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Still very speedy. - 76%

Nightcrawler, January 4th, 2003

This is one of Blind Guardian's weakest albums in my opinion, mostly because there's a lack of variation between the songs. Still, it's not bad at all.
It mixes the speed and power elements that Blind Guardian have gotten known for nicely, although they would succeed better on that front on the Somewhere Far Beyond album.
This one is still mostly speed metal, with insanely fast and heavy guitar riffs and very intense drumming, with some nice melodic leads and short solos placed here and there.
Most of the choruses are classic Blind Guardian singalong material with backing vocals (Welcome To Dying, Lost In The Twilight Hall...), which is pretty much what you'd expect from the band.

The vocals are as usual very strong, with both raw screams and clean vocals.
Hansi's clean vocals sound very epic-ish, that's how I'd best describe them, and that suits the band perfectly.

The album contains many fan favourites, like the all out speed metal opening song Traveler In Time, the acoustic ballad Lord Of The Rings, and the quite speedy Welcome To Dying, which has one of my personal favourite Blind Guardian choruses.

But, the album has some flaws. Mostly that there's not much variation: Aside from Lord Of The Rings and the crazy instrumental Weird Dreams, most songs sound pretty much the same. Though it's not as bad as on A Night At The Opera, where nearly all songs completely lack any sort of personality or feeling.
Lost In The Twilight Hall is also quite a different track, with both insanely fast and slightly slower, heavier parts, and a great bridge with dueling vocals between Hansi K├╝rsch and Kai Hansen. Then there is the short filler Altair 4, which I don't even count as a song. Very boring.

The albums highlights include Lost In The Twilight Hall, Welcome To Dying, Lord Of The Rings and the closing track The Last Candle, which has some great soloing by Kai Hansen.