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Blind Guardian
Live 2003
November 2003
Released: 2003, Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

Some say Blind Guardian is over-produced, studio-dependent “cheese” metal. Others say they are highly talented musicians who perfectly encapsulate the epic power metal genre. LIVE 2003 will silence the band’s critics once and for all as the live setting does not allow for studio trickery and effects. Here, we have the band in top form on a massive 22 song double CD that was recorded on their 2002 tour for the A NIGHT AT THE OPERA album. While the bulk of tracks are taken from the last 3 albums, they haven’t forgotten their earlier efforts either.

The songs were recorded over 18 different shows including Tokyo, Stockholm, Venice and Moscow. The inclusion of crowd chants and applause help the listener to feel as if they are at the show, but unless you speak German or Italian, most of the banter that the band speaks between songs will be lost on you. Hansi Kursch sounds excellent here. He is mostly able to reproduce the notes he sings on record in a live setting with the most notable exception being during the chorus of “Bright Eyes”. He doesn’t even attempt to hit the high notes, which leads me to ask if they were “enhanced” on the original recording or if he merely chose to save his voice. Who knows? The rest of the band sounds superb and doesn’t miss a beat. The best tracks are “The Script For My Requiem”, “Harvest of Sorrow”, “Born In A Mourning Hall” and the classic “Valhalla” from way back to 1989’s FOLLOW THE BLIND album. The CD packaging itself is also very well done. The 22-page booklet is chock full of live shots and candid backstage photos, as well as a complete listing of tour dates and where the actual songs were recorded.

LIVE 2003 is the perfect starting point for someone interested in hearing the band for the first time but it also has enough material to satisfy even a Blind Guardian veteran.
Track Listing

1. War Of Wrath
2. Into The Storm
3. Welcome To Dying
4. Nightfall
5. The Script For My Requiem
6. Harvest Of Sorrow
7. The Soulforged
8. Valhalla
9. Majesty
10. Mordred’s Song
11. Born In A Mourning Hall

CD 2:
1. Under The Ice
2. Bright Eyes
3. Punishment Divine
4. The Bard’s Song (In The Forest)
5. Imaginations From The Other Side
6. Lost In The Twilight Hall
7. A Past And Future Secret
8. Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill)
9. Journey Through The Dark
10. Lord Of The Rings
11. Mirror Mirror


Hansi Kursch-Vocals
Andre Olbrich—Lead Guitar
Marcus Siepen—Rhythm Guitar
Oliver Holzworth—Bass
Thomen Stauch—Drums
Michael Schuren-Keyboards

Next review: » Blind Guardian - Live From The Spheres
Previous review: » Blind Guardian - Imaginations Through The Looking Glass (DVD)

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