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Let's Call It "Power Thrash" - 95%

elfo19, March 8th, 2008

Blind Guardian-Tales From The Twilight Hall

I dislike thrash metal. Sure, you can catch me with a little Metal Church playing sometimes but for the most part I’m not the biggest fan of the genre. Knowing this you can probably tell that I don’t like Blind Guardian’s early albums too much. This is true. This album being reviewed is their third, and more importantly, their first to incorporate power metal. Yeah, the thrash is still there, but it’s made more melodic, and Blind Guardian as we know them is beginning to form. This is probably my favorite Blind Guardian album.

The music on the album is still quite thrashy but the uplifting vocals sung by several people has been added. (To demonstrate progression, on their later albums they had a whole male choir sing.) There isn’t really a bad moment on the album and each song keeps you entertained. The subject matter is very Blind Guardian-ish on this album. First of all, you got a song that’s literally called “Lord Of The Rings”, which is one of the album’s best songs, a beautiful ballad. Then there’s “Tommyknockers” and “Altair 4” both of which are about the Stephen King book, Tommyknockers. “Tommyknockers is a great track, a little more thrashy then some of the others, and definitely heavy. The chorus is ridiculously fun to sing. “Altair 4” is only two minutes long and it’s nothing special.

Some songs are more thrashy then others, such as “Weird Dreams”. It’s not even two minutes long, but it’s a realy heavy instrumental bit that kind of goes nowhere. That’s more like thrash than say, “The Last Candle”, the album’s closer. Still, this a lot heavier than any Blind Guardian that would come after. I believe that this may be Blind Guardian’s most accessible release because it finds a nice in between of the two genres, thrash and power.

However a lot of people don’t like this album. It could be that they hate thrash, but that’s unlikely because I don’t really like it, or they hate power metal, but if you hate power metal I don’t think you’re even going to touch Blind Guardian or Gamma Ray or Helloween. So why not like this album. I think people just like to complain. There actually are no epic tracks but you have to take in mind that this is their progression between thrash and power. I like epic 9 minute songs as much as the next guy, in fact I adore Manowar’s 28 minute long epic “Achilles, Agony And Ecstasy In Eight Parts”, but you can’t complain that there isn’t an epic. Taking into mind that Blind Guardian is stuck between genres this may be their best written alum.

Overall, the album delivers some nice performances from all the members of the band and no one falls short. This album gets you head banging furiously but still has everything, except an epic, that you’ve come to love about Blind Guardian. Any fan should pick up this album and enjoy it because it’s definitely worth it.