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Blind Guardian
The Bard`s Song
July 2003
Released: 2003, Virgin Records
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Night of the Realm

In anticipation of the long-overdue Blind Guardian live album, the band has released a single of “The Bard’s Song (In the Forest).” Wait a minute...this song was released on the SOMEWHERE FAR BEYOND album in 1992, and the band released their live album TOKYO TALES ten years ago.

Well, actually, ten years later, this is a new studio version of “The Bard’s Song,” and another live album is on the way from the Bards. Kinda strange, isn’t it?

First up on this single is, of course, the newly recorded version of “The Bard’s Song.” Comparing the new recording to the original album version, there is not a whole lot of a variance. The most obvious difference is that the production has been cleaned up to the flawless level of the Guardian’s latest albums, and that Hansi’s current vocal style is more refined, with better pronunciation. In addition, the tone has changed from the full, acoustic of the original to more of a minstral-ish, Renaissance-faire kind of sound. It’s impossible to screw up such an incredible song, and, like the original, the new recording is still awesome.

In addition to the new recording, we also have three different live versions recorded on various stops on their 2002 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA tour. The sound quality on each live version is perfectly recorded and mixed, and really captures the live essence behind the band. While I question the utility of releasing 3 different live versions of the same song, it is interesting to hear the differences in reactions from the international audiences. My personal favourite among the three is the Munich version, because of the nearly overpowering crowd response. Not to be outdone, the Spaniards at the Madrid show go wild as well. It just goes to show that everybody loves “The Bard’s Song,” which is why Blind Guardian fans will snap this one up.

The disc also contains a bonus video of the song played live at Stuttgart. I am sure that the video is very cool, even though the homosexuality that is Quicktime prevents it from playing on my computer. Overall, while I enjoy the new version of “The Bard’s Song,” I still prefer the original. Also, I’m a guy who likes complete concerts, so there is not much need for me to own this release when I have a dozen Blind Guardian bootlegs already. Still, I enjoyed this release, and I look forward to hearing the upcoming 2-disc live album.
Track Listing

1. New Studio Version
2. Live (Milano, October 10th, 2002)
3. Live (Munich, May 5th, 2002)
4. Live (Madrid, June 4th, 2002)
Video: Live (Stuttgart, May 6th, 2002)


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

Next review: » Blind Guardian - The Forgotten Tales
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