Rating:
9.3
Blind Guardian - At The Edge Of Time
30 July 2010


Disc I
01. Sacred Worlds
02. Tanelorn (Into The Void)
03. Road Of No Release
04. Ride Into Obsession
05. Curse My Name
06. Valkyries
07. Control The Divine
08. War Of The Thrones
09. A Voice In The Dark
10. Wheel Of Time

Disc II [bonus digipack CD]
01. Sacred Worlds [Pre-production version]
02. Wheel Of Time [Orchestral version]
03. You're The Voice [Radio Edit]
04. Tanelorn (Into The Void) [demo]
05. Curse My Name [demo]
06. A Voice In The Dark [demo]
+ Sacred Worlds [video]
+ A Journey To The Edge Of Time (Studio Documentary) [video]


The bards have come out of the forest. Yes, the Blind Guardians are back baby! And did they ever do it in style. Surely one of the year's most anticipated albums, At The Edge Of Time is sure to rank high on personal lists for a while.

Hit in the face with the 9+ minute long opening masterpiece "Sacred World", I had to replay it for half an hour before being able to continue on with the rest of the album. Majestic orchestral intro, grand entrance killer riffs, and vocals to die for. The first thought that went through my head at that exact time "This is already better than the entire previous album". Hell, this is Blind Guardian with a renewed energy and a hint of progressive influences I only dreamt about in the past.

I really don't want to go into a song by song review here but if I were to cover the highlights of this album, this is exactly were this would be heading right now. So, much to my chagrin, I will evoke some key moments such as the unusually complex and progressive structure of a tempo changing jewel of a track called "Road Of No Release", the more trademark yet surprising and catchy as hell "Ride Into Obsession", the new standard of bard ballad in "Curse My Name", the extremely fast-paced while mesmerizing "Voice In The Dark", and finally the usual killer operatic of an ending song with "Wheel Of Time".

The duo of guitarists André Olbrich / Marcus Siepen is cracking some of their most achieved work to date, and I am not referring to the solos alone. Between the orchestral arrangements and the newly found progressive musical direction, their hand in making this an incredible album is undeniable. Master vocalist Hansi Kürsch delivers once again an impressive body of work, using his many registers with seemingly disconcerting ease. Drummer Frederik Ehmke is clearly fully integrated now. As a matter of fact, I highly suspect he is a huge reason behind the more progressive sound on this album. The supporting cast, including the orchestra is equally of top-notch quality.

Artwork and production, you may ask? People, this is a Blind Guardian album. This statement should by itself should answer that. This is German savoir-faire at its paramount. The limited edition includes a second CD that features an orchestral version of "Wheel Of Time" that could have made the main album, demo versions of other tracks and a cool cover of John Farnham's "Your're The Voice". It is absolutely worth it.

So? Still reading this? I could not make myself clearer; At The Edge Of Time is up there with Blind Guardian's best efforts. The band managed to achieve this while adding innovative elements to their established sound. And the best part is that it is actually still growing on me after 4 weeks of intense listening sessions. I am off to adding this album to my 2012 survival gear.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: Blind Guardian
Album: At The Edge Of Time


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 21.09.2010



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roger73 - 23.09.2010 at 15:34  
Written by RavenKing on 23.09.2010 at 14:15

Written by roger73 on 23.09.2010 at 13:35


Ignore this boy, he is enough popular between Maiden's fans as totally negative piece of something. Now he is starting his carrier with fans of Bards


Shut up. You don't know what you're talking about. Those Maiden fanboys were just crazy and most of them seem to have been banned. You can't compare the situations.

Anyway, people who can't stand crticism at bands should stay away from metal boards.


I know exactly what I'm talking about, I've read these discussions. You have no arguments only phrases which you think you can piss off persons which you think are "funboys". I don't think that new Gaurdian or Maiden are brilliant but you can't give one reasonable argument why it is so - in all your tons of messages
Hrothdane - 23.09.2010 at 16:02  
Written by RavenKing on 23.09.2010 at 14:15

Written by roger73 on 23.09.2010 at 13:35


Ignore this boy, he is enough popular between Maiden's fans as totally negative piece of something. Now he is starting his carrier with fans of Bards

Anyway, people who can't stand crticism at bands should stay away from metal boards.


