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The single that plays like an album. - 88%

hells_unicorn, August 28th, 2006

Riding off the coat tails of their most amazing album yet (Nightfall in Middle Earth) Blind Guardian gave us the first offering off their 2002 effort "A Night at the Opera". The primary focus of this single is obviously it's namesake, "And then there was silence". Lyrically this is a rather brilliant retelling of the Iliad told from the point of view of the Trojan side. Musically, this song is basically a self contained opera drama in the Wagnerian mold.

One of the primary mistakes made in approaching this song is with the template of a traditional/power metal song, this is clearly an effort meant to rival the progressive efforts of the likes of Adagio and Symphony X, both of whom write heavily complex music. Consequently this song, in addition to most of "A Night at the Opera", did not sit well with many traditional fans whom are more prone to the Speed/Power Metal era that Blind Guardian had in the early to mid 90s.

The other track on this release is titled "Harvest of Sorrow", a song that would appear in multiple languages depending on which edition of "A Night at the Opera" you got (my version had the lyrics in French). Pretty much a traditional Blind Guardian ballad, very melodic, and some pleasing acoustic guitar lines mixed with some good orchestra support. In addition, there is a multi-media video of "Born in a Mourning Hall" that is rather interesting, although I had already seen it via the internet before hand.

As far as recommendations go, if you are a speed metal purist who had some reservations about the changes that were made on "Nighfall on Middle Earth", then you may want to steer clear of this single, as well as the full studio release that followed. But for those of you whom are fans of more Progressive Metal, and whom liked Nightfall on Middle Earth, this is as good as they come.