaggeration (albeit defensible exaggeration), but the 2.0 is patently ridiculous. It's worth buying, but not a must have.
Ernis - 21.10.2008 at 10:59  
Written by Scottgun on 20.10.2008 at 19:32

"Mirror mirror on the wall" is an unintentional but unmistakable Disney reference which would have appalled Tolkien who said he would "veto anything from or influenced by the Disney studios (for all whose works I have a heartfelt loathing.)"

Snow White is not the creation of Disney, but was written down by German authors brothers Grimm....Disney studios just made a cartoon adaptation of it (which, for sure, doesn't even entirely follow the plot of the original tale...)
I think Tolkien might have disliked Disney studios indeed as a corporation which produced goofy adaptations of good old legends and fairy-tales...I doubt Tolkien would have had anything bad to say bout Grimm Brothers....
Scottgun - 21.10.2008 at 17:45  
Fair point.
Spyroid - 19.01.2009 at 15:49  
This was a very necessary and good review for this album, although it was way to short as you mentioned.
"Captured" is very funny, otherwise I also think this album could've done without the short tracks. But when it comes to the real songs - oh my god! I almost never listen to power metal anymore but I still can't find any song that is close to lesser awesome on this album
ErnilEnNaur - 12.09.2010 at 21:15  
So I am basically the only one who liked the spoken dialogue and war sounds? Strange...
RavenKing - 12.09.2010 at 21:55  
The worst Blind Guardian album, along with "A Twist In The Myth". So little real metal and so much crap around it.

And the most overrated Powermetal album of all time, without the shadow of a doubt.

Also, if you're searching for Tolkien-related music, check Summoning. Every Summoning album is much better than this collection of filler tracks.
BlankFile - 24.02.2011 at 00:03  
One of the best of BG. An outstanding release!

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