I find it tragic that you don't know the difference between thoughtful criticism and name-calling.
ErnilEnNaur - 23.09.2010 at 17:57  
Written by Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk on 23.09.2010 at 14:26

I've said it before people - "Ignore" function can be very useful. If you think someone's on a topic just for the Trolls' sake, simply go to their profile and click the "Ignore" button and you won't see their posts anymore (except is someone quotes them). Works with both fanboys and haters


Ignore button is for pussies who are afraid of what they might read. There is no reason in the universe to us it. If someone has a point to make in the comments, then that is good. If somene is being a retard in the comments, then that is entertainment. Either way, ignore is for _pussies_.
Valaskjalf - 23.09.2010 at 21:33  
Pretty good album, I must confess Ive never been much of a Blind Guardian fan I could never gel with them....well its more Hansi's vocals that creeps me out. But this is their best in the last couple of years I think. For me "A Voice in the Dark" is the best one, also obviously the first one I heard off the album.

His vocals still push it a bit in my opinion. Its at the edge of uncontrolled especially when he goes for the really high notes (sort of like a pig being slaughtered alive). But having said that, its the Blind Guardian sound and it makes them unique so I can appreciate that.

7/10, better than most of the stuff Ive heard the last couple of weeks.
insanity.peppers - 23.09.2010 at 23:04  
Written by Guest on 23.09.2010 at 02:53

Written by insanity.peppers on 23.09.2010 at 02:48

Booyeah!

Anyway, listened to it again, still can't get into it. There's just nothing to grab on to, no real catchiness. Apart from Ride into Obsession. You know what they say, nothing good lasts forever.


"War! It's now or never, we shall stand together!/We are the one, we are the nation, we are the one, we are the law!" not catchy? I am not sure what your idea of catchy is supposed to be. Ride into obsession is actually one of the less interesting songs for me, the kind of song that doesn't take too much blood, sweat or tears to create, unlike Sacred Worlds or Wheel of Time. Anyone who's written music should be able to recognize that this album is their best effort since the holy trilogy of Somewhere/Imaginations/Nightfall.


I'm talking about the music, not the lyrics. Far as I'm concerned they could be singing about drowning puppies and it wouldn't matter as long as the music rocks.

The reason why Ride into Obsession was the only song that really stood out for me was because they finally took a simplistic, balls-to-the-wall approach, which is what BG do best (just look at most of their stuff before NFIME). The problem with BG is when they do put all their "blood, sweat and tears" into a song it turns into one big boring mess. Yes, And Then There Was Silence isn't all it's cracked up to be.

But this is the case with most power metal bands, not just them. You can achieve so much more with stripped down, focused, dynamic music than you can trying to be the biggest, most layered, complicated, epic thing out there.
ErnilEnNaur - 23.09.2010 at 23:30  
Written by insanity.peppers on 23.09.2010 at 23:04

I'm talking about the music, not the lyrics. Far as I'm concerned they could be singing about drowning puppies and it wouldn't matter as long as the music rocks.

The reason why Ride into Obsession was the only song that really stood out for me was because they finally took a simplistic, balls-to-the-wall approach, which is what BG do best (just look at most of their stuff before NFIME). The problem with BG is when they do put all their "blood, sweat and tears" into a song it turns into one big boring mess. Yes, And Then There Was Silence isn't all it's cracked up to be.

But this is the case with most power metal bands, not just them. You can achieve so much more with stripped down, focused, dynamic music than you can trying to be the biggest, most layered, complicated, epic thing out there.


I was talking about music too, I quoted the lyrics from moments I thought were most epic. I hoped you'd get that.

Simplistic and focused are just synonyms for dry as far as I am concerned. There is nothing much to enjoy there. The song doesn't make me want to sing along, it doesn't make me want to listen to it again once it's ended. Emotional impact = zero. And nothing that I would call epic is present.

I prefer symphonic, film-score inspired songs to fast stormers anyday. Because Sacred World makes me want to sing along, because even if I just hummed the tune without lyrics it would still be recognizibly Sacred Worlds, not just another speedmetal song. Because it is truly a story in music. An epic.
Angelic Storm - 24.09.2010 at 05:39  
@Short, snappy burners vs layered complicated epics: Both Sacred Worlds and Ride Into Obsession are awesome to me... guess I must be weird then.
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk - 24.09.2010 at 17:16  
Written by Guest on 23.09.2010 at 17:57

Written by Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk on 23.09.2010 at 14:26

I've said it before people - "Ignore" function can be very useful. If you think someone's on a topic just for the Trolls' sake, simply go to their profile and click the "Ignore" button and you won't see their posts anymore (except is someone quotes them). Works with both fanboys and haters


Ignore button is for pussies who are afraid of what they might read. There is no reason in the universe to us it. If someone has a point to make in the comments, then that is good. If somene is being a retard in the comments, then that is entertainment. Either way, ignore is for _pussies_.

