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Reviews for "At The Edge of Time"

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Reviews for "At The Edge of Time"

Unread post Post #1 by Thierry » 13 July 2010, 18:21

Here is a topic for those who want to share home-written (or not, any review you'd find interesting :ugeek: ) reviews for "At The Edge of Time" in English. :-D

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And as it gets, I'll start with mine, which I translated from French this afternoon 8)
It was published there: http://ultimetal.free.fr/anglais/chroni ... e_eng.html

18/20
Awaited like the Messiah by all Bards’ fans (which I am part of, no need to hide it!), BLIND GUARDIAN’s new album looks like it’s gonna be one of 2010’s major releases. We can say this even before the album is released. We are indeed talking about one of German-styled power metal’s pioneers, a band in activity for more than 25 years (when one considers their first incarnation under the name of Lucifer’s Heritage) and headliner of Wacken 2007. There’s one thing for sure, the band decided to pull out all the stops on promoting this new CD. We have proof of this by watching all studio-reports on the Web, hammering things like “We have this guest, that guest, and a choir, and an orchestra, and tap dancers…” (I’m not jolking about the tap dancers). In consequence, sure I was happy to be able to listen to the album before everyone else, but I also told myself I was put under pressure… not easy to stay objective in my case…

The listener, provided he followed the band’s newsfeed, won’t be like a fish out of water when listening to the opener “Sacred Worlds” which is a updated version of “Sacred” from the videogame Sacred 2. Beware, this is not just a copy/paste: the track (and thus the album) gets a grandiloquent orchestral into, a longer duration at the heart of the song and an orchestral outro, that has the drawback to make the whole thing too heavy. A good appetizer that won’t unsettle the “new” BG fan as the transition with A Twist in the Myth seems easy. But to reduce this new album to this simple equation would be too obvious for a band that hasn’t given up to simplicity since 1998 at least…
The albums happens to be more varied than it’s predecessor and could be in a sense considered as a “best-of” from the band’s whole career. Yes my friends, you read it well, from the entire band’s career, for such a thing can be done. And now, here and there, I see old fans, embittered by too many experiments on A Night at the Opera and by the linear side of A Twist in the Myth make as if they were smiling. They can. BLIND GUARDIAN gives us a new speed metal serving. Yes my friends, believe me. Speed, metal, kicking ass with Hansi screaming high notes, like in the good old times. You just need to listen to “Tanelorn (Into the Void)”, the second track. This song and its title, reminiscent to anyone listening to BG in the early 90s is, to a certain extent, put the cat among the pigeons. No basic-speed-80s-metal there, but an efficient sweating song. One track isn’t enough? Then listen to “Ride Into Obsession”! Not satisfied yet? Try the single “A Voice in the Dark” with its intro riff recalling one of the band’s historical hits, “Valhalla” .(We’re getting back to 1989!) Moreover, talking about hit single, I can bet that this song will stay among the band’s setlists for quite a long time. Power, speed, choirs on the chorus, we are clearly back to the beginning’s speed metal, but with today’s means…
The reader must not, however, believe in an album consisting only in speed tracks. I mentioned a “best-of”, which means Middle-Age-ish ballads. Here you are with “Curse My Name” or “War of the Thrones (Piano)” (There exists another acoustic version on the single, out in June) First-mentioned track shows another side from the band, a known but easily-forgotten side that gave them the “Bard” nickname. A track with some refinement where the ultimate part gets lost in a mist of many voices, recalling the canon.
Finally, talking about BG means talking about fantasy themes, themes that made the band record a whole album based on Tolkien’s Silmarillion. (Nightfall in Middle-Earth, not to name it.) These influences can be found here as well, Hansi was indeed referring to Moorcock for lyrics’ inspiration. But one must particularly listen to the last track from the album, “Wheel of Time”. Such a title has certainly rung a bell amongst connoisseurs, it is indeed inspired by Robert Jordan’s famous saga. BLIND GUARDIAN signs here one of its career’s most epic songs (remember “And Then There Was Silence”?), assisted, like on “Sacred Worlds” by a genuine orchestra. When I told you they pulled out all the stops… The track in itself ends the album on an epic note on choirs or on the track’s structure… a note that could be found from the listening’s first seconds.
So is this the perfect album? Certainly not. You have to deal with other tracks that can’t match with the aforementioned ones. Good tracks though, but slighlty below in terms of quality, in the same vein as the previous album. However, these tracks can titillate the listener with a little something. I’m thinking about “Road of No Release” and its touching piano intro (It’s reminding me of Secret Of Mana’s main theme… yet another video-game reference…) for a track that’s going in many directions afterwards. One example among others.

In conclusion? Probably one of the band’s best albums. BLIND GUARDIAN shows that it has been able to come back to the efficient basics, drawing from what it did best in its career. And this goes for those who think I’m too large on the marking: the previous album would hardly reach 15 if I had to review it. After listening to it, I confirm: this is a certain thing, At The Edge of Time IS one of 2010’s major releases. Let’s make this clear, once and for all!
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Thierry
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