Sound — 8
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.
Lyrics — 8
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.
Overall Impression — 8
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.