Nightfall In Middle-Earth Review

artist: Blind Guardian date: 03/24/2008 category: compact discs
Blind Guardian: Nightfall In Middle-Earth
Released: 1998
Genre: Rock
Styles: Heavy Metal, Power Metal
Number Of Tracks: 22
Blind Guardian favors an operatic prog rock approach on Nightfall in Middle-Earth.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 10
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reviews (4) 7 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Nightfall In Middle-Earth Reviewed by: Ulalume, on march 24, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: The bands sound it pretty amazing. Before I begin getting into the musical aspects, it's important for everyone to realize this album is a concept album about J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Silmarillion" (which takes place in the same world as the Lord of the Rings, hence the name Nightfall In Middle-earth). There is no denying that Blind Guardian has a good sound. The vocalist's voice is amazingly unique, and he has an amazing range to add. The guitars are likely the shining point here. Almost every real song on this album (I'll get to that in a second) has a solo. There was also a lot of usage of other instruments, including the piano, flutes (and instruments like them), drums (including once in a while a double bass), among others. There is no doubting that Blind Guardian was able to effectively capture the sound of Middle-Earth, yet keep their personal power-metal sound. To add to what I said about their being "real songs", their are also several tracks that are more like listening to an audio book. Either a sentence or stanza sang, and frequently spoken by someone outside of the band I presume from the standpoint of different characters in the story. The standout in terms of these little songs has to be the album opener "War of Wrath" as it includes sounds of battle (swords clashing, warriors shouting) and ends with a perfect introductory spoken-word paragraph. In some ways the shining points in the sound department are negatives (albeit not excessively). For example, a solo in every song makes those songs somewhat boring. It is not like the solo's are "bad", they just are not all that memorable. To add, the songs are written in such a fashion that they become repetative (especially as some go into the realm of 6-minute long). Overall in sound, Blind Guardian is amazing with a few minor faults. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are pretty awesome. Sometimes they get corny (Ex: In "Blood Tears" - they say, "Cut off your old friend's hand"). However in this album I do not fault Blind Guardian at all, concidering it is an an absolute nerd, Lord of the Rings fan masterpiece. However, one mild qualm I have is the basic structure of all the songs on this album. Based on this alone I am not sure how Blind Guardian is concidered "progressive." I did not really see anything overly unique to "progress" the genre and music in general. However, that's a mild complaint in the long run. The band does a good job of composing as well, all of the arrangements go well with the lyrics. Not to mention of over-dubbing of the lead singers voice to make things feel more like an opera/chior singing. It is quite enjoyable. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall I am truly impressed by this album. When I look back and see it was put out in the '90s, I find it awesome that the realm of Middle-Earth was already popular in their music. Blind Guardian is definitly the leader of music in the power metal genre, and pieces like this are just images of the band at the top of their game. Some standout songs on this 22-track album include: "War of Wrath", "Nightfall", "Mirror Mirror", and "When Sorrow Sang." // 10

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overall: 10
Nightfall In Middle-Earth Reviewed by: Celticknife, on june 21, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Nightfall In Middle-Earth Reviewed by: The^Unforgiven, on july 15, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Now first of all what's wrong with you people? There wasn't a single Blind Guardian review so I decided to add one. So let's get to the point. Nightfall In Middle-Earth is the best Blind Guardian album I have heard. Now one thing I like about the album is the idea. The album is made to honour J.R.R Tolkien, and tells the story of "Silmarillion", one of Tolkien's famous fantasy books. I think It's a kickass idea, and it works well. The other thing of course is music. For the very first time when I was like 10 or so, my big brother palyed me some of the album, and right when "Into the storm" begun I was like "Wow man, this kicks ass!". The whole album is something like Melodic power/heavy metal. There is lots of different instruments on this album too, not often used in Heavy music, like in "Time stands still". The sound quality is perfect. Only thing bad about the music is the lack of cool guitar solos, and I love solos, so they are important to me. // 8

Lyrics: Like I mentioned, the Idea of Telling a story someone has written works well, so that means that the lyricks are good too. It has I think smething to do with the fact that the artist has not entirely written the lyrics alone. Of vourse they are made by Kursch and the boys, but Tolkien has given them the ideas and subjects. To be honest, I have not eveen read the Silmarillion, so I cannot tell do the lyrics match the real story, but I think they do, 'cause I've read a part of silmarillion. The lyrics go very well with the music. I think that on this album the music has been built on the lyrics, not the other way round. Andre (That's his name, right?) sing well in many styles. Plain beautiful and clear singing, but occasionally powerful, dramatic shout-singing. // 8

Overall Impression: From Blind Guardian I allso have "Tales from the Twilight world" and "Follow the blind", and I have also heard "A Night at the opera" Through. "Tales From..." and "Follow The Blind" Are ok, but I don't like "A Night At The Opera" at all, in fact I think I'ts pretty much shit. But "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" is certainly something different. The songs that most hit the spot with me are "Into The Storm", "Time Stands Still", "Mirror Mirror", and "Noldor (Dead winter reigns)". I love the Idea of the album (as I said) and the melodic guitarriffs and the whole thing of the album beign more than just an album - I think it's an artistic creation. The only bad thing is again th lack of guitar solos. If the album ever got lost I'd propably buy a new one, though I listen to it just occasionally, but It's still an important part of my record collection, and also one of the best Power/Heavy metal albums out there. // 10

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overall: 10
Nightfall In Middle-Earth Reviewed by: Martyrion, on november 23, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound is excellent! You can hear how perfect the melodic riffs and solo's really are. The music is somewhat more complex than that of earlier albums and this is really a thing to notice, the melodic style of Blind Guardian is really taken to a new height with this album, or a different height at least. Inspired by JRR Tolkiens book, The Silmarillion. // 10

Lyrics: Since the entire album and atmosphere around it is inspired by The Silmarillion, so is the lyrics. And they are really good. They do not completely retell the story, but the parts the actually retell are told in a most delightful way! Hansi is as usual an excellent vocalist, matching the style of Blind Guardian very well! // 10

Overall Impression: It can't really be compared to any other album that I've heard because it's really no album like it. Not even former albums of Blind Guardian. Blind Guardian is my favourite band so I can't say I'd rather have any other artist either. It's just brilliant, so beautiful, and so powerful. Nightfall, A Dark Passage, Into The Storm and Thorn are my favourites from this album. I'd buy this again if it were stolen. A real, killer good album. // 10

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