Blind Guardian – At The Edge Of Time – Review

For those of you who don’t know Blind Guardian, I suggest you give them a chance.  Time after time they continue to deliver their own unique take on fantasy with great force.  This may not be their best album, but there’s no doubt At The Edge Of Time is still going to force me to neglect a few albums in the coming months, in favour of it.

                       

Weighing in at over nine minutes long, Sacred World is a daring introduction to the album featuring a dramatic orchestral start, which builds up before Andre Olbrich brings in the trademark style of his wild but fluent rhythm guitar.

Yet again Hansi Kursch has returned to his beloved Michael Moorcock themes with Tanelorn, a full throttle thrash-fest with a spine tingling chorus. Kursch has still stuck with the multi-tracking of his own vocal harmonies throughout the album, but hasn’t gone to the point of over-looping in the way he did in 2002 album A Night At The Opera.  His voice is consistent throughout, still having the same crisp, raspy-ness that moved mountains for me when I was a kid.

War Of The Thrones is a beautiful song with a lovely piano introduction, but true standout is Wheel of Time.  The song has a very oriental influence at the beginning and eventually progresses to demonstrate the vocal limits of Kursch with some classic Olbrich guitar work – all this while a full orchestra musters an epic whirlwind of a tune.

Out of the eight albums that preceded this one, there were always four standout ones for me.  A Night At The Opera, Nightfall In Middle Earth, Somewhere Far Beyond and Imaginations From The Other Side are collectively, a tier of genius that I can’t allow At The Edge Of Time to be in.

They may not have completely blown the minds of the listener with At The Edge of Time, but with their sparkles of genius and Guardian charm it’s still sure to satisfy a lot of fans – including me.

8/10

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