Sound — 10
Something to note about Nightfall In Middle Earth is that the entire album and all the songs on it are inspired by J.R.R Tolkien's fantasy novel The Silmarillion, and so therefore many of the songs make alot more sense if you have read the book, however even if you haven't read the book this is still an amazing album. The sound of Nightfall In Middle Earth is hard to compare to anything else, because to be honest, I haven't heard another CD that has a similar sound to it, not even Blind Guardian's other stuff. The one word that comes into my mind when I listen to the tracks on this album is epic, epic solos, epic melodies, epic choir-esque overdubs. The other word that comes to mind is amazing. An interesting feature of this album are the numerous very short tracks in between the main tracks that act as fillers for the story of the album, narrated by various characters from The Silmarillion.
Lyrics — 10
Hansi Krsch must surely be one of the best singers around in Metal, if not all music today, and this is him at his absolute best. The lyrics to each song match the music perfectly. From the hugely powerful and epic chorus in Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill), to the more agressive lyrical style in The Curse Of Feanor to the more melodic Noldor (Dead Winter Reign), Hansi reflects the mood and feel of each song with his great vocals. The lyrics themselves, as I mentioned earlier are all related to The Silmarillion, and after reading that book, this album actually does a pretty good job of telling the story representing important or memorable moments from the book as main tracks, and filling the rest out with the shorter narrative tracks in between. However, when I first listened to Nightfall In Middle Earth, I had not yet read the Silmarillion, but the lyrics still stood out from the standard cheesy power metal variety, which makes it worthwhile for others who haven't read The Silmarillion.
Overall Impression — 10
It is hard to compare this album to any others that I have heard due to the epic nature of the album being completely different to anything else that I have heard, and that is one of the reasons why it is one of my all time favourite CDs, let alone my favourite power metal CD. My personal favourite songs on the album are Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill), The Curse Of Feanor, The hugely popular Mirror Mirror and Nightfall. The reason I love this album so much is that it is pretty much the only Power Metal CD I own that I can listen to over and over again without getting bored, which is the typical problem I have with most Power Metal bands. This was also the album with which I got several freinds and family members into metal music with. This album is an absolute neccesity for any power metal, or indeed metal fan, and if it were lost/stolen, I would not hesistate to go out and buy two more just in case.