Blind Guardian – At The Edge Of Time (2010)

Blind Guardian is back – and with a vengeance! Like the name of the album “Imaginations from the Other Side” was a perfect match to the music – and that kind of music was a milestone for the international metal genre – so is the name of their new CD a perfect choice. “At the Edge of Time” deals with the past, the present and the future of Blind Guardian. With songs like “A Voice in the Dark”, “Tanelorn” and “Ride Into Obsession”, the for guys from Krefeld play what was typical for them in the past: fast, uncompromising and melodic speed metal, that sometimes seems to morph into thrash metal.

Songs like “Road of No Release”, “Control the Divine” and “Valkyries” are more modern and progressive and reflect the last two CDs “A Night at the Opera” (2002) and “A Twist in the Myth” (2006).

The two ballads “Curse my Name” and “War of Thrones” show what Blind Guardian was, is and always will be: melodic, nice to listen to and folkloric. Some might say, there's nothing better than the “Bard's Song – In the Forest” (Somewhere Far Beyond 1993), but personally, I doubt, it's Blind Guardians aim with every ballad to top that particular one.

The opener “Sacred Worlds” and the last song “Wheel of Time” practically contain everything Blind Guardian has ever done, and the orchestra lets those songs become more alive than ever before. Similar to the epic song “And there was Silence” (A Night at the Opera), both of the new songs have several pinnacles and I at least get goose bumps every time I listen to them.

On the bonus CD you can find a cover version of „You're the Voice“, which seamlessly connects to the older cover songs. Furthermore, there is the sacred version of the computer game Sacred II, but it sounds a lot weaker with only the keyboard instead of the whole orchestra. There also is an instrumental version of the song “Wheel of Time” - a personal highlight for me.

As conclusion I have to say that Blind Guardian are completely back after their last two rather weak albums, which have been important for the development of the band nonetheless. Without those last two CD’s, this masterpiece couldn't have happened.

The only weak point I see, is the recording of Hansi's voice, which sometimes is too quiet. Some critics say, this album isn't catchy, that Blind Guardian hasn't gone back to their roots, and you can't compare this CD to its predecessors.

In my opinion, a CD that is really catchy is forgotten as easily and soon gets boring. I think it interesting to hear something new every time I listen to the songs. Concerning going back to the roots, I have to say, every band has the right to develop. If Blind Guardian had released the same CD over and over again after “Imaginations”, they would be criticized today.



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