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Blind Guardian
Nightfall In Middle Earth
February 1999
Released: 1999, Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: EvilG

Another concept CD comes our way courtesy of Germany's Blind Guardian. This CD is clearly not for the casual listener. Prior to writing this review, I've only heard the CD for about a dozen times and it's still slowly growing on me. From what I've read about this band I expected something a little different. I was expecting something along the lines of Iced Earth, Hammerfall, and other power metal acts. Many fans of those bands will probably also appreciate Blind Guardian, IF you also appreciate something that is more varied, diverse, epic and orchestrational. In fact I'm betting there are some who will like this more than the "straight-up" power metal approach while some will find it a little too heady.

There are 22 tracks listed on the CD, 11 of them being music, the rest of them being narration for the storyline. And the storyline? It's from none other then the legendary J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the critically acclaimed "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit" (books that I would recommend to anyone by the way). The story that Blind Guardian uses for inspiration here though is "The Silmarillion." I can't tell you if they've succeeded in putting this novel to music because it's been years since I've read that book. I do remember liking the previously mentioned works better than the "The Silmarillion" but lets get back to the issue at hand - Blind Guardian.

Maybe with time I'd give this CD a 5, but my initial impression is that this could of been heavier and could of included more intense riffing. I'm sure that the softer acoustic and orchestrational parts are required to portray different moods along the storyline but the opposite is also true, more brutality would not be wasted here. The only other criticism here is with the vocals. Vocally this CD could be slightly improved upon, not technically, but in terms of the style. Either way...I'm getting too picky...I know this is something that will take a bit of time to wrap your head around but it's worth checking out! If you've never heard this band before I recommend you start with their album that came out before this - Imaginations From The Other Side.

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