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In 1985 pre-Blind Guardian released their first demo..."Symphonies of doom". Demo includes 5 track speed metal mastery. Yeah, back in the old days Blind Guardian played pure raw speed metal with poor production but still rocked. Hansi had completely different singing style. It was not as majestic as you would find it in newer releases, but sounds perfect with their playing style. The drums are loud but not very special. As for the guitars... Riffs are raw and mind blowing, solos are epic and creative, except the bass is kinda loud. In some cases it even suits the music. Production is not very good but is not very bad either.
The songs are fast, unpolished and include awesome solos. The demo starts with "Brian" . The song lyrics are a bit sensless but the song itself includes good chorus a nice short solo and a rocking riff in the middle of the song. The next song is called "Halloween". Later in "Battalions of Fear" album it apears as "Wizard's Crown". Track is fast with nice vocal performance and a beautiful solo. Next song, "Lucifer's Heritage is a long and good instrumental. "Symphonies of doom" starts with a good solo shredding and funny bass appearance. Hansi changes his voice in this song. His vocals become kinda weird. The last song called "Dead of the Night" is a middle-fast song with awesome guitar shredding.
This demo is a perfect example of BG's original old style. Old,fast, and raw speed metal at its best.
I must admit that it is quite hard for me to rate this release - because on the one hand, it suffers from a horrible production, which is more or less prominent on the different songs, but on the other hand, one really can't expect more than that from a bunch of 18-19 year old teens (Hansi was 19 and Andre was 18; I don't know about the rest) with no proper equipment whatsoever. Therefore, the rating is probably higher than it should have been, due to the repsect and understanding.
In general, I would like to note that Hansi's vocals here are clearer than what we are used to, and aren't all that good, since he's very young, and didn't yet take any lessons. None could tell back then that he would grow up to become the amazing vocalist we know him as.
The demo starts with Halloween. This song would later become Wizard's Crown on the first official BG album. This version, however, is much slower (and not in a good way), lacks the riff from Trial by the Archon, and also has different lyrics. Got potential, not more than that. And my ears hurt each time I hear the intro on this one.
Next comes Brian, which is rather short, and though people seem to like it a lot, I never really managed to understand what's so special about it. It has a good solo and some nice riffing here and there, but overall, it isn't special and has a rather stupid refrain.
Dead of the Night is a probably the best song here, and it's a pity that it didn't go anywhere else, since this one just feels like something that didn't get onto Battalions of Fear for some reason (it seems to belong there even more than Halloween). It has very neat riffing (aside from a few moments here and there, especially around the beginning) done by Andre, and one can already see here that this is a great guitarist indeed.
Symphonies of Doom has a slightly experimental feel to it - maybe because of Dork's vocals, which oddly remind me of Scorpions' Fly to the Rainbow album. The song is impressively complicated for the 4 minutes it lasts, too.
Lucifer's Heritage is a very interesting instrumental, and gives another view of the potential of this band. It also has a slightly doom-esque break in the middle, with an obvious Black Sabbath influence to it.
Conclusion: The first 2 songs are average, the last three are very good. Overall, one could already see that this band has got potential. True, the production is bad, and this is not what you're supposed to get to know Blind Guardian by. If you are new to this band, then begin with what bears their current name. But if you love the band and want to know exactly what they were like in the beginning, then you should pick this up, and you will be pleasently surprised to discover that there is some good music here, aside of this making you a tr00 BG fan, running around screaming "woo, I have the first BG demo!".