I'm not afraid of what I might read, I just get tired of some people repeating basically the same things all over the boards. It's to no point, haters' gonna hate. And while it may be entertaining at first, it gets boring fast. And it's not like I ignore dozens of people, the number's 3 at the moment, an all 3 are blind haters repeating things like spambots.
insanity.peppers - 24.09.2010 at 23:27  
Written by Guest on 23.09.2010 at 23:30

Written by insanity.peppers on 23.09.2010 at 23:04


Simplistic and focused are just synonyms for dry as far as I am concerned.

I prefer symphonic, film-score inspired songs to fast stormers anyday.



Symphonic, film-score inspired songs are just synonyms for fluff as far as I'm concerned.

Different strokes for different folks.
Dark Cornatus - 25.09.2010 at 00:56  
Written by Guest on 21.09.2010 at 23:17

Written by Dark Cornatus on 21.09.2010 at 17:24


I would add Nightfall in Middle Earth too, but i can't stand the layout of the album... let's face it, it's a MESS! Who actually listens to it through from start to finish? It's too dramatic and boring. The actual lengthy songs are all great however.


Don't like the concept? Fine, but there isn't a boring moment on NIME and the interludes are very well done and the voice acting is excellent. If you want over dramatic, listen to Rhapsody of Fire.

It's not the concept i don't like. I love the story. It's just a personal opinion thing. I really don't like interludes all through albums. Another good example is Haggard 'Tales of Ithiria'. They put in REALLY BAD interludes in between all songs. The BG ones aren't really annoying, but sometimes you just want to here the flow of an album and not get bogged down with background noises and narration.
advent - 25.09.2010 at 04:05  
Written by Guest on 22.09.2010 at 02:18

Written by RavenKing on 22.09.2010 at 00:25


Funny, how opinions differ. I find NIME an extremely boring album with barely any good moment. And those interludes are utterly pointless.


Just one of those interludes is worth more than some other band's entire discography. It's not easy to make Morgoth and Sauron sound convincing, yet they did it. The effort that went into making the dialogue in War of Wrath sound good is greater then the effort that went into the entirety of Kamelot's new album.

Quote:

I've never been able to listen to this entire album without getting bored out of my mind.


That would describe every Opeth album I have ever had the great misfortune of listening to.


The really funny thing that everything i heard form BG bored me to death , while Opeth is my fav band

Maybe it is a mutual thing between prog and power fans.
ErnilEnNaur - 25.09.2010 at 11:56  
Written by advent on 25.09.2010 at 04:05

The really funny thing that everything i heard form BG bored me to death , while Opeth is my fav band

Maybe it is a mutual thing between prog and power fans.


Oh, I love prog, believe me. I just don't like drawn-out, over-written songs that don't pay off.
Angelic Storm - 25.09.2010 at 12:38  
Most albums with constant interludes, they are an annoyance more than anything else. "Testimony Of The Ancients" by Pestilence is one of a tiny amount of albums where the many interludes actually add to the enjoyment of the album. Aside from "Impure", thats a stupid interlude.
RavenKing - 25.09.2010 at 16:23  
Written by Angelic Storm on 25.09.2010 at 12:38

Most albums with constant interludes, they are an annoyance more than anything else. "Testimony Of


Agreed. Problem is interludes disrupt the flow and pace of an album. In Nime's case, it reaches a degree at which the album doesn't have any flow.
Angelic Storm - 25.09.2010 at 16:59  
Written by RavenKing on 25.09.2010 at 16:23
Agreed. Problem is interludes disrupt the flow and pace of an album. In Nime's case, it reaches a degree at which the album doesn't have any flow.


Even without the interludes, NIME would be a very uneven album to me. In that albums' case, it just adds to the problem. It just makes the small amount of good moments on the album seem even more rare. Interludes should add to the album, but in most cases, they only disrupt it. At least for me they do. lol
RavenKing - 25.09.2010 at 17:14  
Written by Angelic Storm on 25.09.2010 at 16:59

Written by RavenKing on 25.09.2010 at 16:23
Agreed. Problem is interludes disrupt the flow and pace of an album. In Nime's case, it reaches a degree at which the album doesn't have any flow.


Even without the interludes, NIME would be a very uneven album to me. In that albums' case, it just adds to the problem. It just makes the small amount of good moments on the album seem even more rare. Interludes should add to the album, but in most cases, they only disrupt it. At least for me they do. lol


Exactly what I had in mind. I mentioned already that, imo, this album has only 2 real good songs: When Sorrow Sang and Mirror Mirror. The good moments are very scarce among all the useless rubbish this album contains.
But the interludes make the wait between the good moments last even longer, indeed.
Vikcen - 25.09.2010 at 18:00  
Well, i would say awesome interludes.

