At The Edge Of Time
headbanger013, on august 03, 2010 5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: Wow... I did not have huge expectations of this album, not that Blind Guardian has ever even made a bad album, but I thought it would be, just another album, however, it happens to be much better than what I thought!
The sound itself of the album is great, with the exception (in my opinion) of the orchestra and the background music being a bit too loud, to the point where, in some parts of the album, the guitar, bass, and drums almost become the background instruments, with the vocals, and orchestra taking over the primary spot. I do not know, maybe it was the band's, or producer's idea of the album, but it certainly seems a bit weird of a move to me. // 9
Lyrics: As the album came out just today, and I just finished hearing it for the second time, I have not really had much time to read all of the lyrics, and I have focused more on the music itself.
I can say though, that I thought that the best part of this album is the incredible atmosphere that Hansi sets throughout, and of course the guitars, drums, bass, and everything else, are factors of the atmosphere too, however, in this album, Hansi's role, is just so much more important than everybody else's. // 9
Overall Impression: I guess that, compared to many artists, Blind Guardian's musical direction, has not changed much in their 20+ years of existence, except for the addition of some more symphonic elements on the last two albums, however, they have always found a way to keep their style fresh, and also result in some great music!
Well, I've listened to the album 3 times now, so I will not be able to put too much details to the song by song review, but since I enjoy reading them, I shall make one.
01. Sacred Worlds: 1:25 mins of orchestral buildup, I didn't like it that much so far, but then it goes into this badass riff at 1:49, and the whole song changes from there. It is a rather slow opener, but very powerful, especially, as I mentioned before, with Hansi's vocals! At about 6:20 it gets even more awesome! And a beautiful outro... could be shortened a bit in my opinion, with some of the parts feeling a bit too long, and as I also mentioned before, I wish, at times, that the orchestral stuff, was a bit more in the background while the band is playing, however, it is still a great song. 8.5/10
02. Tanelorn (Into the Void): very old school Guardian, completely different than Sacred Worlds, however, it still flows very well. Very fast, and a very cool song. 8.5/10
03. Road Of No Release: very pretty intro with the piano, and then the guitar coming in on top of it. Gives the impression of being a very slow song throughout, however this is not the case... nothing over the top, however still a good song. 8/10
04. Ride Into Obsession: from the song samples, this was definitely very catchy, with a sick intro, however it becomes pretty average later. 7.5/10
05. Curse My Name: sounds almost like this could be a song that they decided not to put on Nightfall in Middle Earth, anyways, nothing special in my opinion. 7.0/10
06. Valkyries: ok, this is where the album truly gets very special. Every second of this song is incredible, and do not take that as an opinion, it's a fact! This is one of those songs that contains everything, slow, heavy, melodic, atmospheric... you name it, and you've got it! If they don't put this on the set of their new tour, they have made a huge mistake. Would I say that this is the highlight of the album, well, other songs might grow on me, however, right now, I would most definitely have to say YES!. 10/10... no doubt in my mind!
07. Control The Divine: EPIC! as I said before, the first couple of songs are almost like a joke compared to the second half of the album, not that the first songs are bad, by no means, but, it's just not up to par with these songs! Fabulous song! 9.5/10
08. War of the Thrones: on this track, Hansi is truly given the space to shine, with only some beautiful piano pieces in a lot of parts of this song. Actually some of the most beautiful music Blind Guardian has ever made, however, I will say... What where they thinking with the chorus? It isn't bad, but it just does not fit with the way the song starts. Anyways still a 8.5/10... I really wish that they put a different chorus, because it could be so much better. Anyways, that's my opinion.
09. A Voice In The Dark: Andre sure made a cool riff for this one! Good choice for a single. A really cool song, kind of like Tanelorn, very old school, Hansi really takes his voice to all sorts of ranges on this song! You can truly hear those old school Guardian guitar harmonies on this song. Feels like this could fit on Imaginations From The Other Side... 9/10
10. Wheel of Time: very middle-eastern sounding in many parts. They should put one of em sticker labels saying Caution! Extremely Epic! on this album, because, this chorus, is dangerous! Great way to close the album! 9.5/10
All I can say, is WOW! To make a great album is already a great achievement, but to make one 22 years after your debut album is another ballpark!
