Rating:
10
Blind Guardian - A Night At The Opera
1 March 2002


01. Precious Jerusalem
02. Battlefield
03. Under The Ice
04. Sadly Sings Destiny
05. The Maiden And The Minstrel Knight
06. Wait For An Answer
07. The Soulforged
08. Age Of False Innocence
09. Punishment Divine
10. And Then There Was Silence
11. Harvest Of Sorrow [Acoustic version] [Japanese bonus]
12. Mies Del Dolor [Spanish bonus]
13. La Cosecha Del Dolor [Argentinean bonus]
14. Frutto Del Buio [Italian bonus]
15. Moisson De Peine [French bonus]


They're back! Yes, finally we are getting more from Hansi and friends. Be warned, this album is brilliant but it takes some work to get into it. Going to the opera with Blind Guardian truly requires some effort on the part of the listener, so this is not something you want to play in the background!

Let me explain... Listening to the album for the first time, I knew I had just listened to something grand and outstanding, but I could not grasp onto anything. No song, melody, chorus, or guitar riff particularly stuck in my head to make me want to revisit that particular piece. However, being a loyal Blind Guardian fan, I just listened to the album whenever I could, and after about the third time around, things started to take shape, melodies and guitar work began to crystallize, and the album began to reveal its beauty.

Before I get into some of the songs, I need to tell you first off that there are two components to this album that make me give it a 10/10 rating right away: Andre's guitars and Thomen's drums. I don't know of anybody else who can play a solo on top of somebody else's (Hansi's) vocals the way Andre can. And Thomen, who was always good before, completely outdoes himself here with versatility, skill, and power.

Ok, favorites. Most definitely I have to mention 'Sadly sings Destiny', which contains work, once more, from the brilliant Choir Company, Blind Guardian's own group of background singers. 'The Soulforged' is another great song, as typical of Blind Guardian as any. 'Age of false Innocence' displays Hansi's mature lyric writing ability. This song, in my understanding, deals with somebody's struggle between religion and science - a topic someone could write a whole book about.

This album gives you (almost) no chance to catch your breath until the very end. 'And then there was Silence' is probably the most complex, multi-layered song Blind Guardian have ever done and it also must have taken the most work. There is more in this one song than many other bands are capable of putting into an entire album. The bonus track, a tender, melancholy ballad, 'Harvest of Sorrow' (not available on all releases) was recorded in different languages (French, Italian, Spanish). Hm, personally, I would have loved to hear it in German!

Again, show some patience with this album. What may sound at first like a little too much "sameness" is really packed full of surprises and versatility. And all components are linked together in bombastic grandeur that would not be complete if any of the songs were missing. Blind Guardian spent a lot of time recording this and it was definitely worth the wait. And one last tip: check out the photos from the recording session on the official Blind Guardian website (www.blind-guardian.com). They are really quite funny.


Band profile: Blind Guardian
Album: A Night At The Opera


 


written by Emalaith | 02.09.2003


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



Comments

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TheSlaughter - 07.08.2006 at 17:32  
Pretty Good review. Id give it a 9.5.

And then there was Silence took one full year of mixing and mastering because it was composed of 200 Vocal tracks, 100 keyboard tracks, 50 guitar tracks (and you know... one or 2 bass and drum tracks) hahaah.
Cloud Strife - 02.09.2006 at 04:36  
Very well..

One of my favorite BG albums (just losing to, of course, Nightfall in Middle-Earth)
But it is simply a luxury.
I'd give a 9 or 9.5.
PRIMAL FEAR - 02.09.2006 at 07:13  
Very fitting review here, very appropriate rating, although it may not be their best, definitely extremely close to it imo...
Baz Anderson - 03.09.2006 at 04:18  
yes. i think just behind 'Imaginations From The Other Side' this is my favorite Blind Guardian album
people have a problem with all the over production and all the rest of it mostly, but i really dont mind that at all
it is a good chunky album that always has a lot going on in it
also includes one of my favorite songs 'And Then There Was Silence'
..the memories that songs contains
ThunderAxe1989 - 16.11.2006 at 02:27  
*ORGASMS!*



lol, I fucking cannot express how much I love this album by just using mere words alone! I am not even joking, I will not hesitate to say that I believe this is the best Blind Guardian have ever put out! They have truly outdone themselves . The vocals sound phenominal on this album

"The Maiden And The Minstrel Night" is such an awesome yet underrated song on there too! Aside from that, my other 2 favourites are "Battlefield" and "The Soulforged"....that would be my top 3 songs off this album (in no particular order!)

