Blind Guardian at Studio Report (2006)

Studio Report (Krefeld, Germany)

Blind Guardian
The last two days have been a complete disaster for any 'hairy' guy living in […]
By Grigoris Chronis
May 26, 2006

The last two days have been a complete disaster for any 'hairy' guy living in the capital of Greece. With the temperature 'climbing' up from 26C to 36C in only 48 hours, it surely is a pain in the ass to be dealing with 'vicious' traffic, inhaling tons of toxic gas plus having to walk (or park; it's the same) up to the roots of Lycabettus hill. If I was the one to organize the listening session for Euro Power Metal warriors Blind Guardian's brand new album, I'd strongly recommend Valhalla as the ideal place... Phew!

The schedule for Hansi Kursch (vocals) and Andre Olbrich (guitars) was - of course - tight enough. Being in a band like this legendary German Metal legends, means a lot of hard 'promo' work prior to the release of your highly anticipated new album. The two band members had arrived in Athens just 4-5 hours ago, shocked by the differentiation of heat regarding their previous stop in Paris, France. Still, without any serious delay, all journalists (most of them long haired and in black t-shirts; a good dose of shock for the regular visitors of a luxury Hotel) gathered in a comfort lounge with enough beers and food, Andre and Hansi had a small 'welcoming' chat with all of us while the audio equipment was getting ready to 'deliver' A Twist In The Myth...

...Blind Guardian's new effort, four years after their controversial previous album, A Night At The Opera (2002, Virgin). Set for release in September 2006, A Twist In The Myth marks the band's first piece of collaboration with - surely, now, with this addition - Europe's biggest Metal label, Nuclear Blast Records. Furthermore, enrolling a new drummer, Frederik Ehmke, after nearly twenty years with Thomas Stauch - now delivering the goods with Savage Circus - could mean a new air in the band. Hence, two critical events added to the - anyway - high anxiety for what the new album would sound like. The 'start' button was pushed, Andre and Hansi took their seats at the back side on a comfortable sofa - wondering whether they'd fall asleep at some time - and music was spread allover the lounge.

Since a full review will come up during the next couple of months, a few words will be mentioned here to set the basis for what these German bards can do in the year 2006. Well, devoted Blind Guardian fans will love this album (too). All of he band's basic elements are here, alive and kickin'! Additionally, to a small surprise, I must say, A Twist In The Myth has a good amount of songs_song parts dealing again with lightning double bass drumming and monstrous riffing guitars that will bring the smile of old-school BG fans back; a total blast!. Apart from this, medieval_celtic themes - the band's trademark - are again obvious all over the album, while - to our relief - Frederik Ehmke fits in like a glove, letting aside the fact that he's capable of pushing the band into 'prog' fields from time to time! Wonderful melodies, traveling harmonies and the magnificent singing of Hansi - maybe his most 'emotional' performance (you'll be blown away!) sum it up to an album that (assuming these emotions will be preserved after listening to the album for another 20 times) will surely overlap 2002's A Night At The Opera.

Last but not least: during my interview (afterwards) with both Hansi and Andre (which will be uploaded in the next days, as soon as I'm over with the transcribing), it was an obvious impression that Blind Guardian are willing to kick some serious Metal ass again. Freshness is a good motive for notable creations, I must add, and - judging by a new drummer and record label - the BG spirit definitely lives on. Some will say that A Twist In The Myth is a back-to-the-roots album. This is partially true. Simply, the band has all members still being Heavy Metal fans while they clearly have the spirit of the age (and era). I admit I was not that anxious for the new album to come out (I hope a vinyl issue will be printed, too!) before walking up that damn Lycabettus road. What Teutonic Metal gods they are; glad to say this on a hot summer's noon. Waiting for 2006's autumn now!

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