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Review: Blind Guardian - At the Edge of Time
Blind Guardian
At the Edge of Time

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 61:18
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: August 22, 2010
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers Rating
At the Edge of Time

Rated 4.49/5 (89.87%) (77 Votes)

Four years after the very good and underrated A Twist in the Myth, Blind Guardian releases At the Edge of Time. First the obvious, this contains the same typical style that this band has been putting out since their fourth disc, so if you are a fan of this band then you'll know exactly what to expect here. Fantasy themes, multi-layered vocals, folksy passages and crystal clear production, they all appear here. In that sense they haven't changed their direction at all, but what is different here is that this album requires time to fully appreciate it, just like A Night at the Opera.

Although not nearly as overproduced and self-indulgent as that disc, it has a very folksy feeling attached to the songs. This is not something new, but here it is more in the forefront than before, you can hear whistles, bagpipes and other stuff, just falling short of being Folk Metal. This is mostly a mid-paced album, there are no speedy cuts like those found earlier in their career and because of that, this was not an album that I liked immediately. Still, each track contains a certain section (whether is a chorus, riff or solo) that you'll remember; after all this is Blind Guardian.

The band's performance and musicianship is what you would have expected from a veteran outfit. And like any band that has been recording for 25 years, they do best what they are familiar with. One thing that surprised me is the lack of anthems here; aside from the single "A Voice in the Dark" and "Ride Into Obsession" there were no songs that I loved right out of the bat. It doesn't mean that the rest aren't good but if you are looking for an instantly gratifying experience, then avoid this album. There is also a fair number of ballads or songs that have very little guitars like "Curse my Name" and "War of Thrones", definitely downgrading the disc.

As a longtime fan of Blind Guardian, I say that this is a good but not great album; it took me repeated listens to really dig it. However all things considered I don't think that this is better than their previous one. Having said that, I am glad that I gave this a few spins before I wrote a review, otherwise I would have severely crucified it. When it comes to a new release from this band, two things are for sure: 1- it will sell a lot and 2- it will be at the top on most "best of" lists for this year. I think that it deserves the former but not the latter as there are better records than this.

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Review: A Night At The Opera (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: A Twist In The Myth (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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