Without a doubt, a solid 9/10! And I say 9/10, in order to leave room for greats such as Somewhere Far Beyond, and Nightfall, but, it is without a doubt another great album by the Bards!
Hope you enjoyed my long and boring review haha! // 9
At The Edge Of Time
matt360, on august 03, 2010 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album takes the progressive sound of Blind Guardians newer material and merges it with their old, fast-paced thrash sound. The overall sound of this album is more serious and in some ways darker than the last album "A Twist In The Myth". This album is heavily characterized by the orchestral's which were real recordings rather than computer synthesized. The album begins with a great orchestral to open the song "Sacred Worlds". Right off the bat you hear that this album is going to be heavy. At The Edge Of Time is made up of brilliant songs; each song has its own important characteristic which makes it stand out. I am mostly impressed by how the chorus of each song is mind-blowing; especially the one in the song Wheel Of Time. The whole song itself sort of drags on and is mediocre, but the chorus really makes the song for me. The highlights of this album for me are Sacred Worlds, Valkyries, Control The Divine, War Of The Thrones, and A Voice In The Dark. Some aspects of Blind Guardians sound have changed such as the mixing of the progressive side with the thrash side, but aspects that haven't would be the unmistakable sound of Andre Olbrich's lead guitar, and Hansi Kursch's vocals. // 8
Lyrics: Hansi's vocals have always impressed me, and they continue to do so in this album. There isn't really too much to say about his vocals in this album, they're mostly the same, but since they've mixed the thrashier sound of Blind Guardian, Hansi's vocals also sometimes have the raspier thrash sound to them. Though his vocals are great, they didn't impress me as much as in "A Twist In The Myth". The lyrical theme of this album is based upon various writings such as Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series, and George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. No surprise here, Blind Guardians lyrics have always been based upon various works of fiction. // 8
Overall Impression: This album took me a few listens to really start to like it. First impression was pretty good, but second and third impression's were slightly disappointing. After getting to know the songs pretty well, I began to really enjoy this album. I definitely recommend it, it's a great listen and it's very promising. Blind Guardian have returned with another magnificent album which is bound to impress all dedicated Bard's. // 8
At The Edge Of Time
JMitch88, on november 09, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Right as the first track starts, you can immediately tell that it's Blind Guardian. On this album BG remains true to their sound that they've crafted over the years. The album is full of beautiful orchestral arrangements that accompany the songs quite well and creates a very enjoyable listening experience. The songs are varied and Hansi's epic voice is just as strong and hypnotic as ever. With such great tracks as "A Voice in The Dark", "Valkyries", and "Curse My Name" this album is bound to excite and entertain and make you wish you were back in the middle ages. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are just as epic as the other countless songs that BG has released over the last 2 decades. Very fantasy and folklore oriented. Hansi's voice is perfect as it's ever been and fits the music quite well. It feels as if he's telling you a story through song as opposed to just singing the lyrics for the sake of having a song. The lyrics are perfect and are nothing short of what you would expect from BG. The choruses are all very catchy and you will have to fight the urge to sing along, especially on "A Voice in The Dark." // 10
Overall Impression: This album is great from start to finish. I honestly can find no fault at all with this album. I love how the songs just flow perfectly together and don't meander all over the place. The journey that this album takes you on is one you'll want to go on over and over again. If you happent to buy the special 2 disc edition you will be treated to some demos and a great documentary of BG in the studio and how the album came to be. Overall, I think it's safe to say that this album stacks up with all the other albums BG has released. I wouldn't hesitate to go out and re-buy this album if it were lost or stolen, either. Congrats to BG for putting out another great album! // 10