I remember other record with very good interludes too, Epica by Kamelot .

Imo, these interludes contributes very well for a magic atmosphere.
LeChron James - 26.09.2010 at 02:28  
How many effing songs do they have with "tanelorn" in the title?? that aside, im definitely gonna get this once i acquire internet in my cave.
Angelic Storm - 26.09.2010 at 04:19  
Written by RavenKing on 25.09.2010 at 17:14
Exactly what I had in mind. I mentioned already that, imo, this album has only 2 real good songs: When Sorrow Sang and Mirror Mirror. The good moments are very scarce among all the useless rubbish this album contains.
But the interludes make the wait between the good moments last even longer, indeed.


Although as you know, I like more than 2 songs on the album, I still think less than half of the non-interlude songs are actually great. But your last point, I do completely agree with.

And nobody can accuse me of having that opinion cos of a bias against later Blind Guardian, seeing as I love most of ANATO and ATEOT. lol
RavenKing - 26.09.2010 at 04:56  
Written by Angelic Storm on 26.09.2010 at 04:19

And nobody can accuse me of having that opinion cos of a bias against later Blind Guardian, seeing as I love most of ANATO and ATEOT. lol


I'm not a fan of later Blind Guardian (though I really like their first four albums) but I would take ANATO or the new album over NIME any day. Those two albums are not my style but they're not bad at all. I don't like ATITM at all, however.

ANATO's biggest problem is it's way too layered, imo, to the point it makes the music hard to follow. Maybe I think like that because I prefer when Hansi 'sings alone' than when it's some kind of choir with fifty Hansi's piled over each other, if you know what I mean.
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk - 26.09.2010 at 13:59  
Written by LeChron James on 26.09.2010 at 02:28

How many effing songs do they have with "tanelorn" in the title?? that aside, im definitely gonna get this once i acquire internet in my cave.

Errr, two?
RavenKing - 26.09.2010 at 15:06  
Written by Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk on 26.09.2010 at 13:59

Written by LeChron James on 26.09.2010 at 02:28

How many effing songs do they have with "tanelorn" in the title?? that aside, im definitely gonna get this once i acquire internet in my cave.

Errr, two?


Perhaps but they sometimes plug the word 'Tanelorn' in songs, without it being in the title. I'm sure I heard the word in a few other songs.
Angelic Storm - 27.09.2010 at 01:44  
Written by RavenKing on 26.09.2010 at 04:56
I'm not a fan of later Blind Guardian (though I really like their first four albums) but I would take ANATO or the new album over NIME any day. Those two albums are not my style but they're not bad at all. I don't like ATITM at all, however.

ANATO's biggest problem is it's way too layered, imo, to the point it makes the music hard to follow. Maybe I think like that because I prefer when Hansi 'sings alone' than when it's some kind of choir with fifty Hansi's piled over each other, if you know what I mean.


IMO ATITM has its moments, but its not a great album, a bit like NIME. As for ANATO, I dont mind the layering, although I have heard other people criticising that as well. I have heard Hansi saying though that songs off the album are usually not played live, because obviously the layering cannot be replicated in a live setting. So in that sense, I do have a problem with it. I have heard a version of "The Soulforged" live, and it really suffers, because a lot of the vocal parts are obviously left out of it. I like it on the album, but I guess there is a negative side to it... lol
RavenKing - 27.09.2010 at 01:49  
Written by Angelic Storm on 27.09.2010 at 01:44

Written by RavenKing on 26.09.2010 at 04:56
I'm not a fan of later Blind Guardian (though I really like their first four albums) but I would take ANATO or the new album over NIME any day. Those two albums are not my style but they're not bad at all. I don't like ATITM at all, however.

ANATO's biggest problem is it's way too layered, imo, to the point it makes the music hard to follow. Maybe I think like that because I prefer when Hansi 'sings alone' than when it's some kind of choir with fifty Hansi's piled over each other, if you know what I mean.


IMO ATITM has its moments, but its not a great album, a bit like NIME. As for ANATO, I dont mind the layering, although I have heard other people criticising that as well. I have heard Hansi saying though that songs off the album are usually not played live, because obviously the layering cannot be replicated in a live setting. So in that sense, I do have a problem with it. I have heard a version of "The Soulforged" live, and it really suffers, because a lot of the vocal parts are obviously left out of it. I like it on the album, but I guess there is a negative side to it... lol



That's what happens when you layer music. It becomes some kind of studio trick hard to duplicate live. Bands need to use lots of back up tapes.
Angelic Storm - 27.09.2010 at 01:54  
Written by RavenKing on 27.09.2010 at 01:49
That's what happens when you layer music. It becomes some kind of studio trick hard to duplicate live. Bands need to use lots of back up tapes.


