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A return to the old and new ways - 95%

zecharas, July 6th, 2010

After over four years of waiting, the mighty Blind Guardian return with their much anticipated new album, but first, they release a small teaser with two non-album tracks and the highlight of the single, “A Voice in the Dark.” Throughout the past decade, many old school Blind Guardian fans have been complaining about how Hansi and company have turned from their speedy/power metal roots to a more epic, grandiose and progressive sound. Those who have turned away from Blind Guardian may have done so too soon. For the new single, the band goes back to their thrashier and speedy roots, but also incorporates that new sound from their previous two albums. That being said, let’s talk about the actual content and quality of the three new songs.

The first song on the single is also going to appear as is on Blind Guardian’s ninth full-length, At the Edge of Time. As previously mentioned, this song returns back to the speedy ways of the Imaginations from the other Side and Somewhere Far Beyond days. It is not only a return to that style, but a very good song as well. The intro really stands out and is in the vein of “Valhalla” and “This Will Never End.” The chorus is also very catchy and also has a superb buildup. Hansi’s voice takes on a harsh vocalization like the old days as well. All in all, one of the best songs by Blind Guardian since “And then there was Silence.” The second song is a 1980’s cover of John Farnham’s “You’re the Voice.” For what it is, Blind Guardian did a good job with the cover. You either like it or hate it. I personally like the cover, as they really did something right with the chorus. This song can get better or worse with more listening. The last song is an acoustic version of the song “War of the Thrones.” This is a ballad in the vein of “Harvest of Sorrow” and “All the King’s Horses,” but also contains a bit of medieval flair. It is one of the better ballads by the band and a very impressive song all together. The album version will contain a piano version of the song, which should be interesting as well.

Blind Guardian take their time (four years in between albums is a long time), but when they put out material, it is quality, and the same can be said about A Voice in the Dark. This single gives only a small taste of what is to come on their forthcoming album, but this leaves little doubt in my mind that one of the best power metal bands around will make a killer new album to rival their past “glory” days as some might say.