This release is just BRILLIANT!
Talvi - 17.12.2006 at 22:33  
Best Blind Guardian album, hands down. Don't think they'll ever top this.
Doc Godin - 18.05.2007 at 08:34  
great album, the first Blind Guardian album I ever bought...and that was about 15 months ago....im still getting into it though.
Arcaliz666 - 29.06.2007 at 21:49  
A Night Of The Opera : An Epic Masterpiece !!!
Dandelion - 01.07.2007 at 21:33  
one of the weaker of BG-seemed to me at times far too complex becoming boring!something s wrong with guardian lately...no more than 7 for this one...OK Maybe i was too harsh with this album-i relistened to it a while ago-seemed a little better than i had decided-i had bought it the first days came to the stores-An 8 would be more fair i think...
Ellrohir - 06.10.2007 at 18:49  
great album...highlights : The Maiden And The Minstrel Knight, And Then There Was Silence
Manzo - 16.07.2008 at 21:03  
masterpiece!
Giok99 - 13.01.2009 at 14:06  
A real Masterpiece.

I really love those over-produced song. For me, it's like having a 3D song. Great, great work.
Mountain King - 29.03.2009 at 05:53  
This needs to be heard carefully and over and over again...it's good
replica of me - 29.03.2009 at 16:27  
I didn't like initially, but now I think this record is one of their best (much better that ATITM)
Hrothdane - 30.03.2009 at 06:08  
I absolutely love this album. While I do love the styles of IftOS and NoME too, the multi-layed complexity of this album is wonderful. And Then There Was Silence... is probably their best song.
Dominus - 31.03.2009 at 19:51  
I hate the Hansi Kürsch voice.Between acute and nasal, simply i hate!
BattleHamster - 31.03.2009 at 22:51  
It takes some getting used to, and that goes for both Hansi's voice and ANATO. I didn't like it at first, but once I listened to it a few times through it definitely grew on me.

Anyway, great review (though I realize that's a rather late compliment).
Uirapuru - 16.04.2009 at 15:03  
Exellent... but maybe not 9.9 exellent. The best song of the band is in this album: Battlefield. Simply awesome for every music fan. The other are one step behind this one: ''Soulforged'', Age Of False Innocence and Punishment Divine.

I just didn't liked the four last songs, useless bonus, doesn't make any difference.
BlankFile - 20.05.2010 at 03:52  
This album kicks ass for sure. Musically speaking may be the best of Blind Guardian. Its clearly that the band worked really hard in this album. "Precious Jerusalem" is an excellent song. An incredible opener. Theres no words at all to describe "Battlefield" one of the best songs of the band. I love "Under the Ice", it has an incredible opener, great riffs and solos and a wonderful chorus! And i must point out also "The Soulforged" another spectacular song, the Catchy "Sadly Sings Destiny", the beautiful "Age of False Innocence", the Powerful "Punishment Divine" and the Epic fabulous song "And Than There Was Silence".
As the reviewer said this album is not easy to swallow with only one listening. Several listenings are required to capture the real essence of this masterpiece! One of my favourites of BG!
Dentura - 13.06.2012 at 08:47  
It is without a doubt my favorite album by the band! I personally feel this is their magnum opus, since it does feature some of their most complex and spellbinding compositions yet! This is probably the most "progressive" the band has ever become and it shows through the extremely ambitious and glorious material displayed here. And Then There Was Silence has to be the best Blind Guardian song ever written, and the rest of the material is just as amazing. It is definitely one of the biggest gems of my CD collection and one of my favorite albums of all time.

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