Im not really a fan of bands using back up tapes live. So in a way, I prefer to hear the song stripped down live, rather than having the back up tapes. The problem is, Hansi seemed a bit lost when singing the song (The Soulforged) live. Lots of words were being left out, and he was obviously struggling a bit with it. From that, I can see why they are reluctant to play those songs live, which sucks because I love most of that album.
RavenKing - 27.09.2010 at 02:10  
Written by Angelic Storm on 27.09.2010 at 01:54

Im not really a fan of bands using back up tapes live. So in a way, I prefer to hear the song stripped down live, rather than having the back up tapes. The problem is, Hansi seemed a bit lost when singing the song (The Soulforged) live. Lots of words were being left out, and he was obviously struggling a bit with it. From that, I can see why they are reluctant to play those songs live, which sucks because I love most of that album.


I don't care for the live aspect, so the reason I don't like much layered music has nothing to do with this. It's just that I prefer music to be more 'direct' and straightforward, if you know what I mean.
ErnilEnNaur - 18.10.2010 at 05:06  
Written by Guest on 25.09.2010 at 11:56

Written by advent on 25.09.2010 at 04:05

The really funny thing that everything i heard form BG bored me to death , while Opeth is my fav band

Maybe it is a mutual thing between prog and power fans.


Oh, I love prog, believe me. I just don't like drawn-out, over-written songs that don't pay off.


Actually, Opeth rule. I don't know why it took me so long to hear it.
OpenFaceSurgery - 06.12.2010 at 07:46  
Amazing album! A huge step up from A Twist in the Myth
Dark†SymphonY - 16.01.2011 at 21:14  
I am really getting into this album, the orchestral parts in particular are awesome.
Timmeh - 13.04.2011 at 05:13  
Sacred Worlds, Oh god my mind is asploded!
Glaucus - 12.09.2011 at 19:05  
Man, this album got a lot of comments, haha.

If anything, I like everything that Blind Guardian has done, everything from Battalions of Fear to this album. Every one has a bit of something I like.

This album, in particular, was gripping since I had been anticipating a new Blind Guardian album since A Twist In The Myth. So, when At The Edge Of Time came out, I hurried out to get it. Popped it into my car's CD player, and was floored by Sacred Worlds.

Probably one of the happiest days I could remember. Bahaha.

Anyway, I like this album for a number of reasons. For one thing, the emphasis on The Wheel of Time book series in the songs Ride Into Obsession and Wheel of Time were great, musically and lyrically. If anything, Blind Guardian are absolutely fantastic at catching what a story should feel and sound like, and that's always entertaining to listen to.

Though, a song that I saw was not mentioned is Control The Divine. A totally awesome concept! And the instrumentation, excellent.

Really, I can't get enough of this album, haha.
Guilherme - 29.09.2011 at 21:07  
Oh man, this album is awesome, the second best BG album so far (only loses to NIME), obviously.
Deserves at least a 9.0.

Quote:
Even without the interludes, NIME would be a very uneven album to me. In that albums' case, it just adds to the problem. It just makes the small amount of good moments on the album seem even more rare. Interludes should add to the album, but in most cases, they only disrupt it. At least for me they do. lol

What the..

All the interludes are perfect! The start where Melkor talks to Sauron... epic.
The album is FULL of great moments. Into the Storm where Melkor destroy the trees, Nightfall where the elves cry for their lost and Fëanor rebels, Curse of Fëanor where he goes on in his revenge, Blood Tears about Fingon rescuing Maedhros, Mirror Mirror about Turgon building the city of Gondolin with Ulmo, Noldor when Fingolfin crosses Helcaraxë, Time Stands Still when Fingolfin challenges Melkor.
Every time I listen to this songs I remember the story, it's so fucking epic...
jhook - 30.09.2011 at 04:27  
This album is epic, not exactly the best thing for getting laid though
ZGoten - 02.10.2011 at 16:52  
Written by jhook on 30.09.2011 at 04:27

This album is epic, not exactly the best thing for getting laid though


Are you speaking from experience? ^^
jhook - 02.10.2011 at 17:19  
Written by ZGoten on 02.10.2011 at 16:52

Written by jhook on 30.09.2011 at 04:27

This album is epic, not exactly the best thing for getting laid though


Are you speaking from experience? ^^

im mostly just saying its not the best thing to talk about liking while in the company of attractive women
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk - 06.10.2011 at 00:29  
Speak for yourself, my gf loves BG and she's hot

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